The team is the Denver Broncos, and the quarterback it Tim Tebow. His performance and that of his team is getting a lot of national coverage. Denver has had a star powered QB before; the Hall of Famer, John Elway. But, the coverage Tim Tebow is getting is 24-7 and around the globe. I mean he has yet to play a complete season, and I have heard one story of a baggage handler in the New Delhi, India airport, upon seeing a passenger with a Broncos shirt, yell “Tebow! Tebow!” at him. India? Really?
Why so much, so soon? And why is some of it so down right hateful? There is a Facebook page called “I hate Tim Tebow” I can remember the Elway bashers, and there were those who would never give him any due. There were plenty of arguments about his manner of play, or his leadership abilities, or what candy he gave out at Halloween, or how big a tip he left. But one radio commentator, Fred Toettcher from Boston, on the day Tebow was drafted compared Tim’s draft day gathering of people to Nazi’s, because they were all “lily white”.
How much sense does that make? That is hate or at least jealousy on a base level. Why? It can’t really be because of the color of his skin. A white guy drafted to play quarterback; hardly new or a novelty. It’s not even worthy of notice.
Maybe the hatred comes from Tim’s less than perfect throwing mechanics, his scrambling style and lack of production early in a game. I think that can account for some of it, once you factor in a salting of jealousy because he’s winning in an unorthodox manner, and maybe beating your team. I was in this camp for awhile. Early on I was sure that the Broncos would be looking for someone else. His mechanics were bad. He was missing receivers badly and frequently. But, he has improved. He lit up the Vikings and made them look bad in the process, ala King John the Only. The “doesn’t have what it takes” argument is looking more and more hollow.
He wins, he’s humble, and he gives credit to his teammates. So why so many strong, negative feelings, so early in a career? Can it be his religion? Tim Tebow wears his religious beliefs on his sleeve. He starts each interview by thanking Jesus Christ. He flat out tells people he is using his notoriety to spread the word of God. That makes a segment of the population uncomfortable. But, why? Shouldn’t a humble approach and a belief in God, be at least non-threatening? I think that this hits some segment of the population on their too-close-to-home button. These people might be Christians who feel that Tim raises the bar a bit too high. He goes to church. He is unembarrassed about his religious feelings. He appears to have no vices. He is kind, humble, practices abstinence and probably knits caps for the homeless after practice. They want him to fail because he makes them look bad. He is a person who is doing everything by the book. Make that by The Book, and when they measure themselves against both his conduct and achievements, it is easier to wish for his failure, than to make changes in their own life.
Perhaps it even taps into the other taboo subject at the dinner table; politics. Tim Tebow is the poster boy for the anti-abortion crowd. His mother was advised to abort Tim. (Tim’s mom was a missionary in the Philippines and contacted dysentery. She was advised to abort her baby because the medication she was on to treat her illness could have caused fetal damage. She and Tim’s father chose to continue to put their faith in God, and carried Tim to term)
Now look at him? Not only is he successful by any measure, but he is doing what those on the left hate; he is successful and bringing God into the conversation. You don’t see those on the right bringing lawsuits about the 10 Commandments in a court room, or complaining about school vouchers sending money to religious schools. That kind of posturing comes straight out of the Democratic left’s playbook. To have someone like Tim bring religion up and cast it in a good light definitely rubs those kinds of people the wrong way.
To their way of thinking, Tim Tebow is worse than George W. Bush. Here is a person who a doctor recommended be aborted, he has become successful and shows signs of becoming wildly successful, conducts himself in a courteous, humble, generous (he has his own foundation that supports a number of charities) manner, and espouses the teachings of Jesus Christ. That’s a dangerous man. Dangerous for the left, anyway. What if people started believing his way of thinking is right. That they should take charge of their own life, conduct themselves in a Christian manner, stop looking towards Washington to solve their problems, and look towards God?
Yeah. What if?