Tebow's Christianity like NFL leprosy?

Super Bowl XLIV

This is getting ridiculous. First Tim Tebow, one of the best football players ever to play the college game, had too elongated a throwing motion to play on Sundays. Now that his delivery is no longer an issue, NFL teams are worried about the "challenges" that would come with signing a rookie so overtly Christian.

At least that's what Mike Florio would have you believe. The context is Tebow's request, at the combine last month, for a group prayer before the QB IQ test was administered:

Said one of the other players in response: "Shut the f--k up." Others players in the room then laughed.

We're not passing judgment on this one; we're just passing along what we've heard. And it illustrates the type of challenges that could be faced by the team that drafts Tebow.

That said, some teams might embrace those challenges. The final decision will depend largely on the composition of the team, and the personalities of the coach, the G.M., and the owner.

The news here, not surprisingly, is that a fellow NFL prospect would have such disrespect for Tebow and/or his religious beliefs. (I've seen only blog coverage of this incident.) And the comment was surprising. But what I found even more shocking was Florio's unsubstantiated "insight" into what this incident represents.

As editor of NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk.com, Florio's his comment appeared in a blog post and should be understood as opinion, not reportage. But it reflects an ongoing anti-Tebow bias that has seems to be tainting coverage of the former Gator star, which differs from his treatment as a student athlete.

I suspect most players in the NFL would say they were Christian. (Steve McNair did.) Are teams really worried about taking Tebow's beliefs causing a problem for the front office, fans and others players? I doubt it. Just try imagining a team not being interested in signing Reggie White back in his prime or bringing Tony Dungy back as a coach.

UPDATED: As Nathan points out in the comments, Tebow called Florio the next night and firmly denied that such an incident ever took place; Florio hedged.

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