Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has become a huge phenomenon recently not only for his late-game heroics, but also for the specific prayer ritual he conducts during football games. The religious faction of the world has become so enamored with the praying motion, in which he drops to one knee and lowers his head, that it has garnered its own name: “Tebowing.”
While it may be nice to see a celebrity openly share his spiritual communion with God, before people start regularly kneeling down to emulate him, it might be nice to first find out what it all truly stands for.
The frenzy surrounding Tebow has been astonishing. Yet, while the fourth-quarter comebacks are thrilling, it’s just as much the overpowering Denver defense and the play of others as it is the quarterback. While kudos are certainly due, no other one player in recent memory has received so much credit for leading his team to victory than Tebow has.
After the win against the Chicago Bears, despite the fact that the 59-yard field goal was much longer than Tebow’s “pivotal game-winning drive,” the media thrust all responsibility for the outcome onto the quarterback’s shoulders.
The praise is like no other seen in the National Football League (NFL). Not even experienced veterans such as Peyton Manning or Tom Brady have received such lofty acclaim for a successful outcome without mention of other teammate’s valuable contributions.
One of the reasons for the extraordinary attention may be because many pundits have called Tebow a sub-par thrower at best and, thus, the outcomes have them scratching their heads and eating their words. The NFL, however, is filled with excellent quarterbacks, past and present, whose skill sets out of college were never expected to garner them an iota of success at the professional level.
In the end, it is his success coupled with his public devotion to God that has “Tebow Mania” firing on all cylinders. Since his actions and feelings are extremely popular in an overly pious world, the media knows it can exploit this and greatly raise ratings by expanding into an otherwise untapped viewership.
The networks are businesses, so the constant mention on the radio, television, and online is understandable. What is extremely perplexing, however, is how the world has responded. All because a young football player likes to stop, drop, and have a quick one-way converstation with God, he has become beloved by the masses.
“I really like Tebow,” said one of my friends during the recent Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers playoff game. “All the experts wrote him off and I like a good underdog story. Plus, the NFL is filled with thugs, it’s about time a good guy got some attention.”
When I inquired as to why he believes Tebow is any better of a person than all the other guys playing professional football, he quickly and excitedly retorted: “Come on! He prays! Of course he’s better!…What a ridiculous question.”
While the energetic reply was surprising, the statement was anything but as it is the same feeling shared by millions of others worldwide. Despite not knowing much about him or what he’s requesting of God each time he drops to one knee, viewers are enraptured by him simply because he’s taking the time to request it.
When Tim is “Tebowing” as Matt Prater lines up for a potential game-winning field goal, is he asking the Almighty for world peace or to help end world hunger? Or is he requesting his aid in the hopes that a tiny oblong “pigskin” soars through two yellow posts down field?
Since we’ve seen him jump to his feet all smiles and full of joy after the football sails over the 10-foot cross bar and in between the 18 1/2-foot separated uprights, the answer is most likely the latter. Even though people continue to struggle to make ends meet and others are dying of starvation, cold, disease, and at the hands of evil despots across the globe every day, Tebow is begging the Lord for his help in a little old game of American football.
And the world loves him for it.
There is probably little doubt that Tim Tebow is a good-hearted person. His track record of charitable work throughout his young life is most likely reason enough to root for him. It is also refreshing to hear and see someone without barbed wire tattoos all over his body clearly put together a non-selfish interview without the use of curse words or double negatives.
While everyone has favorite sports players and we’ll all continue to root for them, to support someone emphatically simply because he prays may be more “ridiculous” than my initial inquiry.
The bottom line is before people start having regular conversations with God by “tebowing,” it’s important to first take a stand on what really matters in life.