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Tim Tebow: A Man to Admire
With this being the beginning of the National Football League’s playoffs, I was inspired to write about one player who has drawn a great deal of attention this season. That player is the Denver Bronco’s Tim Tebow. Tebow is no stranger to controversy and attention. It has followed him since his days of college football at Florida and possibly even earlier than that. While the attention Tebow draws is a mix of positive and negative, none of it seems to bother him. The compliments don’t go to his head, and the insults don’t faze him.
For those of you who aren’t so familiar with Mr. Tebow, you may be wondering why he is the source of such controversy and publicity. For football reasons, he has been highlighted for his unorthodox style of play. He was told he would never succeed as a college quarterback, let alone an NFL quarterback. However, he has Heisman Trophy, two NCAAF Championships, and now has led his team into the NFL playoffs. While he still has many years ahead of him to judge his success, he has done pretty well so far.
The real controversy about Tebow is his faith. He is a self-proclaimed Christian, and he is not afraid to show it. It’s not that he shows it like the Pharisees in the Bible (with a more-holy than you attitude), but he shows it because that is truly how he lives his life. That wherein lies the issue. Tebow’s faith is genuine. Why is that an issue? I don’t have the answer to that question because it isn’t an issue to me. He doesn’t push his Christianity on anyone. He doesn’t tell everyone they are sinners and need to be like him. He simply lives his life in a way that he believes honors God.
But once again we question why this should be a problem. We have all seen the guy with the rainbow hair and John 3:16 sign in the end zone of football games. We have seen the baseball players crossing their chest before every at bat. We have seen the players that thank God and give Him all the credit after a victory. So why is there such backlash towards Tebow? It’s like I stated before; his faith is real. With other profession athletes, it usually just seems like an act. They cross their heart as part of some routine, or they simply thank God because it seems like the thing to do. We aren’t really convinced of their faith, so it gets brushed off. With Tebow we can tell it’s real. He lives it, and people are intimidated by this. For some reason, it generates fear in them.
I will admit that I used to hate Tebow. However, it wasn’t for anything having to do with his beliefs. My dislike stemmed from his dismantling of my Ohio State Buckeyes in the championship football game. My opinion of him has since changed. That is all in the past, and I can respect his athleticism and college football achievements. Even more respectable, though, is his faith. It is impossible for me to dislike him. He is far too genuine of a person. I cannot help but admire him for the man he is.
The story of Tebow may seem too good to be true, but I can ensure you it is. If you don’t believe me, check it out for yourself. This is a man who spent his spring breaks during college on mission trips to orphanages while most of his peers were on some beach getting drunk. If you happened to catch ESPN’s recent Sports Center special on him, you would see how he really acts on the field from constantly encouraging teammates, singing to God during the game, or always being positive with the opponent. In October, three Muslim brothers paid for a billboard to be put up to encourage the Broncos to have Tebow be the starting quarterback. Is it a little odd for Muslims to be promoting such an outspoken Christian? They were simply appreciating his football abilities.
Tebow’s life really is a special one. I mentioned earlier that he was told he would never make it as a professional quarterback. Before he was even born, his mom was told he wouldn’t make it. She had a high risk pregnancy and was encouraged to abort him but wouldn’t due to her faith. His pro-life commercial for the 2010 Super Bowl caused conflict. It’s pretty obvious that Tebow has led a special life. With all the odds he has overcome, it makes one question if there has been some Devine intervention. From his birth, to his college career, to all the miraculous come-back victories he has led the Broncos to this season, you can’t help but think God is on his side. You may not agree or support his faith, but it’s hard to not find his life to be a pretty special story.