Thursday, December 1, 2011


I’ve been putting off the idea of writing about Tebow quite a while. As the rest of the world seems to have clearly chosen sides on the most polarizing current player in sports, I find myself flipping back and forth. As one who views himself as a serious Christian, you would think that I would be on this bandwagon from the start, but as a University of Texas student during the Colt McCoy era, I could only view Tebow as annoying and prima-donna like. Colt too was open about his faith. Like Tebow, he went on mission trips in the summer. Colt also won many games on the field. But the media loved Tebow. Maybe it was the fact that he won National Championships and played for a team that was filled with talent at every position. Or it could be the fact that he wore his emotions on his sleeve and gave memorable speeches with big declarations of never giving up and winning every game mixed with crying and screaming in one emotional package.

I became sick of stories about Tebow, sick of him talking about how people passed him up at every stage growing up, sick of him calling out his haters publicly in poorly made energy drink commercials. Lastly, I was sick of how much love he got from people who knew nothing about his sport and how ugly he made the beautiful game of American football look.

America has a hard time accepting perfection, and even though Tebow’s game is far from it, his ability to stand firm in his belief through his word and actions have rubbed people the wrong way. There is a reason why Americans consistently vote to have Batman beat Superman in a cartoon episode over the years. Batman is dark and flawed, something we relate to, while Superman is too good to be true and kryptonite is just a lame made up weakness to make the storyline somewhat interesting. Half of the public including myself is just waiting for Tebow to do something stupid so we can point our fingers at him and say he is no different than Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson.

But as more and more people enter the conversation, one can only be in awe of a young man taking so much abuse and scrutiny. He is criticized when he wins, embarrassed when he loses, and rebuked by both people who love and hate him. Jake Plummer came out and blasted him. In a different way, Kurt Warner did the same. Not only are non-Christians sick of his “To God be the Glory” attitude, devoted Christians are too.

I hate Tebow when I’m with people clearly drunk on Tebow Kool-Aid, but love him when I watch people trash him on ESPN. Tebow represents many traits I dislike in people. He is a teacher's pet, overly confident, and annoyingly always positive. But I can’t help myself from loving what he is doing. Tebow wins in ways only divine intervention can logically explain. His teammates go to war for him on both offense and defense. And he stands up for something he believes in, something that just doesn’t happen in our society. Everyone is so politically correct these days. I am sorry, but the break at the end of the year is for Christmas, but in the corporate world the term is year-end party because we are afraid of connecting anything to religion. It is okay to have freedom of speech in promoting our dislike for our government and the rich, or the need for gay rights, but once a person mentions what God is doing in their life, all hell breaks loose.

Tebow is having a bigger impact that anyone could imagine. How many times have you heard someone go to church because of an athlete or talk about converting if he ever wins the Super Bowl? Because of Tebow, Christianity is relevant again in the public media and helping people feel unafraid to talk about a subject that has been buried for decades.

To be honest, maybe my dislike of Tebow stems from knowing that I wouldn’t be as strong or outspoken if given the same opportunity. Clearly I don’t go around my office proclaiming my faith or praising God for all the blessings I have received. I doubt any of my co-workers even know I am Christian unless they take a detailed look at my Facebook account. American Christians have become so comfortable in how we act, we make excuses like, religion is a personal choice, and no one should be pressured into it. Let’s face it, we are quite pathetic as a group of Christians. We are so afraid of offending people or getting funny looks that we deny who we are. If we really are Christians, we would understand the urgency to speak out. Tebow gets that, and unfortunately, even Kurt Warner does not. Jesus came to make people feel uncomfortable and make us realize something has to change. I hate that about Tebow. I hate how he makes me feel uncomfortable and I am almost embarrassed by how he proclaims the faith I believe in. But that has to do with me, my fears, and my selfishness to be loved and accepted by all.

It’s time that we all realize our hate for Tebow comes from the fact that he makes us feel like we didn’t try hard enough, whether it's on the field playing football or as a Christian sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. So to Tim Tebow, keep doing what you’re doing and maybe more and more people will understand what Tebowing is really all about.


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