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With Tebow, you can’t have it both ways

I’ll admit, I didn’t like Tim Tebow very much when he was in college.

I thought of him as a showboat, and thanks mostly to CBS commentators Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson, I felt like he got a little too much love and publicity.

But there was no denying the guy was a winner in college, and that seems to have proven true at the professional level as well, judging by this past season.

After numerous comeback wins during the regular season and his excellent performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers in round one of the playoffs, Tebow’s become sort of an icon for not just his Denver Broncos, but for sports fans in general.

Not shy to share his faith, Tebow always makes a point to tell reporters “God bless” after they interview him and often shares how his faith in Jesus Christ is where he gets his strength.

This tends to make people uncomfortable, and there are many reasons why. For some people, they simply don’t want to hear about Christ at all. Christ himself even said to his disciples that the world would hate them because it first hated Christ, so this really isn’t a surprise.

For others, there’s a skepticism surrounding athletes who profess to have faith in God, only to have their off-the-court demeanor not reflect for what that faith is supposed to stand. They likely feel Tebow is just the latest in a long list of phonies.

Still, for others, it’s simply because they’re sick of hearing about him and having the media either gush over him every week or continue to debate whether or not he’s really a good quarterback.

Finally, there are those who have doubted whether his abilities as a quarterback would translate to the NFL and have been rooting for Tebow to fail from day one just so they could be proven right.

I myself have doubts as to whether Tebow’s success at the professional level can be sustained. But if there’s one thing I don’t doubt, it’s whether or not the guy is genuine. He is.

This past season, Tebow brought a number of people to his Bronco games to watch for free. This ranged from a prep quarterback who had his leg amputated to a girl suffering from Wegener’s granulomatosis to a man dying of brain cancer. He takes people with unfortunate circumstances and treats them like they’re kings and queens, princes and princesses.

And I venture to guess that every single one of them will vouch for his genuineness. For all the athletes that just talk the talk, Tebow walks the walk. If you’re looking for skeletons in the closet, it seems like a waste of time in his case.

But perhaps the greatest irony in all of this is the fact that, for years, sports fans have been whining about a lack of good role models in athletics. They complain about all of the “thugs” in professional sports and how these players “only care about the money.”

Then, when a genuinely good role model comes along, they complain about him getting too much attention and talking about Jesus Christ too often.

I’m sorry, but you can’t have it both ways. There are much worse things in the world to talk about than Christ. And there are much worse people that have gotten a lot more attention than Tebow.

I may not have liked him when he was in college, but now, I for one hope that Tebow sticks around.