When Peyton Manning announced his intentions to sign with the Denver Broncos, most people were excited. Bronco fans were giddy to have one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history and football fans all over the country were thrilled that Manning will play football again after missing the 2011 season due to injury.
Televangelist and host of the Christian Broadcasting Network's 700 Club, Pat Robertson, didn't share the same excitement.
Despite Manning being regarded as perhaps the best league's best quarterback over the past decade, Robertson was dumbfounded as to how the Denver Broncos could forget their magical 2011 season and kick their miracle-working quarterback, Tim Tebow, to the curb.
Tebow has always been very open about his strong Christian faith.
"I'm a Christian. I'm a follower of Jesus Christ. And that is first and foremost the most important thing in my life," Tebow said during yesterday's press conference. "For me it is about having a relationship with Christ. That's pretty much it. That is the basis of what I believe, and it is exciting for me to get opportunities to share that."
I have no issue whatsoever with an athlete making their personal beliefs public knowledge, whether he is a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or anything else. However, I think Tebow has been guilty at times of taking a "football question" and turning it into a forward admiration of God.
It's widely-known that Robertson, like Tebow, is a devout Christian conservative. The difference between the two, however, is that Tebow always puts on a smile and says the right thing. Robertson believes what he believes and throws his sometimes-controversial opinions up to debate.
In regards to Peyton Manning replacing Tebow's as Denver's starting quarterback, Robertson didn't hold back his anger towards the Broncos.
"I think the Denver Broncos treated (Tebow) shabbily. He won seven games, he brought them into the playoffs, for heaven sakes. I mean, they were a nothing team. He rallied them together with spectacular last-minute passes and, you know, when they beat Buffalo — I mean, Pittsburgh, excuse me — it was a tremendous victory."
Robertson is correct in saying that Tebow led the Broncos to several comeback victories that seemed impossible at the time, but he fails to realize that Tebow was the league's worst quarterback on third down and was probably the worst passer among all 32 starting quarterbacks.
When Peyton Manning became available, the Broncos needed to try and bring him to Denver. They had a clear need at quarterback.
The biggest problem about Pat Robertson's comments towards the situation is the ill will he wished upon the Denver Broncos organization and Peyton Manning.
"So Peyton Manning was a tremendous MVP quarterback, but he’s been injured. If that injury comes back, Denver will find itself without a quarterback. And in my opinion, it would serve them right."
As you'd expect, a spokesman has since come out to "clarify" Robertson's comments to AP by saying he was "in no way advocating an injury."
I have no idea what "if that injury comes back ... it would serve them right" means if he is "in no way advocating an injury." Take it for what it's worth, it's just the typical public relations attempt to dig Robertson out of the hole he verbally buried himself into.
Having hard feelings for the Broncos is one thing, if you're a fan of Tebow more so than Denver, but wishing ill will on the health of Peyton Manning makes zero sense. Robertson is publicly defending Tebow because they share a strong faith and it'd be wrong to question anyone's motive for being a fan of a certain player.
However, Robertson needs to think about what he says. What's Peyton Manning? Some sort of fire-breathing hedonist?
It's comments like Robertson's that make non-believers view Christians as judgmental "Jesus freaks." Raised in the Christian faith myself, I'd like to offer Pat Robertson some useful advice.
Pat, think before you speak. By being a representative of Christianity on national airwaves, your words and opinions are dissected under the finest of microscopes. Defending a devout Christian quarterback like Tim Tebow is one thing, but wishing ill on another person is a completely different thing.
Please Mr. Robertson, do your fellow Christians a favor and watch your mouth.