You don’t have to appreciate football to appreciate Tim Tebow. You might not like football. You might not understand football, but I think you can like and appreciate Tim Tebow.
I’ve probably watched three football games in the last two years…and most of them were for social reasons to hang out with friends. Part of this might have to do with being a Lions fan. They could make even the most committed fan not want to watch them. One of my best friends, Elwyn Ordway, who’s from Michigan doesn’t even like them. The problem is, I loved Barry Sanders. I wore number 20 through high school and college. By the time BS retired, I was committed to the team. It’s been very painful.
Even though I don’t want much football, I have tried to follow Tim Tebow, because while I know there are Christians in the NFL, I think it’s safe to say there aren’t Christians like Tim Tebow in the NFL. He’s praying, singing worship songs, on the sidelines, when he’s mic’d, in the huddle, etc.
I check my news on the Internet and there are stories everywhere about him being a quitter, which caught my attention. The story goes that Tebow told his head coach he didn’t want to be part of the offense on Sunday because he was mad at being passed over as quarterback by Mark Sanchez. People are calling him “fraud”, “loser”, “quitter”, and ESPN’s Merril Hoge said he’s as “phony as a three-dollar bill.”
Tebow’s comments all came secondhand from unnamed sources and the story isn’t even confirmed by the coach. That’s all that’s necessary to destroy the character of an individual who’s shown himself time and time again to be an upstanding man of God? Even if you’re an atheist you should be able to appreciate his humility, integrity and work ethic. Then one unsubstantiated story comes along and people talk worse about him than guys in the NFL with countless felony charges?
Here’s what he said when he responded to the slander: “For people to not know the situation and then start to bash your character and then say you’re a phony or you’re a fake or you’re a hypocrite, I think that’s what’s disappointing and that’s what’s frustrating. Your character is who you are as a man and that’s a lot more important. I take that way more serious than I’ll ever take a football game.”
Prior to college he spent three summers in the Philippines helping with his father’s orphanage and missionary work. Yet one rumor demonizes him?
Let me share something with you that I also think says a lot about Tim…
Last year he played for the Denver Broncos. When he took over as quarterback, they had one win and four losses. Tebow rallied them to the playoffs, but as soon as the season was over they got rid of him. Now, in the media world that thrives off drama and intrigue, Tebow was questioned in the hope he’d trash his old team for their lack of gratitude…which would make a great story. Here’s how he lashed back at his treatment: “First and foremost, I just want to thank the Denver Broncos for my time there. I understand what they were going through. You don’t get many opportunities to have a chance to sign Peyton Manning. What a great quarterback he is.”
Are you kidding me? He thanks them and compliments the incoming quarterback?
Here’s what I think is happening: if he wasn’t so ardent about his faith, I don’t think this would be happening. In Matthew 10:22 Jesus said, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake” and in John 15:18 He said, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.” If Tim was out cheating on his wife and getting arrested, he wouldn’t have to expect any more backlash than the rest of the players in the NFL, but because he follows Christ, he’s setting himself up to be attacked just like Jesus said.