By: Pedro Heizer
If you have a television at home then you have heard of Tim Tebow. Tebow is the electrifying, goodwill quarterback of the Denver Broncos. In the beginning of the season he was the fourth string quarterback and is now the starter, and taking his team to a showdown versus the heavily favored New England Patriots this weekend in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
Tebow is the story Americans love, the underdog coming up from nothing and making a name for himself. So why are so many rooting for him to fail?
Just last season, Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, Michael Vick had a second chance in life when he started for the Eagles after serving two years in jail. Many believed his career was over, but the renaissance of his electrifying plays brought many Americans to cheer for him because he was the person people counted out and they wanted to see the “feel good” story of the year.
Since the beginning of time, people have always needed to have people they look up to, role models that serve as an example of what you should be like. For years, people have looked to athletes as their role models. In the 90’s it was Michael Jordan, everyone wanted to “Be Like Mike”. In the early part of the 2000’s it was Allen Iverson, and later people like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Michael Vick became what people would look to as role models.
How about a new one? Tim Tebow. No one wants to admit it, but Tebow would wash the floor with any of the other sports role models you have looked up to. Tebow goes above and beyond the call of duty as a pro athlete. Tebow builds orphanages in his home country of the Philippines, he invites fans with serious diseases to come to games, meet him before and after the game, sit with his parents in the stands, and after the game, the child leaves with a signed football and a bible personalized with their name. Tell me when was the last time your role model did that?
Tim Tebow is the role model Americans need, but not the one we deserve.
Unlike most of the athletes that are role models, Tebow practices what he preaches. After a game, he praises God for his opportunity to play, he kneels down and prays before and after the game, and he’s not afraid to say, “First and foremost I would like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” before he begins talking to the media. Unlike many, he means it.
Tebow is a different breed of role model; a friend of mine told me a story he had about Tebow from his days at the University of Florida that left a great impression on me. My friend owned a sports bar which was just like hooters when it came to the waitresses. One day he decided to take his waitresses to a Tim Tebow signing in West Palm Beach. He had paid to have Tebow pose with all his beautiful waitresses for a photo for his restaurant. Tebow took the photo but upon my friend receiving the photo from Tebow, he received the check for the money he paid and a note that said: “After Tim saw how the picture came out, he decided that it was bad for his image to be seen with all those girls the way they were dressed”.
That takes guts. Who else would say something like that? Who would not want to take a picture with beautiful women?
Tebow is everything that is right about the world; he’s that shining light in the midst of all the darkness that surrounds pro-athletes.
Tebow lives Matthew 5:13-16 to the fullest: “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
And this is exactly why people want to see him fail.
It’s not that people can’t stand Tim Tebow, it’s because they can’t stand what he believes in. In the bible, Jesus says in Matthew 10:22: “All nations will hate you because you are my followers.”
People want to see Tebow trip and stumble on himself, they want to see Tebow is full of hot air when it comes to “this Jesus stuff” and that he is just like every other athlete in the game today.
Not only is Tebow hearing it from fans of the sport, but NFL players themselves have been very vocal about Tebow and his faith. Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs had this to say about Tebow and his faith, “We don’t need God on our sidelines”.
“People will celebrate guys who rape girls in night clubs, kill dogs, or shoot themselves in the leg, but a guy who prays and builds a hospital for orphans, no one wants to hear about him” said a fervent Tebow fan, Adam Harding.
ESPN has said nothing but negative things about Tebow since his promotion to starting quarterback. “He can’t throw”, “he can’t play the pro-style offense” just to name a few of the things the so-called analysts are saying. But if all this is true, and Tebow truly can’t throw the football, or play in a pro-style offense then there’s something bigger at work. This is too great to simply be called a Cinderella run by a team that started 1-4 and won eight of its last 12 games.
In the back of everyone’s mind, people are wondering “Is God’s hand at work at a football game?” who knows? Personally, I believe it is. I believe God is using Tebow to witness to people; He’s using Tebow to spread the gospel in a way that I’ve personally never seen before but is effective nonetheless.
Like I said before, Tebow is everything that is right about the world; he’s that shining light in the midst of all the darkness that surrounds pro-athletes so if you are cheering against Tim Tebow, then you are cheering against the little good we have left in this world.