Tebow vs. Tebow™: Because 5 months without a Tebow post is too long, dammit!

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Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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32 Responses

  1. Avatar Patrick Cahalan says:

    I cannot imagine a world in which this lawsuit is a good idea.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I agree 100%. While Tebow may well be essential to this shirt’s creation (that is to say: had Tebow gone somewhere else… Jacksonville, say, this shirt would never have been dreamed up), Tebow’s the inspiration, not the reference.

      He’s going to come out of this looking muddy and he’ll have no one to blame but himself.

      Though I do look forward to hearing that his lawyers did this without his knowledge and he certainly would *NEVER* have tried to prevent people from displaying their faith publically and he personally has purchased a shirt for himself.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    “Fight and you may die. Run and you will live at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here as young men and tell our enemies that they may take our lives but they will never take our Tebow!”Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    Tebow’s attorneys are demanding the site stop “any use of Mr. Tebow’s name and/or likeness”

    even though the shirt contains neither. Uh-huh.Report

  4. Avatar Kazzy says:

    “Instead of saying My Jets it says My Jesus…”

    I believe the original logo is NY Jets, which has been converted to MY (or My) Jesus)…Report

  5. Avatar Uji Mwuese says:

    Hey Tod, your write up was quite a read! Enjoyed it but unfortunately I do not watch your Tebow so may not be able to share in your sensibilities.
    However, as a christian may I say that I do share I whatever the name of Jesus stands for. While I also understand your misgivings as to the ‘cosmetic’
    manner in which Tebow prays… For really we have a lot of cosmetics/make believe to last us a life time in our generation, but at the end of the day none
    of us can really say if he is being real about it. Only a mind above the human mind may be able to decipher that. So let’s just let him alone. As for christian
    interests, I will say that no matter how he does his 3 seconds prayer, you may be shocked some persons watching him become challenged to sort out their
    relationship with God, so here again I will plea… Let’s leave him alone.
    Again let me say I enjoyed u piece… CheersReport

  6. Avatar javien says:

    The web site actually used tebow as endorsement of the shirt. With out permission they profited off of him and that is the actual issue here. In my opinion i would assume he didnt like the my jesus reference. Dude never claims go be some christian savior, he just credits his faith with his success on and off the field. If that inspires you ok, if not ok.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Here’s the paragraph from the story that may be worth looking at:

    On its website, the company says the T-shirt’s “fun design is not officially endorsed by New York’s backup quarterback or the Son of God, but plays off the themes of Tebow’s faith and his new team — borrowing from the J-E-T-S to promote J-E-S-U-S, with a fish for a football, and “MY” replacing “NY” with a color scheme that will be familiar to Jets fans.”

    Saying “Hey, my product is not officially endorsed by John Elway” does strike as something worth John Elway’s lawyers sending me an email about.

    I get the feeling that the shirt is fine, it’s the patter that is causing the problem. The patter is kinda tacky.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      What I don’t understand is why the Jets, whose logo (with slight changes) is being used without permission, have been silent.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        When you don’t limit yourself to Christian Lawyers, you have access to smarter ones.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

          The Jets might have a case, though. And sports teams protect their logos (which generate a heckuva lotta merchandising dollars) like mama pit pulls.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            They seem to be quite reasonable with high schools, though.Report

            • Avatar RTod says:

              I would not rule out the long-game vs. short-game thing. The Jets might make more money over time be encouraging things that help make fans over a long period of time. Tebow’s people might sense they have a very finite period of gravy train.Report

              • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

                A few years ago, MLB announce a plan to start charging Little League teams for using the names and uniform designs of their franchises. It might have been a trial balloon, since they dropped it almost immediately after the (predictable) backlash. But a quorum of those idiots must have thought the additional revenue was worth alienating the next generation of fans.Report

          • Avatar Plinko says:

            Not that I’m an expert on such matters but it seems to me that this is plenty sufficiently changed to not infringe on any of the NY Jets’ trademarks, it’s not like one can look at it and misread it.Report

  8. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    This is a variation on a problem that has been around for some time now. Perhaps Mr. Tebow believes that since no one will challenge his piety he can safely take on those, ah, “merchants” who seem to think that using someone else’s intellectual property for their own profit is okay if Jesus is somehow involved.

    Too bad for him that the proper plaintiff here would be the Jets, not Tim Tebow.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      I don’t get the feeling that the shirt is the problem, here. (It seems to me that we’re vaguely in parody territory, anyway.)

      The paragraphs selling the shirt mention Tebow quite a bit. Are those paragraphs, for lack of a better word, Kosher?Report

      • Avatar M.A. says:

        I don’t have a problem with “christian parody” items. As far as I am concerned, they’re an expression of parody. In the link they have an image of the “Godismy Hero” shirt, which is a parody of the video game logo for “Guitar Hero.” One person might call it an infringement of the logo, but as I’m not aware of any christian rock within the game itself, and as christian rock is itself a marginalized art form in the larger musical landscape, it seems fair to me to call it a parody – the wearer expressing an opinion that the Guitar Hero game rejects christianity.

        I’ll admit that I tend to favor interpreting the definition of parody as widely as possible, in order to promote timely and topical expressions of commentary by as many people as possible without fear of unjustified retaliation and court entanglements. Whether a particular person gets the joke ought to be immaterial to a parody defense, since a certain percentage of the population was born without a sense of humor.Report

  9. I’m in general agreement, Tod, but more importantly, +1 for the Steve Largent reference. My #80 jersey still hangs in my closet (though, being from 1989 only fits my wife, now).Report