Always consider the source. In this day and age of fake news, that advice rings more true than ever. Those words make a lot of sense when it comes to Tim Tebow as well. The Tebow haters are loud and plentiful. The weird, visceral hate for the man is of Palin-like proportions. Tebow’s crime? Being a Christ follower, a good guy, and a heck of an athlete.
The secular can’t stand Tebow. After all, he is a devoted Christian. There is no place for God in the secular world, so to them Tebow is bad. Snarky reporters and pundits who—to paraphrase Jack Buck—wouldn’t know a baseball if it hit them in the lip, despise Tebow. They’re jealous. Liberals cringe at the thought of Tebow. The man serves God first and foremost. Not to mention he’s all about work ethic and giving his all. While Bernie Bros look for handouts, Tebow keeps it high energy. To the leftists, #15 is Public Enemy #1.
Tim Tebow is one of the greatest college football players of all time. While leading Florida to multiple national titles, Tebow haters hated for sure, but they couldn’t criticize him for anything on the field. Tebow’s Gators ran over the competition and he gave the glory to God all the way through. The haters were drowned out by the fans in the Swamp.
When Tebow Time headed to Denver, the hate followed. While Broncos fans and Tebow backers cheered, the haters critiqued his mechanics and throwing style. They had something to pick on to go along with his Christianity. But, Tebow was undeterred. He kept winning, eventually leading his team to the playoffs. Tebow’s Broncos knocked off the Pittsburgh Steelers in the postseason. This did not sit well with his detractors.
Then the anti-Tebow types got what they hoped for—a narrative against the southpaw. Sure, much of it was fabricated, but that never stops the vultures. Tebow’s time with the New York Jets was more of a waste of time. Rex Ryan and company failed to utilize Tebow properly or enough. After exiting the Big Apple, Tebow’s NFL future was in jeopardy. Despite having a winning record and being as good of a guy as you could ever want on and off the field, Tebow would be shut out.
Tebow finally got a couple of cracks with the Patriots and Eagles but both clubs parted ways with him in the preseason. Tebow had no team, and his haters were in heaven, even if most of them don’t believe in the place.
After doing a bang up job as a TV analyst while helping children all across the world on a daily basis, Tebow got back into playing ball. But, this time he headed not to the gridiron but the diamond instead. Tim Tebow announced he wanted to play baseball. This infuriated the haters more than ever. How dare he try to play baseball? Remember, the petty among us do not like out of the box thinking. They are for pigeonholing. In their minds, just like women, gays and minorities can’t be conservatives. Tebow can’t be anything more than a failed pro quarterback and Jesus freak.
To the dismay of the Never Tebow crowd, the New York Mets signed him. The haters had their talking points ready. They accused Tebow of taking the roster spot of someone more deserving. They said the Mets were doing this solely as a publicity stunt. But most of all, they did what they always did before. They rooted against the man with the same passion many of them have for Starbucks and MSNBC.
After a stint in the Arizona Fall League, Columbia, South Carolina, was Tebow’s first stop in the Minor Leagues. For the Mets Class A club, Tebow appeared in 63 games, batting .222 with three home runs and 23 RBIs. Along the way, Tebow filled the seats for the Fireflies and touched a community. Then, the organization promoted Tebow to the St. Lucie Mets, their Class A-Advanced team. Predictably, heads exploded. They couldn’t fathom a .222 hitter getting a promotion. The Tebow haters were back. Social media lit up more than Fireflies on a summer night. The man who got completely and blatantly blackballed by the NFL was suddenly getting preferential treatment? Sounds like fake news.
Even if you don’t agree with the Tebow haters, .222 is .222. Tebow didn’t even bat his weight with Columbia, yet he was movin’ on up. Just like they did with the Jets debacle and the late cuts in New England and Philadelphia, those opposed to Tebow had something to lean on—some numbers and facts to bring up instead of the usual platitudes. Then, a funny thing happened in the Minors that’s causing Tebow haters some major pain.
Since arriving on the scene with the St. Lucie Mets, Tebow has been red hot. He blasted a home run in his first game with his new club, a feat he also accomplished in his first game with Columbia, and he has been raking ever since. In 16 Florida State League games, Tebow is batting a robust .327 with 10 RBIs. He has hit safely in 11 consecutive contests.
Then on Thursday, Tebow had his biggest pro baseball moment yet. The lefty clubbed a walk-off bomb to lead St. Lucie to a thrilling 5-4 victory over Daytona. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner was mobbed at home plate by his teammates. None of them appeared jealous or angry. They just all looked like ball players who won a game in dramatic fashion. Tebow Time has wowed Florida once again.
The haters are at a loss for words. Tebow is succeeding. The Mets may have made the right move. Still smarting from Hillary’s collapse, many Tebow haters can’t take this type of news.
While weasely keyboard warriors, woe-is-me writers, and crying contrarians will never feel good about one of the best feel-good sports stories of our time, others are embracing Tebow. They’re rooting for him and they’re hoping he does well. We’ve outlined who the typical Tebow haters are, but who is actually for this man? Who has the fortitude to publicly praise a Christian chasing a dream? The answer is telling.
While non-athletic, socially awkward ‘journalists’ and bloggers can’t comprehend Tebow the baseball player, some of today’s greatest baseball players are embracing everything about him. While speaking to ESPN, many MLB All-Stars sang the praises of Tebow during the break.
“I’m always interested to see when his name pops up,” said Colorado Rockies slugger Charlie Blackmon. “I think Tim Tebow’s a great guy. I don’t really know him, but I think it’s a great story.”
Blackmon’s teammate Nolan Arenado took it a step further. “I’m pulling for him, to be honest with you,” Arenado said. “I want him to do well; I don’t want to see him fail. You’re gonna fail in baseball because it’s baseball, but I wanna see him do well.”
Tebow’s ultimate baseball goal is to play for the New York Mets. The big club’s lone All-Star Michael Conforto is all for that possibility. “You always hear about when he hits a home run, when he makes a big play,” said Conforto. “It’s pretty cool and inspiring, I guess, that he’s been able to take this much time off and then have success in the minor leagues. I actually was down in high-A for a rehab assignment and I played with him. One thing I’ll say about him is he always takes good at-bats. He’s got a good eye, he doesn’t chase, and I think really that’s half the battle in the game of baseball as far as being a good hitter.
“With how much skill it takes to play this game, for him to take that much time off [and compete in the minor leagues] is pretty impressive. … Having met him, I know he’s genuine about it. He does want to play baseball. He’s a great guy, and from what I know talking to players that play with him, he’s a great teammate as well.”
Whether Tebow plays in Citi Field this season, or ever for that matter, is irrelevant—a point lost on those who loathe the man. Tebow’s fans root for him because of the man he is. They want him to do well. They don’t root for him based on stats. Tebow goes beyond the box scores. He is beloved because of who he loves. Those on Team Tebow recognize we can use a person like him in any walk of life. His field happens to be sports. His specific sport nowadays happens to be baseball. The more a man like Tebow has a platform, the better it is for all of society. While people across the nation are donning brand new Steph Curry jerseys and Chicago Cubs hats only because they are the winning flavors of the month, the Tebow fan sees a much bigger, much more important picture.
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin gets it. “Oh I am so pro-Tebow, you know he is so unashamed of his savior, Jesus of Nazareth,” Palin said during a Fox News interview. “He knows Jesus is going to rock your world when you give it over to him, and he’s bold about it, and he knows that the son of God should be honored and praised. Tebow does that and I respect it.”
Years before running for president, Donald Trump took to Twitter to praise Tebow. “@TimTebow has tremendous talent and a proven ability to lead. He deserves to be in the @nfl,” Trump tweeted.
So, while President Trump, Governor Palin, and Major League Baseball All-Stars are pro-Tebow, mealy mouthed panelists and Internet creeps are disgusted by him. Always consider the source.
Tebow may continue to play well and ride that wave all the way to Queens. He may go the baseball way of Michael Jordan and only achieve a modest amount in the sport despite maximum effort. Maybe Tebow’s baseball career falls somewhere in the middle of all that.
Whatever happens, know this—it’s much more enjoyable being on the side that’s rooting for Tebow to do well. He makes people smile and feel good. We will continue to enjoy that ride, as long as it lasts. It’s much more fun than the approach of the miserable naysayers. The ‘Not My President’ creatures have good company in these ‘Not My Major Leaguer’ types.
So, while the Tebow haters continue to hate, many of us will instead follow this good guy, pray for him, and hope for more on-field thrills. Tebow has already proven he has the off-field stuff covered.
Perhaps one of the best players in all of baseball, Nolan Arenado, said it best. The Rockies third baseman hopes Tebow makes it all the way to New York and he admits he will be watching if that day comes. “Heck yeah, I’ll watch him,” he said. “I hope he goes deep four times in his first game, too.”
Follow Kevin Scholla on Twitter @kevinscholla