Tim Tebow: A Bird of a Different Feather
Kudos to Cincinnati Enquirer Columnist Krista Ramsey for her latest weekly column.
In this world where people will tolerate anything from anyone, as long as it isn’t “Christian” or “Jesus-related,” it’s refreshing to see someone come to Tebow’s defense.
Thank you Krista for your well-written piece.
And thank you Tim Tebow for shining the mainstream spotlight on us birds.
Stay strong brother.
Written by Krista Ramsey
It was a casual football conversation, about
this being the Year of the Quarterback.
Then Tim Tebow’s name came up and the
football enthusiast beside me said, “He’s
good. He just needs to drop the religion
Except that, to Tebow, the Denver Broncos
quarterback, religion isn’t stuff.
His faith is who the man is, even more than
his ability to run the football or rally his
team from a fourth-quarter deficit.
The notion that anyone can simply
segregate his religious beliefs – slice them
off from the rest of his identity – is a
patronizing thought. The idea that Tebow
should do it because his beliefs make
others uncomfortable is truly an arrogant
So what is it about Tebow, his playing style
or his personal religious practice that some
people find so upsetting? Why is it that a
player who, in another age, would have
been hailed as a clean-scrubbed role
model now faces skepticism, even derision?
Today professional athletes are far more
likely to make news for carrying guns,
slapping girlfriends or using drugs than
they are for thanking God or praying on the
sidelines. Yet they are quietly endured or
forgiven, while Tebow is parodied and
Tebow has never hidden his religious
beliefs. An NCAA ban on putting letters or
symbols in players’ eye black is called the
Tebow Rule, because the former University
of Florida Gator used to display Bible
verses there. Yet it’s hardly fair to say that,
as a pro, he’s exactly forced his beliefs
down anyone’s throat.
In a game where defensive players throw
quarterbacks to the ground then prance
above them, and receivers taunt defenders
with salsa dances in the end zone, Tebow’s
quick kneel on the sidelines or index finger
pointed skyward hardly seems provoking.
He’s not stopping the game. He’s not
prancing for TV cameras. Cynics may
believe he’s posturing for the crowd, but
maybe it’s just the opposite – maybe he’s
forgetting all about the crowd and
expressing his faith in a way that seems
natural to him. How unthinkable would it be
if he saw his audience as … God?
His faith, in fact, may be the source of the
traits fans admire most – like his humility or
his sterling work ethic – and may have as
much to do with a perfect touchdown pass
or a Tebow run as does his coaching.
They are simply part of who he is.
And therein lies the secret to seeing the
best of Tim Tebow. He is a bird of a
different feather; let him be.
Like it or not, the Broncos’ success has
come by accepting that fact. Yeah, his
passing game is weak and sometimes
awful. He needs more time to read a
defense or find the open man. He’s got to
be more decisive.
But Tebow is incredibly mobile. He’s
ridiculously strong. And – when you let
Tebow be Tebow – he’s strikingly
confident, and inspires the same in his
Perhaps the Broncos will crash by building
their offense around Tebow’s unlikely style.
It’s also the only way they’ll soar.
So on the field, accept Tebow’s unorthodox
approach. And off the field, accept his
If you can’t, then keep your gaze on the
If he’s not hurling his helmet after a failed
possession, or berating a teammate or
lambasting a coach – and he’s not – then
what Tim Tebow does on the sidelines
should be purely his own business.
Krista Ramsey’s column appears Friday
and Sunday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.