In less than two NFL seasons, Denver Broncos quarterback, Tim Tebow, has gone from shaky pro prospect to emerging cult hero. The primary reason for this is that he plays the quarterback position in an unusual manner. Tebow plays a run-first, pass-second strategy, unafraid to put his shoulder down and challenge All-Pro defensive backs. This is something analysts have long crowed would never be possible.
He is also well-known for his outspoken religious beliefs and for the ways that he adamantly displays those beliefs, whether it be via Bible verses inscribed in eye paint or in thanking his “lord and savior Jesus Christ” at the beginning of interviews, as he is for his play on the field.
Tebow’s pre-game/post-game ritual doesn’t involve gathering his teammates in a huddle and screaming a bunch of nonsense, a routine that purports to get players’ competitive juices flowing. Instead, before he takes the field, Tebow simply kneels.
Kneeling is sign of humility, and while the gesture does make him stand out on NFL sidelines, the fact that it’s consistent with his humble personality makes it seem real rather than a ploy for attention.
Nonetheless, Tim Tebow is considered “controversial.” Critics want him to keep it to himself, a pattern that is increasingly common in American public life.
Tebow is also widely mocked for “Tebowing.” When a Detroit Lions linebacker sacked Tebow a few weeks ago, he derisively Tebowed beside the fallen quarterback. Tebow brushed it off. No trash-talking, no vows of revenge.
That’s where Tim Tebow stands out. Born in the Philippines to missionary parents, he not only is outspoken about his faith, referencing it frequently in word and symbol – such as biblical citations in his eye black. He’s also as intense about living out his faith as he is about playing football – and winning.
And winning he is! Against the New York Jets, Tebow ran right through the line, surprising its defenders, on his game-winning, fourth-quarter touchdown. And with Tebow starting, the Broncos jumped to 7-5 from a losing record.
Tebow isn’t seeking a reward. He is using his platform to influence others for good. We all have platforms. Some are bigger than others, but they exist — ALWAYS.
Tebow is just a guy with the good sense to say thanks. He says, “If people want to bash me for that, that’s OK. It really won’t bother me. At least they know what I believe.”
When I look at Tim Tebow I see someone who has both a career, playing professional football, and a calling, living a life consistent with his religious beliefs. Tebow is respectful, wholesome and a man of God. He is not offending anybody. In fact, it’s rather refreshing!
The trademark Tebow kneel to give gratitude to God after a great play is just a reflection of who he is being. I don’t see a problem if an athlete wants to give thanks to God. It’s simply praise to Him for letting them have the joy of just playing the game, and really just an expression of gratitude.
According to Tebow’s new book, Through My Eyes, he prays for guidence, strength and to make the right decisions. I admire a man of his integrity when there are so few following his example. I cannot understand anyone ridiculing a person kneelling down for a few seconds in a very quiet manner to thank God.
Thank you Tim Tebow for showing up on this planet and being able to share your love and gratitude with the world!