“Unleash Tim Tebow”

Posted by mwallach on February 17, 2012 in My Kids |

Dear That’s Life,

While she is an incredibly talented singer, I have declared my car to be an “Adele-Free Zone.” Completely overplayed and poorly remixed, it took very little time for my tolerance level to register as FULL from all of the air time she receives. That is not to say she isn’t talented – she certainly is. I, however, have just had enough. The same way I cannot listen to The Eagle’s “Hotel California” anymore, I can no longer listen to Adele.

I could not have predicted, however, that I would ever need to declare my automobile a “Whitney-Free Zone” as well. There was no way to have known I would have ever been listening to her again in the first place. When I stopped teasing my hair and wearing headbands with huge bows, I figured my Whitney listening days were over. Clearly I was wrong.

Whitney Houston’s untimely passing is tragic simply because it is another life cut short due to drug abuse. A bright star in the music industry with a voice clearly gifted to her by the heavens, her death forces us to remember all of those who suffer from addiction and to where that sickness may lead. Her tumultuous marriage and her well-documented struggles publicly chronicled her downfall. We seemed to watch Whitney fall before our eyes. Many commented that her death was not a shock – they had been waiting to receive news such as this for many years. And yet, it still hit like a ton of bricks, as we were still taken by surprised that at 48, Whitney was no longer.

That being said, I was supersaturated by her music even before she died. I was all done in the 80s. Now it seems cruel, however, that once I hear her voice or the first few notes of “How Will I Know,” I immediately change the station. To the contrary, I have listened to more Michael Jackson since his death than I did while he was alive, raising the volume each time his songs come on. I’ve engaged in numerous “What is your favorite MJ song?” conversations with friends, determined to have many agree that “P.Y.T.” was his greatest hit, even topping “Billy Jean”. I enjoy singing his songs at the top of my lungs along with my daughter, whose MJ knowledge is more extensive than expected, thanks to “GLEE”. When Whitney’s songs come on the radio, however, I do not sing along. Very quickly, thanks to local radio stations, I am sick of her music.

Luckily, amidst all the gloom and gray, among the songs which remind us of tragedy, my children have become addicted – for lack of a better word – to ESPN’s song about Tim Tebow. The Denver Broncos quarterback famous for taking a knee and praying after every touchdown has become a national phenomenon with his religious passion and steadfast beliefs. “Tebowing” is a verb. Students on Long Island were even suspended for tebowing in a busy hallway because it caused some injuries. He is a hero.

Entitled “Unleash Tim Tebow,” the song takes sound bites about and by Tebow, strings them together, forming an anthem of sorts to this iconic figure. In the past, our family has obsessed over various songs made popular on the radio, memorizing the lyrics, singing them like we were the Von Trapps. (example –“Red Solo Cup”) More like a rap, the Tebow song may be popular with our children for its melodic appeal or because it is a song about a football player and they think that’s funny. For me, however, it is all about what Tebow represents and the message he teaches his adoring fans of all ages: everything you have is a gift from G-d. We sing it with all of our hearts.

An article in Saturday’s New York Times (the same day Houston died) highlighted the work of one man, who happens to be a rabbi, which centers on helping addicts and those with dependency problems. His theory is that alcohol and drug addiction are caused by a detachment from G-d. The addict uses those vices to fill a void which was created because the individual does not have a spiritual connection. Turning to drugs and alcohol is a last ditch effort by the person to replace that which is missing. Regardless of the religion of choice, he teaches that the cure or remedy for addiction is a deeper connection to faith, no matter how disconnected it might be at that moment.

So what if Tebow and I are both devoutly religious but believe in different G-ds? It does not matter. In a world where people are constantly looking for the upgraded model of phones, cars and sometimes spouses, or when the values we once stood for seem to now be irrelevant, it is refreshing and inspiring for a superstar like Tebow to take a moment after each achievement and give thanks. Considering other names and faces who have captured our attention and magazine covers with their 72 hour marriages or 72 karat rings, he is a breath of fresh air. We are going to hear about the details of Whitney’s death for months to come so as far as I am concerned, my kids can “Unleash Tim Tebow” as often as they want.

MLW
As Seen in the South Shore Standard Feb 2011

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