Mike Bianchi discusses Tim Tebow playing for the Jaguars.


Does Tim Tebow really need rock icon Gene Simmons coming to his defense and starting a religious war of words in the process?

Probably not, but it doesn't matter when it comes to Tebow. He is in the news even when he's not really newsworthy.

Case in point Gene Simmons, front man for the legendary rock and roll band KISS, which just purchased an Arena Football League team in Los Angeles and has offered Tebow a three-year guaranteed contract.

Simmons, during an interview with radio.com, inflamed Tebow's cult-like following by vehemently defending the strong religious beliefs of the former Florida Gators star.

“He’s got a religious passion, as well he should, we’re in America," Simmons said. "He’s proud to be a Christian, what’s wrong with that? And yet, with sports media and pop culture media, they make fun of his religion. Really? In America? If he was wearing a burqa, they wouldn’t dare say anything. But if you’re a Christian, you get to be picked on? What the hell? The guy’s got family values. I never saw the media picking on Michael Vick for torturing dogs. Or this other football player, who’s alleged to have killed, committed murder.  That’s ‘cool.’ But a guy who’s religious and has got family values isn’t ‘cool?’ He’s cool to me.”

Simmons obviously is fairly ignorant when when it comes to his knowledge of sports. Vick was castigated nationally in the media for killing dogs and went to jail for it. And, as far as that "other football player" (Aaron Hernandez) is concerned, I don't recall anyone writing or saying it's "cool" that he's been charged with murder. In fact, Hernandez has rightfully been vilified by everyone.

But Simmons does make one legitimate, thought-provoking point. It has become all the rage to lampoon Tebow because of his strong Christian beliefs. Could you imagine the outcry if we made fun of athletes of other religions?

Then again, we've never seen an athlete with Tebow's persona.

What's it tell you about Tebow's cult of personality that a Jewish rock star (Simmons) would defend a Christian athlete (Tebow) while comparing him to a Muslim woman (burqua)?

Email me at mbianchi@tribune.com. Follow me on Twitter @BianchiWrites. And listen to my Open Mike radio show every Monday-Friday from 6-9 a.m. on 740 The Game.