I intended to stay out of the fray that is "The Tim Tebow" show. I resisted the temptation to write about him in an effort to drive traffic to our blog. I thought enjoying the discussion as an amused spectator would be enough. Alas, I have to jump in to say...
I am baffled by all the Tim Tebow "hate." Don't get me wrong...I understand the fans of opposing teams who want to see Denver "go down in flames" when playing their team. As a life-long Miami Dolphins fan, I'm still a bit miffed at the Broncos for beating my team earlier this year. In fact, I'm a bit miffed at Tim Tebow in particular because he was a major factor in the Broncos win that day. But, I don't understand the hate that seems to be leveled at Tim Tebow the man (and the Christian).
Let's review his recent history (insert heavy sarcasm at the end of each bullet point):
- He is successful on the field and he gives thanks to God for blessing him with opportunity AND gives credit to his teammates. Pretty awful, huh?!?
- He has a rough day on the field and he takes the beating. What unmitigated gall?!?
- He prays and sings hymns before, during and after the game - regardless of whether the camera is on him if you believe his teammates and coaches. Has to be fake, doesn't it?!?
- He has vowed to live up to his ideals and values (see his stance on pre-marital sex). Can't we just find out he cusses like a sailor, beats up his girlfriend, and sells drugs to little kids?!?
Why are we so anxious to see Tim Tebow fail? Seems to me that he's a guy who is thankful for his opportunity to be on a big stage and doing his best to be the man and the leader he was called to be in that setting. Yet, the "hate" continues. My Twitter Feed and Facebook Timeline are full of people who want Tebow to be "embarassed," "humbled," and "humiliated" and that's not even in reference to football games.
In the world in which I live, Tim Tebow is the kind of leader we encourage. He gets there is a bigger picture than himself (i.e. God's plan). He gives credit to teammates. He takes responsibility. He lives his values. And while I don't necessarily like Tim Tebow the football player (because, well, I'm a Dolphins fan), I am rooting for Tim Tebow the man (and the Christian) and I won't be disappointed if the Broncos continue to win because it's an opportunity to talk about leadership (and Christianity) in today's world via sports.
Three final observations. I am a realist, so:
- I expect the Patriots to whip the Broncos this weekend. And that's okay.
- I also fully expect to find someday in the future that Tim Tebow has failed as a leader (and a Christian). And that will be okay too - we've all failed (and continue to fail), so why should he be any different? What won't be okay is the glee that some take in that failure - the "see, I told you so" attitude.
- The only reason I can figure that Tim Tebow (the man and the Christian) rubs so many people the wrong way is that those people have "Tebow-Envy." He has something they want, and not just the opportunity to make millions of dollars playing a game. He seems genuine. He seems comfortable in his own skin. He seems connected to his leadership potential (and his Christianity) in an empowering way. Maybe if we spent more time trying to figure out what he does "right" and less time hoping for him to fail, we'd be in a better position ourselves.