Friday, November 18, 2011

Believe in Tim Tebow

I’m not religious, but I love Tim Tebow. I’m not a Denver Broncos fan, but I love Tim Tebow. I have no connections, afflictions, or geographical proximity to the Florida Gators, but I love Tim Tebow.

I was late to the Tebow smooch fest. I didn’t understand why he had the highest selling jersey in the NFL without having played a single down. I didn’t get the hype; the “he’s a winner” stuff. I thought all SEC quarterbacks were “winners”. I couldn’t comprehend the “he’s a great leader and has immeasurable intangibles” rhetoric. I thought all quarterbacks had those qualities.

I don’t know exactly why, if it was the news of the Oklahoma State women’s basketball coach and assistant coach who died in a tragic plane crash yesterday or the allegations that long time Syracuse basketball assistant Bernie Fine could possibly be a child sex offender, but the magnitude of Tebow hit me with the force of a penny dropped from the Empire State Building.

Tim Tebow is what we need.

Everywhere we turn, with every click of the remote and mouse, life is dominated by horrors. Bombings, killings, unwarranted arrests, the falling Dow Jones, and greed that would make Gordon Gecko cringe plague our days and nights.

Let Tebow win by throwing two passes a game. Let him win running the college option. This kind of play won’t be sustainable, but his personality and grace will be. There will never be a scandal. He will never be an adulterer, degenerate gambler, alcoholic, abuser, or molester.

I’m in awe of his authenticity and kind spirit sprinkled in with these miraculous late-game victories. It’s like a church bell goes off in his head when the Broncos need a touchdown late in games.

He’s a jersey signer, a charity giver, a picture taker. If religion has made him a quality human being, I’m all for it.

We see so many “icons” fall faster than pant sizes on the Biggest Loser. Tebow doesn’t flaunt his faith or make himself bigger than his religion. He’s simply immersed in it like he always has been. 40,000 stadium fans and millions watching on television aren’t going to change how he acts.

Most people adapt and transform with whom they encounter. We act differently around our boss than we do our spouse, our best guy friend and our sister. We all wear metaphorical masks, but not Tebow. He reaches the mountaintop of morality without having to climb.
If he was a vampire, he’d be a vegetarian. If a lion, he would gallop with the deer.

We all start life with a compass of ethical aspirations.

Most of us never reach it.

Tebow gives us hope that it’s not impossible, that purity of the soul isn’t just something from the Brothers Grimm fairytales.

So, he wins last night after 54 minutes of lackluster football, quirky delivery, inaccuracy, and thumping that 6’4, 236 pound frame into 270 pound NFL linebackers. And he steam rolled them all. NFL scouts, analysts, coaches, and players said his college game couldn’t transfer to the NFL.

They were right.

He brought the college game to them. The two have melted together better than butter on Texas toast. These last five games have been pretty remarkable. Tebow took over a hapless and unmotivated 1-4 team. Now they are 5-5 and in the hunt for a playoff berth in the AFC West.

Tim Tebow is a culture changer, a leader of men at a position where so many fail because of that ineptitude. I wish he was magical, could heal the sick, fix the economy, devour and destroy greed. But what he’s doing is real.

He mentions his Philippines charity work in the pregame interview, the sideline interview, and the post-game interview. He’s working on building a hospital there. Tebow knows there's life outside of the stadium walls, that suffering exists for many in this world. He understands how blessed he is to get paid playing a game. Tim Tebow is an unconventional quarterback, but more importantly an unconventional man.

Thank God for that.

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