Well, this is a new one -- the first time we're aware that a player in any sport has looked to slap a trademark on an on-field celebration. New York Jets quarterback/running back/marquee punt protector Tim Tebow might insist that his bow-down gesture, commonly known as "Tebowing," is more meaningful (and profitable) than a spike or sack dance, and he's set some legal effect behind that notion.
Tebow has trademarked Tebowing.
"I knew that this stuff that had been talked about, but I didn't know everything had gone through," he said on Friday. "I knew it was something that was cool for me in the past; but it's not something I do as Tebowing. It's something I do that's prayer for me and it got hyped as Tebowing. I think one, more to control how it's used as well. Make sure it's used in the right way.''
We can argue that the intention of prayer shouldn't be a copyrighted exercise, but Tebow's legal and business acolytes would clearly disagree. According to the New York Post, the trademark was filed by California attorney Anthony Keats, on behalf of XV Enterprises Limited, which is Tebow's marketing arm.
Yes, you may now insert jokes about how Tebow's marketing arm is far more effective than his throwing arm.
From a marketing perspective, we suppose Tebow has a point. There's been a flood of Tebowing-related merchandise on the market, and his representatives sent letters of protest after two different companies -- Tebowing.com and TebowingGear.com -- filed patent requests last year. This doesn't seem to be an attempt to stop people from Tebowing if they so choose; more an effort to insure that if somebody wants to put that particular gesture on a T-shirt and sell it, the proceeds go to its "inventor."
Moneychangers at the temple? Nah. We won't go there. We will wonder, however, if Jets offensive coordinator Tony Sparano will want a patent for the strategy of pulling your starting quarterback at the most inopportune time to run gimmick offenses that every NFL sees coming from a million miles away.
Or, perhaps Tebow will sue Sparano for restraint of trade, as his limited offense has given Tebow far fewer opportunities to show his stuff.
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