My own New England Patriots travel to sunny Denver this weekend to tackle (literally!) the Broncos. I’m excited about this game for two reasons: (1) it’s football involving my favorite team and (2) I get to watch Tim Tebow.
For those who don’t know, Tebow is the epicenter of one of the strangest sports phenomena of my lifetime. Tim Tebow was one of the greatest college football players of all time as quarterback of the Florida Gators from 2006-09. Coming out of college, however, pro scouts weren’t sure how well he would do in the NFL given his unorthodox throwing style. Basically, Tebow doesn’t play like a normal quarterback. Sports commentators have spent the last two years debating whether he can actually do it. Nevertheless, all Tebow seems to do is win. (He’s 7-1 as a starter for the Broncos.) So there’s that.
Factor into this that Tebow is unabashedly a devout Christian. He was born in the Philippines to Baptist missionaries and seems to have grown to take his faith seriously as his own. When he’s not winning football games, he can be seeing praying (or “Tebowing“) or mentioning his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in an interview.
The end result (so far) is that the entire nation — not limited to sports fans — is talking about Tebow. People either love him or hate him. Regardless of which side of the fence you camp, your eyes are fixed on Tebow.
My two cents on why Tim Tebow is so compelling? He’s living a public life (and a good one, at that) with complete conviction. Tebow makes no apologies for praying publicly (and doesn’t require anyone else do so; and doesn’t look down his nose at others when they don’t). He doesn’t believe he should get a pass because he’s a decent person. He understands that he’s easy to make fun of. He’s working hard, just like, well, not everyone else.
As far as Tebow’s concerned, if he’s going to be a Christian, he’s going to be thoroughly Christian. Whatever your own stated beliefs, or whatever your vocation, or however else you choose to identify yourself, you probably dream, like me, about diving into that with both feet. At least, that’s what I’m tebowing for the grace to do.