Quarterback Tebow Answers to God, Not the Mainstream Media

Has Tim Tebow gone rogue by agreeing to ‘hawk life’ during Super Bowl XLIV?

One advertising executive, Robert Tuchman, says that the University of Florida star quarterback’s decision to appear in an anti-abortion commercial is going to “affect his opportunities for endorsements down the road.”

Miss out on a sizeable energy drink contract, will he?

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Another, John Rowady, says , “His promotion of his ‘belief system’ has built a perception throughout the league that he has a long way to mature from a business perspective …”

And this has hurt Kurt Warner, how?

The Women’s Media Center fretted:

… CBS is aligning itself with a political stance that will damage its reputations, alienate viewers, and discourage consumers from supporting its shows and advertisers.

So, did the WMC send a similar press release to ESPN,complaining about all the times it aired Portland Trailblazers games when Brandon Roy was AWOL during the playing of the National Anthem?

Well, I got three words for the naysayers: Praise the Lord.

Let’s get something straight: Tebow has never, ever kept it a secret that his faith in God, not his athletic career, is his number one priority. Apparently, as the stakes get higher, that is not going to change a whit.

By now, most of us are familiar with how Tebow has publicly advanced the Gospel – like putting Phil. 4:13 on his eyeblack and, more dramatically, spending spring break doing foreign-mission work in the Philippines, instead of heading to the beaches at Cancun. Tebow, an attractive physical specimen, has gone to great lengths to avoid being photographed with trashy girls (some of whom have wanted to take their shirts off in his presence). Indeed, Tebow’s accomplishments of the flesh, as well as his temptations of the flesh, are Herculean.

But, of course, that’s what so many love about the guy – that he is wildly successful, by the standards of a secular world, yet remains beholden only to the invisible kingdom of God.

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Two years in a row I attended the Heisman Trophy press conference, a somewhat tough event to get credentials for. In 2007, the year Tim won the big bronze statue, I was sitting in the Hard Rock Café near Times Square, with a roomful of members of the hard-nosed, but somewhat geeky, sports media. You could have heard a pin drop when Tebow’s homeschooling mom, Pam, was featured during the video segment of the Heisman presentation, quoting the Bible; when Urban Meyer, Tebow’s coach, dubbed him a “strong Christian”; when his dad, Bob, said he was petitioning God, before Tim’s birth, for the Tebow family to have another preacher.

These journalists and photographers had never seen anything like the Familia Tebow; nor had college football; nor had most of the country for that matter. But, since everybody loves a winner and a good human interest story, they were, oddly, respectful. And they were learning a thing or two about the kind of spiritual village it takes to raise a new brand of world-class “contenda.”

When Tebow, the first sophomore ever to win the Heisman, arrived to speak to this mob, he exuded something not often seen in large, powerful, athletic men – a sweet spirit. Not a hint of swagger, even though he had won the right to strike the pose.

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The following year, when I returned to the Heisman Trophy press conference, Tebow, apparently, had been busy proselytizing the other two candidates, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy, about the importance of ‘giving glory to God if you win.’ Given that Sam’s from Oklahoma and Colt’s from Texas – Bible Belt country – they needed little prodding, but it likely made a difference that Tebow was creating a little spin of his own. That particular press conference turned into a meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, as the three star quarterbacks took turns thanking God this, or the Lord for that. Amen.

Such is the real message of Tebow. We already know that the establishment media will be biased against this ad, even before it airs. We already know they are going to selectively report on this one. We already know the Martha Coakleys of the country are going to complain. We already even know that this great entity known as ‘the American people who live for football’ may even disagree with all of the ‘experts’ and silently approve of this commercial.

Thank you, Tim Tebow, for teaching so many of your elders that you really can do all things through Christ, who strengthens you. (Philippians 4:13).

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