Tim Tebow: Does He Even Belong in the National Football League?

Paul PadillaContributor IIIAugust 4, 2012

June 17, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow with his dog Bronx before a Father's Day worship service at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE

Great. Another Tim Tebow article. But wait, this isn't some pretense to his image, or his goodness, or his controversial religiosity. His presence alone is going to stir stuff up. No matter where he goes. No matter what he does.

He can be doing one of his charity events. He can be building children hospitals in the Phillipines. He can be winning playoff games or throwing interception after interception.

He will be hated on. He will be loved. 

What I'm trying to get at is, despite everything he's portrayed, whether good or bad, does Tim Tebow belong in the NFL? Or could he be using his unique character, brand, force (whatever you want to call it) to just be the male equivalent of Mother Teresa?

A throng of 15,000 showed up at an Easter Sunday service to hear Tebow speak. His earnestness to do good is tenfold and seemingly comes from the heart. People say he speaks the truth and whatever image is portrayed, the real Tim Tebow is as genuine as the sky is blue.

So why play football? Why waste time in a league that panders to people who take the Sabbath off to watch a violent game? Why spend time playing a game?

It can be argued that he does so much even while playing. But Tebow's force is so strong that it would not be unfathomable to view him as a pure philanthropist, in politics, in education. 



As a definitive neutral observer of the Broncos, I pulled a John Kerry and would flip-flop rooting for Tebow throughout 2011. I'd root for him early in the season, when his last-minute comebacks were hysterical in the sense that Tebow's unorthodox delivery and motions were winning games. But as the year waned and the unbelievable media reflection soured my television and computer screens with everything Tebow, my favor for him began to wane. It was too much Tebow, just as it was for a few years with Brett Favre. Enough already, right?

As a fan, I have the choice to not pay attention to Tebow and I try my best not to. It's hard when the Jets camp is the #1 topic in the land. QB controversy. Tebow running shirtless through camp. As a football fan, as a non-Jet fan, as a non-Tebow the player fan, it's diluted.

Tebow doesn't need to prove he belongs in the NFL. He won a playoff game. He's tough. He's gritty. He has so much more to offer than wow football fans. His angelic posterity aside, his actions and words speak for themselves. From what I can tell, the dude is just a genuinely good person. His media handlers are a little weird and seem to walk some straight and narrow line - though Tebow is devoutly Christian, he's still human (I think). Why can't he take a picture with Broadway dancers?

Which leads me to Tebow leaving to be Mr. World Saver. I would not mind having Tebow appear every 10 seconds on my T.V. if he's feeding orphaned panda cubs. But when the saturation factor is 100x more than it should be, and you have reservations about why his media handlers are too afraid to scare away Tebow's hardcore Christian followers, it becomes an issue of too much uncertainty.

I'm sure the NFL loves it. Ratings and what not. Mark Sanchez can't be feeling too good. Confidence? Maybe. Only a Super Bowl victory led by him will ease off his detractors. But I digress.

Tim Tebow's presence in the NFL is great for his fans and his philanthropic supporters. It's not for his haters. But what about those like me, who don't care one way or another if Tebow succeeds in the NFL? Who because of football fame, now has a platform to showcase how much goodness he can do for this world without football. Is he conflicted? Can a man do it all? 

If there's one guy who can pull it off, it's probably Tebow. I just get the feeling that the world is missing out on a missionary man who doesn't need football to help this world. If anything hypocritical (say, we find out Tebow does drugs) ever comes out, then squash the feel-good connections to Tebow. The squeaky-clean, almost fake-like presentation of him through the looking glass would be destroyed.

Maybe that's what people want.  For Tebow to be more like them. Flawed and utterly human. Coping with someone who seemingly does more than the every man. Maybe it doesn't make people happy to see that and so they hate.

Football be damned, Tebow! Go save the world.