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Should Tim Tebow Be This Big Of A Deal?

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bill wasser / flickr

Tim Tebow is young, good looking, suddenly the hottest player in the National Football League.  The cardiac kid has taken the reigns of the Denver Broncos offense with at times mixed success and yet has the team ahead in the AFC West division.  Success has now made him the face of this franchise, but it’s  for more than just his play on the field – overshadowing the job his head coach has accomplished in his first year.  Has the media created more out of a young quarterback than there really is with Tebow?

Some numbers for the 2nd year QB out of the University of Florida do not lie – he has had the Broncos win 7 of their last 8 games with him as the starter (Denver is 8-5 overall), and many of these games in dramatic last second fashion.  Tebow has shown great ability to scramble out of the QB position, averaging 5 1/2 yards every time he runs with the ball (517 yards rushing).  His passing has not been tremendous – completing less than 50% of his passes – yet he has only turned the ball over 2 times via interceptions.  Many football experts and fans feel that the 24-yr-old is of “limited ability” and what he has accomplished to this point seems improbable – how about divine intervention?

Tim Tebow has garnered a great deal of attention beyond the football field – his faith has now taken center stage.  Tebow is a devout Christian who had gained attention during the last Super Bowl for commercials which included Tebow’s personal story as part of a stance for pro-life.  Tebow has had John 3:16 written under his eyes (see photo), he believes deeply in his faith in God, and is not ashamed of his in any way.  This faith does define the young football star, and drives questions how this guy could be this successful despite his shortcomings as a player.

Tebow is different in every sense.  He is not a quarterback in the traditional sense.  His balls don’t always have the best spiral when he throws, and he seems to struggle through many games before turning up a notch late in games.  The great players have always had that ability, and have made up for their so-called “lack of ability”.  Sadly this seems to overshadow the job head coach John Fox has done to turn the Broncos season around.  The former Carolina Panthers head coach has been to the Super Bowl before with a “so-called” limited skilled QB before in Jake Delhomme (who was nicknamed Bobby Boucher – Adam Sandler’s character in The Waterboy).  Fox chose to give Tebow the job – he deserves some credit for this tough call.

The Broncos are the #1 team in the NFL in running the football – not passing.  This is where coach Fox has used Tebow’s talents effectively.  Tebow knows how to scramble, and defenses have to key on this making him dangerous – another fact that Fox does not get much credit for.

One thing that cannot be coached is intensity, a belief in one self, and a wanting to have the ball with the game on the line – this is where Tebow has excelled and his faith brings his strength shining through in this way.  6 of last 7 wins for Denver came through 4th quarter comebacks – 3 finished off in overtime with timely kicks from Matt Prater (who seems to get no credit for the wins either).

Tebow has something special about him, and the media plays his faith as the underlying reason.  Nobody can question this young man’s Christian values, and we live in a country where we are allowed Freedom of Religion and Expression, but are we making too much of this?  Tebow’s pastor has not helped in this matter.

Wayne Hanson, the pastor in question who runs the Summit Church in the Denver suburbs,  recently said that the reason the Denver Broncos are 7-1 since installing Tebow as quarterback is simply because of the player’s faith. “It’s not luck,” Hanson said according to TMZ. “Luck isn’t winning six games in a row.  It’s favor.  God’s favor.”

Tebow has never stated that God is making the decision who wins.  This young man has shown in press conferences that he never takes the credit for the team’s victories.  Tim comes across as a happy guy who is enjoying this crazy ride that his team is on, and always credits the team in their success.

Tebow probably did not ask for all this attention, but he does not shy away when the game is on the line.  No doubt he is a positive sports story in a world where a baseball MVP tests positive for banned substances, where coaches are arrested for molesting young boys, and one professional nearly destroying itself over greed.  The problem is that Tebow should not be the biggest story this year in the NFL.  Would he be if not for his faith?

The defending champion Green Bay Packers are 13-0 and knocking on the rare perfect record, the Indianapolis Colts are 0-13 are marching toward the other rarity of not winning one game in a season, and 3 quarterbacks have a real shot at breaking a long standing passing record of Dan Marino by throwing for over 5000 yards, but the story of the year in football is Tim Tebow.  We should not criticize what makes Tim Tebow who he is.  His beliefs are his – you are allowed to disagree with him and have your own opinion, but you should at least respect the man for who he is.

 

 

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