Unless you live in Ukraine, you know all about Denver Broncos QB Tim Tebow and his remarkable run as a starting QB in the NFL. If not, here’s the synopsis:
Tim Tebow was the 25th player selected in the 2010 NFL draft as a QB out of of the University of Florida (go Gators). Every NFL guru said he was be better suited to play fullback or linebacker, because of his size, strength and agility. But Tebow insisted he’s a QB. He played sparingly in 2010, and started 2011 as the backup QB to Kyle Orton. The Broncos started out 1-4 in 2011, and during halftime of a home game they were losing against the San Diego Chargers, he was inserted as the QB for the second half. The Chargers won the game, but not before a furious finish by the Broncos – led by Tebow. Tebow remained the starting QB for the rest of the season helping the Broncos reach the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Many of the wins were improbable and dramatic come-from-behind victories led by Tebow. In their playoff game against the Steelers yesterday, Tebow threw for an 80-yard touchdown strike on the first play of overtime. Tebow’s a devout Christian who wears his devotion on his sleeve (and other places).
I’m not what you’d call a devout Christian, but I am a God guy. And I think what’s happening with Tebow is stinking amazing. I don’t care if Tebow was Muslim, the faith he shows in his God of choice to give him strength is awe-inspiring. I grew up a Houston Rockets fan. Back in the 80s and 90s the Rockets had this guy named Hakeem (later changed to Akeem) Olajuwon who was a devout Muslim. I remember that he even fasted during Ramadan – despite still playing games. He always thanked his God for his ability and faith. I thought it was admirable. Olajuwon didn’t have that many haters, as far as I recall. But with Tebow – you’d think he was a religious hypocrite if you listened to half the population right now. Maybe it’s because half the population is not Christian? I don’t know. But what I do know is that he’s making a lot of people (mostly the NFL gurus) look silly. He CAN’T play QB. His rating is too low. Also, bumblebees can’t fly.
So the question is, is God helping Tebow win? Don’t answer that – you aren’t qualified. Neither am I. Neither is any human. But let’s say for a second that there IS a God who is the master of the infinite universe. If so, then the amount of knowledge we have about His power probably amounts to a pimple on His ass. But hey, that doesn’t stop people from speculating whether God is involved in the Tebow spectacle. Even Social Media gurus.
Last night after the game, I saw someone retweet a well-known social media guru with a tweet that said something like, “If you think God is helping Tebow win, then you don’t know God very well.” Right. And YOU DO Mr. Social Media Guru? I’m not going to sit here and tell you that Jesus is helping a football team win because of the relationship the team’s QB has with Him. But I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this isn’t happening, either. I’m not qualified. No one is. No. One.
So go ahead and hate Tebow if you want to. Talk about his pathetic QB rating or that wounded duck he throws most of the time. Mock him for his faith in a power greater than himself to lead him on a football field. It doesn’t matter. Not to Tebow.
Will the Broncos win next weekend against the mighty New England Patriots in Massachusetts versus a Hall of Fame (note REAL) QB in Tom Brady? Unlikely. But you never know. And even if the Broncos don’t win, that’s not important. It’s too late for the gurus to say “I told you he wasn’t a real QB.” What’s important is that you suck it up and accept that there’s a man who plays QB for the Denver Broncos who believes with his whole heart that his God of choice is the driving force in his life. It’s rare to see such faith on display in popular culture. I happen to think it’s great.
Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Or Jesus helping a football team. Stranger things have happened. Don’t believe me? Read the bible.
6 CommentsLEAVE A COMMENT
Jan 9, 2012
Jim, I remember feeling much the same way about The Dream as you do. With regard to the Tebow effect – I’m surprised at how shrill his haters can get.
Being in Texas, I have probably seen more coverage on Robert Griffin III than the average American. He is every bit as vocal in his faith as Tebow is, but – at least from my view, he hasn’t been criticized anywhere near the degree Tebow has. Granted the NFL, particularly playoff NFL coverage, commands a much larger audience.
For me, the Tim Tebow story is delightful. It has enormous appeal – pulling for an underdog, watching snobs squirm, and some thrilling football moments. And, no matter what happens in this playoff season or in the next few years of Tim Tebow’s NFL career – he will be successful and happy and relevant in a way that we should all model: namely living what we believe and focusing on what matters.
Thank you for spurring a bit of reflection with your post.
Jan 9, 2012
During Tebow’s last football game, he passed for 316 (3:16!) yards. Unfortunately, a less publicized stat is that during the game approximately 2,625 children died around the world.
I could respect Tebow if he did something noble, even small, such as make an anti-bullying PSA or a “It gets better” video. Maybe he has and I haven’t seen it, in which case I’m mistaken. I do know he’s appeared in propaganda for the radical sectarian group Focus on the Family. But until I see otherwise, I have no more respect for him than I do for, say, Michael Vick or Ben Roethlisberger.
Tebow is free to publicly praise whatever deity tickles his fancy. He’s earned the fame, so that’s his reward. And Tebow has helped inspire me, too, to be more outspoken and vocal about my personal views of atheism and humanism.
That’s what’s great about our secular nation – we’re free to put our beliefs out there in the marketplace of ideas and freely debate them. So if some people believe a deity would spend its time helping a pro sports figure instead of saving dying children they are welcome to try to sell us that idea.
We who do not see any inherent worth in faith or the supernatural will simply say, “Two hands working will accomplish more than a thousand quarterbacks keeling in prayer.”
Jan 9, 2012
So sorry you seemed to have entirely missed the point of the post. As for putting beliefs out there in the marketplace of ideas, if trolling a comment thread is your strategy for selling atheism I suggest you retool it. It’s not as effective as you think.
All the best.
Jan 9, 2012
Jim, I lived in the Ukraine up until the reading of this post. I thought Tebow was a black guy – that’s how ignorant I am about the current state of football. However, I did watch the last quarter & post-game report of the Bronco’s win last night. I like what Tebow is doing. I don’t think God cares who advances to the superbowl. But God does care how we define our successes, because without God man has no reference point to define himself.
The social media guru who said we don’t understand God very well if we think God is helping Tebow, fails to understand the absolute sovereignty of God over all things. It’s not that God is shouting plays at Tebow from the Broncos sideline; the point is that God is the source of Tebow’s skill & intelligence that allows him to make awesome plays.
The chief aim of man is to glorify God–whatever good thing man sets to do, glory be to the Lifegiver & Sustainer of all creation who allows us to bring Him praise in our own creaturely ways. Tebow thanks Jesus because he knows the air he breathes is a gift from the Author of life, & he understands his duty to honor God with the platform he has been given. I’m happy for this guy. I hope that what Tebow is doing will help our secular culture reflect on something (rather, Someone) greater than ourselves.
Hooray for Hakeem the Dream too! Clutch City lives on!
Alex from Houston
Jan 11, 2012
Dear James Wester,
Please refer to a dictionary for an explanation of ‘Secularism’.
Also for your own reference, Atheism doesn’t need to be sold. It sells itself.
Jan 13, 2012
You shouldn’t speak of things of which you are ignorant.
Tim Tebow is only 24 and has done more good than his last 1000
He’s *twenty four* and has
-built hospitals in 3red world
-Visted with countless people in brutal circumstances
-Oh heck, here: http://t.co/2Ni7wMs
What had YOU done during those 3 hours?
My novel – Minor King
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