Friday, January 13, 2012

The Tebow phenomenon

I don't follow football and so, when we were in Colorado in late October and everyone was talking about Tebow, my reaction was, "What's a Tebow?"

Well, it turns out it is both a noun and a verb. The noun is Tim Tebow who is the quarterback of the Denver Broncos. The verb is an act that he does after a winning football game where he ostentatiously kneels on one knee and prays, giving thanks to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At least that's what I read. I can't say that I've actually seen him do this. It's all hearsay - or readsay - but there's a lot of it around. People just can't stop talking and writing about him. He is, of course, a darling of fundamentalist Christians and a figure of fun for late night television comedians.

I know very little about the young man actually, but apparently his devotion to Jesus is completely sincere and unironic. Personally, I find the overt public displays of one's religious faith a bit offputting. It always reminds me of the Pharisees whom Jesus chided for their loud public prayers which were done merely for show. But that's just me. Obviously, Tebowing has struck a chord with much of the public and has made this football player perhaps the most well-known and popular athlete in the country today.

By all accounts, he is a sterling character who puts his religious faith to work in his everyday life and that is certainly admirable, but if he could manage to do it without the ostentatious posturing, I would find it even more admirable.

And I wonder, what does he do when he loses a football game? Does he still "Tebow?" And if not, why not? Even in defeat, surely Jesus loves him just as much and is just as deserving of his thanks.

I guess I just don't get it.

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