With Tebow, you can’t have it both ways

Published 12:14am Sunday, January 22, 2012

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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Amy-Miller/100001695816448 Amy Miller

    Keep religion out of sports please, it is the last neutral territory where we can put all our differences aside and enjoy a good game. PLEASE!

  • Donald Gray

    It is the media making a big deal out of his religion. I have watched college an pro athletes do this sort of thing since the early 80′s.

    Tenow is who he is, he isnt saying believe in my god.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/KKER5N2BTEEXLX2KHLYF2OV3DE Carole

    With a society that really needs positive and good role models why are people trashing Tim Tebow? He is a honest good guy, who works hard and serves others.

  • Anonymous

    Ms Miller, I disagree with your assessment that “sports…is the last neutral territory”. Far from it. You have all sorts of beligerance exhibited in professional sports…those that purposely change their names to bring attention to their Islamic/Muslim religion. There is no nuetrality in life. You’re either for religion or against it.

    In fact, we need to bring religion BACK into sports…public prayer before the contest…start with youth, high school and collegiate sports.

  • Anonymous

    Yep, individual touchdown celebrations where they pause, kneel, point to the sky…all of that is virtually the same as what Tebow is doing…only he is sincere and not just trying to draw attention to himself for selfish reasons.

  • Anonymous

    I am not a religious practioner myself, but I respect Tebow’s right to express his religion in public or in private. The essential thing to understand is that religion is solely a personal and private matter, the province of the individual, the family, the home, the church, the religious denomination school, the private school if so elected. It is not to be organized, integrated, or inculcated with the approval or under the auspices of government agencies, such as public schools, that are funded by tax payers of many different religions or of no religious persuasion. Having no formal religious beliefs I would not join the huddle to pray and would hope that I would not receive hate mail and death threats because of it.