Tebow’s Crazy Season: Some Lessons

It’s been a pretty cool year for Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos. All the NFL experts have continued saying that Tebow cannot play successfully as a quarterback in the NFL. Yet Tebow and the Broncos actually made it  to the playoffs and have just pulled off an unlikely victory against the mighty Pittsburg Steelers, last year’s AFC champs. Maybe this might be a good moment to reflect very briefly on some values that Tebow and his team are living this year.

 

Very few people would have predicted this kind of success for Tebow and the Broncos a year ago, except maybe those who have followed Tim Tebow’s career closely. Tim Tebow brings an energy to the game that helps his teammates give the best of themselves. He also helps them have a lot of fun while they are doing it. Most of us remember this about Tebow’s career in college football, but the NFL experts seem to think this is totally useless. Well, maybe they need to think just a little bit more. Leadership is not just about skill set. Tebow brings some intangibles that are hard to nail down, but it is obvious that energy and enthusiasm are part of the Tebow mystery.

 

It is very unlikely that Tebow and the Broncos can pull off another “miracle” this week against the New England Patriots, but it’s sure been a fun ride, and maybe Tebow and the Broncos can surprise us again.

On a funny note, not only has Tebow brought enthusiasm to his football team, he has also sold a lot of underwear.

Yes, that’s right. Tebow is a spokesperson for Jockey underwear. The company recently reported that the line of underwear Tebow endorses has broken all company records for new sales this year. A funny quirk for a guy who had to have his teammates be his body guards in college in order to keep the girls away from him. Certainly no one can deny Tim brings a manliness to clothing sales. Many guys identify with that.

 

Anyway, a couple of yers ago when Tebow was scouted by NFL teams he was told that his throwing mechanics were terrible. So he worked like crazy over the last two years to relearn the way he throws the football. Have the results shown? Maybe not much yet, but his desire to train and train has inspired his teammates. His teammates have seen him put in the extra hours. No one trains harder and competes harder that Tim Tebow. That earns respect from professional athletes.

Another value that Tim seems to have brought to the Broncos this year is comeraderie. You don’t have to watch Tim very long to realize that he is the nicest guy you would ever want to meet. He works hard at affirming everyone around him and sharing his enthusiasm for the game of football. Enthusiasm and comeraderie are two very important “intangibles” in winning teams.

 

Tebow’s directness about his love for God has brought a lot of controversy this year. Many professional athletes and commentators have criticized him for his displays of faith. It is too “over the top” for most people, and seems to communicate that Tebow thinks God will help him win football games.

Tebow has denied that God helps him win football games. He says God doesn’t care who wins. But showing thankfulness to God for being able to play, win or lose, is very important to Tebow, and he doesn’t care what others think. He says it’s about a relationship. He says that if you are in love with a beautiful girl you are proud to show that you love her. He thinks that it can be the same way with God.

Well, you have to give Tim credit. Without meaning to, he created a new fad this year: Tebowing. Yes, almost everybody “Tebows” now, even if just for fun.

 

Still, it is a breath of fresh air. In a world where we are constantly told to keep our faith private, someone is not afraid to show his faith in public and laugh along with everyone else at the funny criticisms he gets.

 

Of course, showing your faith like that in public puts a lot of extra pressure on you. No one would like to have people constantly watching your life for the slightest mistake or inconsistency in your faith. We have to admire Tim Tebow’s courage on that level too. He seems to handle the pressure of being under a microscope very well. We pray that he can continue to give a good example. It is something that is really needed in the world today.

 

(For more information on where Tebow got his values, check out the story we did on him   a few years ago: http://ourfaithinaction.net/2008/tim-tebow-survivor-superstar/ . Tell us if you think he is living up to those values and whether you think he has a future in the NFL.)

About the Author:

Father Ernest Daly was ordained a priest by Pope John Paul II in 1991. He has an MA in Philosophy from the Gregorian University in Rome, and an MA in Theology from the Regina Apostolorum in Rome. Fr. Ernest has spent the last 30 years of his life working in schools and with young people, and has been publishing Our Faith In Action® since its founding in 2003. He loves skiing, movies, and hanging out with his nieces and nephews (he has a ton!).

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