“In Tebow We Trust,” has been seen posted on headlines, cardboard signs in the stands at Mile High Stadium, and across the internet on social networking sites like Facebook. I have even seen people posting pictures of themselves and their Sunday NFL football playoff party company taking a knee in their living rooms, bedrooms, and yes, even in their bathrooms—all in honor of the Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s end zone celebration of taking a knee and paying homage to his Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.
January brings NFL (National Football League) playoff time. This past weekend kicked off some of the best football of the year. Unfortunately, in less than a month football fans will be Jonesing for next season and counting down the months, weeks, and days until spring training and preseason football begins another pain-staking process of rooting for and complaining about our favorite, and we all know, the best NFL team ever.
The games this weekend were exciting, some were predictable and others not so much. My personal favorite (and the best team!), by far, is the New Orleans Saints. Who doesn’t love Drew Brees, the quarterback who broke all of Dan Marino’s passing records. I was appalled to hear the Detroit Lions Coach Jim Schwartz, compare Detroit’s 3rd year quarterback, Matthew Stafford as, “He’s [Stafford] just as good if not better than Drew Brees… and Stafford should be given the same respect and recognition as a great QB like Brees.” Really? That is why New Orleans is moving ahead in the playoffs and Detroit is finished for the season. Oh, and by the way, Brees has been a QB for 13 years, Stafford only 3 years. Tell Stafford to come back in ten years when he grows up and breaks Brees’ records then I’ll give him prop’s. ‘Nuff said, I will move on now that that’s off my chest.
Then there was the upset Denver over Pittsburgh. Well, not too much of an upset there. A healthy young Denver Broncos team at home against a beat up banged up old Pittsburg Steelers team. Tebow’s Broncos had a good showing, but was it good enough to carry them all the way through the playoffs, highly doubtful the way injured Big Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers came back to nearly take the game away from the Broncos. But oh yeah, as some of Tim Tebow’s disciples and followers pointed out, “God blesses those who love Him not a rapist (alluding to allegations of Roethlisberger sexually assaulting a twenty-year-old drunk female student in a bar in March of ’11).”
Nothing like assuming guilt before a trial of his own peers (by the way, a civil law in America), and yeah right, a drunken girl sees a football star in a bar, she thrust herself upon him, he allegedly succumbs to temptation then he says see you later. She gets offended because she wants to be his next main squeeze and then she yells “rape.” He rejects her. I ask, could this possibly be a scenario? No, he is guilty because he is married, but wait, Ben got married four months after the allegations of rape to a woman ten times the woman in the bar. Makes a lot of sense doesn’t it? I guess Ben has to earn his forgiveness card from the Christian community for offenses that may—or may not—have happened. He might as well get it off his chest now and confess his sins (and allegations of sin) to his fellow-man, this way he can open up his agenda when it comes time for confessing his sins in the presence of the Almighty.
Tim Tebow has been gaining recognition with the fans as a 4th quarter comeback quarterback. His 4th quarter stats have been impressive and he is pretty darn quick on his feet. In his college days as a Florida Gator, his strongest showing was in the second quarter, in those days the fourth quarter was by far his weakest quarter. The Denver Broncos have invested much more than money in Tebow and it shows. Tebow appears to be Denver’s future gridiron Savior.
Just so you understand me, I am not against Tim Tebow, or Matthew Stafford—I think it is exciting to see young new quarterbacks progress and succeed. Where I have a problem is when young new quarterbacks are compared to living legends in the game, or when a rookie is idolized and the focus shifts from football to… let’s just say, non-football related religious matters.
The focus of Tim Tebow’s faith has become the main focal point in the media and society of the Denver Broncos and it takes away recognition the team is due as a whole. Tebow’s scoring celebration has apprehended the attention of both the Christian and the non-believer alike. It has become a matter of controversy in the media and across America. It is no secret Tebow takes a knee and thanks his God for the opportunity he has been given. People have questioned Tebow’s motives, as they appear to some as, “flagrant displays of imposing religion and self-righteous acts of imposing religion in a country where religious freedom is a civil right.”
When the Broncos win, Tim Tebow’s faith is said to be strong. When the Broncos lose, it is said God is testing Tebow. Christians are hurrying home from church on Sunday (you are still going to church and not staying home for “Tebow Time”, right?) to watch the Denver Broncos and Tim Tebow. Is Tebow, as the media has tagged him, “The right hand of God?” Is the 2011 Denver Broncos season, a miracle from above? If that is the case, then every NFL team across the nation is “touched from above”, because every team has God-fearing Christians, and religious individuals playing week in and week out, we just don’t see it because those players are not as public or vocal as Tim Tebow. So, you ask, what do you base this on?
1999-2001 I was working with the Chicago Bears. I was surprised at how many Christians were on the team (including coaching staff and franchise personnel), and on other NFL teams. Faith is encouraged by the NFL. There are Saturday evening Chaplain run church services the night before the game at the hotel where the team stays, music, scripture, sermon and all the makings of a church service. How do I know, because I once held a few of the church services as Chaplain. In addition, players are encouraged to attend their home church, and most players do. A quick internet search will reveal some players and sports celebrities who are Crusaders on behalf of Christ; however, there are many who care to keep their religious lives and their faith with their God at a personal level out of the view of public analysis and exploitation. In one case, I was told, “On the field it’s about the game of football… it’s not about me or my relationship with God, that’s my personal space.” Whether we like to admit it or not, even high-profile, multi-million dollar contracted NFL players are due the respect of personal space.
Is there an issue with Tim Tebow’s end zone celebration? Not with me! It is not as excessive as some I have seen in the past, and regrettably, I am sure I will see in the future. Personally, I don’t feel Tebow’s end zone celebration infringes in my civil rights, nor does it make me uncomfortable in any way. However, what I do take issue with is the way the Christians come out of the woodwork like cockroaches in a dark food pantry when a high-profile public figure behaves in ways that may not coincide with modern culture (even religious culture as the world views religion and faith).
We could assume Jesus would not come preparing his children for the eternal life awaiting them as a Heavenly Quarterback. Hence, I am not inferring Tebow is Jesus incarnate, nor am I insinuating that Christians are acting as Jesus acts (on the whole); however, it is totally understandable how some unbelievers would feel threatened and view the Christians fanatical reaction to the rookie Tebow’s 4th quarter success and his end zone celebrations as religious intimidation.
So, what of this article? What burns my grits… for one, Tim Tebow is said to be expressing a “humility” not seen in football before. Journalists everywhere are capitalizing on Tebow’s success and curious behavior. Tebow was a third string quarterback. He had success for one month as a backup quarterback escalating him into the starting position against Miami on October 23, 2011. He has played eleven, yes, that is eleven, weeks as a starter for Denver, and now he is exalted as Denver’s gridiron Savior, a revelation from the apocalyptic anarchy that has been for so long, to reconcile a facet of humanity that has been deteriorating one of Americas great past times.
Secondly, the fact that many religious individuals, Christians, Jews, and other religions alike, are represented in the NFL, but seldom ever celebrated (by the media and the public) as blatantly as Tebow’s religious public displays, just frost my cookies. I could just imagine the reaction if a Muslim, and yes there are Muslims in the NFL, made a public display to Allah in end zone and the media inflated it. They would be Sadam[ized] as in persecuted and hung! If a Jew celebrated and said, he was doing what he was doing what he did well in preparation for the coming of the Savior of the Jews as Jews believe Jesus was a mere prophet and they are still preparing the way for the Messiah, how much hype would that get the Jew?
If God is the deciding factor of each of Denver’s victories, then Tebow should be giving God all his money, and the Broncos should be giving God all of the money from ticket sales, that’s humility, and that’s also biblical. In addition, as the bible points out, the Broncos need to close down one day a week and head to church on Sunday, maybe we should join them instead of hanging out in front of the tube with a bunch of hairy smelly drunk football fans.
Rest assured, there is hope for football fans everywhere—no need to put on your Sunday best and head to church yet, that is not unless people like Tim Tebow have motivated you to want to discover a brand new you. You too may have a humble servant hiding within your soul and you just need a little celestial prodding to get that humility and attitude of servility to surface. As for the rest of you, once again, football season is coming to a close. Hockey and basketball season is underway and nobody takes a knee in hockey or basketball—not yet!