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The Passion of the Tebow: Sports Media and Heroic Language in the Tragic Frame

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Abstract:

As one of the most widely covered athletes of recent years, Tim Tebow is both beloved and resented. In this essay, I critique sports media coverage of Tebow to demonstrate how tragic framing constitutes this opposition. By emphasizing his character both as a football leader and a Christian missionary, sports media frame Tebow in transcendental terms, the consequence of which is a discourse of absolutism and symbolic division. What is required, therefore, is a turn to Kenneth Burke's notion of the comic frame, a position of humility that is well-suited to the agonistic ethos of commercial sport.

Keywords: Christian Faith; Frame Analysis; Kenneth Burke; Sports Media; Tim Tebow

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/15295036.2012.701010

Publication date: 2013-03-01

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