Second year NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow, is leading his Denver Broncos into town this weekend with a 4-game winning streak to face the hapless Minnesota Vikings. Denver is in the AFC playoff hunt, but the same cannot be said for our Vikings in the NFC. However, what may make this game the most interesting of the season for us is whether or not the Vikings will break Denver’s win streak and interrupt Tebow’s magical run as the hottest starting quarterback in the NFL.
What makes Tim Tebow such a captivating, if not controversial, football player? For starters, his stellar college career, including a Heisman trophy and two national championships at the University of Florida, captured the sports world’s attention. But then, most football analysts felt that being picked in the first-round of the 2010 NFL draft was vastly undeserved and that his skills at quarterback wouldn’t translate well to the pro game. To be sure, his style of play is unorthodox by today’s NFL standards. His accuracy as a passer is inconsistent and his completion percentage is substandard. Furthermore, his speed is not exceptional and his running style is not particularly deceptive. But in 6 games as a starter this season, his record is 5-1. His success on the field is inspiring his teammates, satisfying his supporters, and mystifying his critics. What is it about Tim Tebow that has led to his early success? Is it his leadership? His passion for the game? His faith? Likely it’s a combination of all these qualities, which some refer to as “the intangibles.” Make no mistake, having an excellent defense has certainly helped him as well.
Time will tell as to Tebow’s long term football success, but winning in the NFL as a quarterback has created a public platform from which he speaks freely and passionately about the thing that matters most to him – his relationship with Jesus Christ. Tebow is certainly not the only sincere believer in professional sports, but he is likely one of, if not the most outspoken regarding his faith. How do you feel on the subject of athletes or celebrities (or Christians in general) being outspoken about their faith? Feel free to comment below. Also, may I recommend Vikings announcer Paul Allen’s podcast from his Tuesday, November 29th “Love Covenant” talk show on KFAN at this link. P.A. is out of his element as a theologian (he makes no claim to be one) but the tenor of his commentary about the place of faith based communication in the public square is well balanced and surprisingly refreshing.