By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season
EDISON, N.J. -- First off, I don't hate Tim Tebow or Christian Laettner, but I know many of you do. Laettner was one of the best college basketball players of all time. And Tebow has a chance to be the best college football player ever.
Because of his individual greatness, Laettner helped Duke win back-to-back national championships. And Tebow's greatness has earned him a Heisman Trophy, as well as a chance to help his team win its third national championship in this senior year of his that begins in just a few weeks.
Yet Laettner and Tebow are hated in so many places.
It's funny how common the outcry is when we read about coddled, trouble-making athletes. The word "thug" often gets tossed around when talking about people like Michael Vick, Plaxico Burress and most of the Portland Trail Blazers of the last 10 or 12 years. We say we want our heroes to be good people away from the playing field, and you get far more than that with Tebow. His mission trips are well documented. But still so many people north and west of Gainesville hate him so much. Why is that?
And why did so many people hate Laettner two decades ago? Don't tell me it was because he stomped that Timberlake kid from Kentucky (watch the video) in the greatest college basketball game ever played. That was at the end of Laettner's senior year; he'd been hated long before then.
I have my reasons for why I think Laettner was hated so badly, but I don't know why Tebow is. And I want you to tell me why he's hated, and which of the two you hate more and why.