Does Lolo Jones use Tim Tebow's name for her own marketing and self-promotion reasons?
Let's be honest here. Jones, a 29-year-old track and field athlete who will be competing for Team USA at the 2012 London Olympics, wasn't a household name until she revealed to HBO's Real Sports that she is a virgin, dates online and struggles to maintain her virginity.
That revelation instantly caused fans to link her name to Tebow, who is also well-known for his decision to save himself for marriage.
Jones perhaps saw an opening to build her brand by running with the link to the New York Jets quarterback, as she dropped his name during her appearance on "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno," knowing full well her comments would get her plenty of extra media coverage.
"I did E-Harmony and it didn't work out," Jones told Leno. "I've tried it all. Right now I'm just seriously focused on the Olympics. I'm pretty sure I'm just going to invite Tim Tebow to church. It's a 100% way of not getting rejected. I'm totally just going to invite him to go to church."
Jones' name was also buzzing on the Twittersphere after she claimed on Twitter that Tebow has a secret girlfriend.
She responded to a tweet from Nick Mangold, who used Twitter to try to make "LoBow" happen, by posting "thanks Nick but i actually heard tebow has a girlfriend he just isn't saying it publicly. the search continues..."
Jones is dominating the media world in the lead-up to the 2012 London Olympics, and there's no question that a lot of the attention comes from dropping Tebow's name to create a buzz.
Harper, a 28-year-old gold medalist, crossed the finish line in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games ahead of Jones, who finished third despite being the favorite.
Harper, not Jones, should have been the one to earn the nod for a spot on "The Tonight Show" and get the nonstop media coverage.
In my view, Jones wanted to link herself to Tebow because she sees he is viewed as a saint by sports fans and non-fans alike.
Tebow is apparently the perfect gentleman, and fans seem to like that his strong religious convictions and Christian morals are what drives him to succeed.
I think Jones wants to be viewed in the same light, with the same "purity" and devotion to religion that Tebow is believed to have.
Jones may be pure and innocent, but she has used her body in the past to help promote herself.
Many fans forget that Jones posed "artistically nude" for ESPN's 2009 "Body Issue," besides telling ESPN that she is a virgin.
Jones bared all for ESPN, and Tebow, on the other hand, wouldn't even strip down to his underwear for a runway walk for Jockey.
I can't knock an athlete for trying to build their brand to rack up much-needed endorsement dollars, but Jones' media dominance takes the spotlight away from more deserving standout track stars like Dawn Harper.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Jets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
- Sports & Recreation
- Tim Tebow
- Lolo Jones
- 2012 London Olympics