Tim Tebow: Trademarking of Prayer Shows Football's Strange Place in Our Society

Adam Waksman@@AdamWaksmanCorrespondent IIIOctober 19, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 09:  Tim Tebow #15 and Dustin Keller #81 of the New York Jets pray with teammates and members of the Buffalo Bills after their season opener at MetLife Stadium on September 9, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The phrase "more money than God" just took on a whole new meaning. What about a copyright on God?

New York Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow has officially trademarked "Tebowing," a common praying position that he has used in NFL games (via Barry Petchesky of Deadspin). 

Said Tebow on the matter (via Jane McManus of ESPNNewYork.com):

I know it was something that was cool for me in the past, but it’s not something I do as Tebowing. It’s something I do that’s prayer for me and then it got hyped up as Tebowing. So I think just to control how it’s used as well. Make sure it’s used in the right way.

Former Jets safety and defensive leader Jim Leonhard had perhaps the most cutting take on this subject back in 2011. He tweeted:

Remember when Tebowing was called praying any everybody was allowed to do it. ... I’m not knocking praying, I’m knocking people who act like Tebow is doing something other than praying.

With the role Tebow has come to occupy in the NFL, the role of Christianity's representative, we often forget that some Christians are the ones most opposed to his presence. Or perhaps more strangely, we may forget that Christianity and football are not fundamentally connected.

Political issues aside (I won't open that Pandora's box), the idea that Tebow has now trademarked prayer says so much about his unique place in American culture. Would we even have thought such a thing to be possible 10 years ago?

It is unclear what Tebow intends to do with his new and valuable trademark. He has claimed that he does not intend to make money off of it.

For now, we should all perhaps be careful just when and where we pray (for those who do so). We might just find ourselves in the midst of a very strange lawsuit.


Adam Waksman is a featured columnist for the Bleacher Report New York Jets community. Be sure to follow Adam on Twitter to receive updates right away.