I can’t be the only one who has posed this question, right? But I just need to get this out there as he on the verge of potentially yet another freaky upset against the often equally reviled Tom Brady and the Patriots in the playoffs this weekend.
UPDATED: And so readers don’t think I am anti-Tebow personally – not at all! This is, much like the media hype about the Mommy Wars I ranted about earlier – all a reflection on the media and the nation’s reaction to him. In fact, here is a lovely article by my most favorite and respected sports writer of all time on just what a good kid Tim is: http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7455943/believing-tim-tebow
People who are over-hyped (Paris Hilton, any Kardashain, The Beiber, Tom Brady, etc tec…) pretty much end up annoying everyone at some point. Doesn’t matter WHY they become famous, you just get sick of hearing their names and seeing their faces when they are at the height of their popularity.
So it was no surprise that the most HERALDED (hah!) player in recent NCAA football memory would have some of that hype carry over into his NFL career and that the sports media would be all over him if he had even a hint of success. Which he’s had this season. Big time.
Now, it just so happens that Mr Tebow is also, very very openly Christian. He tends to pray a lot on the sidelines. To the point where once he was elevated to starter on the Broncos, a tribute site to his religious bowing on bended knee sprang up with people in all walks of life “tebowing” – loosely defined as kneeling down to pray when everything /everyone else around you just continues to go about their business as if you are not there at all.
So, obviously, this is my question:
What if he wasn’t Christian?
What if he were Jewish?
Or (insert any other religion here?)
Because, guess what, sports figures do cross over into many other religious faiths. Or, none at all.
What if wasn’t a starting quarterback on an NFL team?
What if he was your co-worker bowing on his knee before every staff meeting?
What if he was your child’s youth league coach praying before every match?
What if he was (insert any other type of non-religious workplace/community volunteer setting here)?
I am ALL FOR religious freedoms. Freedom OF and freedom FROM in some cases.
So Tebow all around town all you want.
Know that no matter WHAT you believe – IF there IS a God, one thing I DO KNOW FOR SURE:
He doesn’t give a flying rats ass about sports so spare me your thanking God for your victories folks. There’s a team and fans on the other side of the field praying just as much as you.
Mostly though, I deeply deeply believe to my soul that this country would NOT be loving them so much Tebow if was bowing down on the ground facing Mecca at sundown.
Freedom FROM, for sure. I am so over this guy. He violates many of the Scriptures he purports to obey and uphold. Ugh.
Gigi – in fairness to Tim himself, I don’t think he has done anything wrong at all – in fact, I think he quietly DOES follow his beliefs:
The “obvious public displays” (as Ed Tracey notes below) are what is problematic to me.
These are dangerous ideas. Pretty soon you’ll be wanting to build mosques in the end zone, or worse, Madrasas run by NFL wives.
As has been noted elsewhere: Kurt Warner was just as religious when he was playing, but was less obvious about his public displays.
To me, the problem isn’t Tim Tebow. It is his flock ….. and while people in mixed company insist that they don’t really believe that God intervenes in football games …… many of them do …..
…. and so the fact that he is an excellent athlete (undeniably) as well as coolness under pressure (also undeniable) can overcome his questionable (at least for now) quarterbacking skills …. must be to divine Providence (arrghh).
Keep in mind: he had a string of games with weak opponents who often made blunders, plus a playoff opponent weakened via injuries (who also had to lose a safety due to sickle-cell problems exacerbated by the Rocky Mountain altitude). Hey, he lost the last regular season game to the quarterback he replaced, Kyle Orton.
Hi Gigi – A mutual friend recommended your blog post to me.
I’m not much of a sports fan at all, but of course it’s hard to miss the Tebow phenomenon now that it’s also part of the general media story and not just sports.
As far as your question goes, I think the answer is obvious – but not for the reason you appear to imply.
The fact is that this country is majority Christian. Recent statistics put the number at just over 76% of Americans identify themselves as Christian in some form or other. So it’s no great surprise that millions of people also identify with Mr. Tebow.
I’m no fan of extreme public displays of religious fervor. Jesus himself was critical of such people. But, in most cases I do admire passion and commitment to principles.
But I also don’t think that the fact that Americans probably wouldn’t have the same interest in a Muslim (less than 1%) indicates bigotry – which I take as your inference. It’s simply demographics.
If I misread you, I apologize.
This is Christina’s blog, not GiGi’s. Jesus was quite critical, as you put it: Matthew 6:5-6. However, adhering to Matthew 6 flies in the face of those who want to evangelize.
This is a FABULOUS article….articulates a lot my dislike of Tebowmania. http://www.sbnation.com/nfl/2012/1/13/2702190/tim-tebow-nfl-playoffs-2012-denver-broncos-haters-gonna-hate?sct=hp_bf3_a2
As someone who is not a Christian . . .the public display of piety and the hubris that the Almighty cares about the outcome of a football gane bother me. If Tebow belonged to a minority faith public reaction would be so very different.
We had an incident here on Long Island last month. Two high school students organized an event . . . During the school day, in the short time between classes, 40 students “spontaneously” stopped in the crowded hallway to “Tebow”. They didn’t do it out of religious fervor, they did it to immitate a celebrity. The school principal suspended the organizers, claiming it was a safety issue not a religious one. I wonder, though, if they’d “planked” in the hallway instead, would the punishment have been different?