Tim Tebow has made his team believers.
pla·Te·bow ef·fect—a positive motivational force used by a team after receiving inspiration from Tim Tebow who in turn gets his from God.
Tim Tebow has been leading his team to victory, and many of those who profess to know football well are scratching their heads as they try to explain to themselves how this is happening.
Tebow's outspokenness about his Christian faith has made him much more of a story than if he had been simply a typical player who hadn't worn his religion on his camouflage eye shadow. It's also made him the magnet for a controversy that divides people into two camps—those who find his constant acknowledgement of his faith uplifting and a breath of fresh air and those who find it annoying and even inappropriate.
But whether some kind of divine intervention is fueling Denver's run is beside the point. The fact that cannot be ignored is that Tebow has inspired his teammates and that they believe in him and themselves. How can that be bad?
So, if Tebow can do that for a bunch of professional athletes who else may benefit from being around him?
I've thought of 10 sports figures who sure might...
A long run and a short fuse.
As much as he will be remembered for his winning teams at Indiana, running clean programs and graduating his players, temper is the word most associated with the name Bobby Knight.
The first thing I see on the Knight highlight reel in my head is the chair—the one that Knight threw across the floor against Purdue in 1985. He’s been arrested for assault, accused of having choked a player and of shooting at a hunter who he claimed was too close to his house.
I’m not sure his fuse has grown any longer with time, and his go-to shot may still be a running tirade. Tim Tebow might just be the one able to separate Knight from the darkness.
Booked on domestic battery charges.
“Manny being Manny” took on a new dimension a few months ago when he was arrested after his wife called 911. He’s been charged with domestic battery. I don’t know if he’s asked for forgiveness from his wife, but he does want another chance to play baseball.
If Manny Ramirez can find a team to sign him, he’ll have to first sit out 50 games to serve his latest suspension for using PEDs. Ramirez is one of those people who God gave a special gift. He could and maybe still can hit baseballs better than all but a few of the millions, if not billions, who have ever tried.
But Manny is also one of those people who appears never to have truly appreciated how much he was blessed, and his lack of focus and motivation at times have reminded everyone that baseball is indeed at its core a child’s game.
Manny was never a role model but could use Tim Tebow as one to help him clean up his act and redeem himself both at home and on the field.
Major championships and major blowups.
Like Manny Ramirez, John Daly has a special gift that he has abused but in his case his gift has been haunted and damaged by demons more powerful than his golf swing.
Most golfers eventually learn that “golf is not a game of perfect” and that on-course tantrums are an admission that the game has defeated you.
Daly has tried to turn his life around a bunch of times but, as his recent outburst in Australia sadly showed, he still can come up short and humiliate himself. Tim Tebow could give him some life lessons and that might help straighten him out.
Football is probably over for him.
A prodigious talent with colossal problems sums up Terrell Owens in a sentence. His football career appears to be over, and he’s burned more bridges than a retreating army. Here’s a man who needs to find himself.
The cheering and the booing have stopped. Tim Tebow won't be throwing any footballs to him. What is important for Terrell Owens now is that he try to receive something more important than a pass—help.
The most unpopular man in Los Angeles.
Does Frank McCourt even realize how disliked he will be in Los Angeles until the end of time? Maybe he does and doesn’t care.
McCourt ran the Dodgers like a corporate raider who stripped his acquisition of its assets and was content to let it wither away into oblivion.
I had a manager once who, we concluded, wanted us not to like him and did stuff to make sure we wouldn’t. It became us against him, and guess what? Our manager eventually packed his bags and went back to where he came from. That probably doesn't happen all that often, especially to men used to having their own way.
McCourt needs an infusion of Tebow’s team spirit to make it clear that a man who is out just for himself is eventually going to end up an outcast.
It's not to late for Labron to fix his image.
Forced to grow up too fast, LeBron James is now no longer a man playing against boys, but a boy hopefully trying to figure out how to be a man.
His “taking his talents to South Beach” line has become a euphemism for narcissism, selfishness and egotism. James has tweeted support for Tebow but I think this would work better the other way around.
LeBron still has time to create a shining legacy. He just needs to listen to and learn from the right people. Tim Tebow would be one of them.
Humility would be a welcome change.
Colin Cowherd is up front about things. He’ll tell you 10 times a show how he’s not paid to be right, he’s paid to get ratings. Cowherd’s deal is to stir things up and provoke reaction. Sometimes he connects, but more often it’s a swing and a hiss.
He’ll tell you why he’s talking about this and not that and explain that it’s all about research and focus groups. Yeah, he’s being up front all right, but he’s pushing a pretty cynical and patronizing belief system.
Tebow, who Cowherd professes is “the most genuine kid I’ve ever met in my life,” could hopefully, help this dude see the light and not just the noise.
Does Suh know he has a problem?
Ndamukong Suh has huge anger management issues that the NFL will likely be dealing with again. Hearing him talk about his own behavior has been scary. I don’t think he gets it.
In high school the same kids kept ending up in the principal’s office over and over again. Some got into worse trouble once they were beyond the school’s jurisdiction.
Suh seems headed down the wrong path, and his visits to the Commissioner’s office remind me too much of the unrepentant, irredeemable kids in high school.
He needs to be touched by Tim Tebow right now before he commits another act of aggression that could be the end of his football days for eternity.
A great legacy lies in ruins.
One of the Ten Commandments is “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” Whether you believe in divine revelation or not, this is very wise guidance.
Hero worship and Jerry Sandusky are what brought the football temple at Penn State crashing down. Sandusky’s alleged crimes are so heinous and beyond the pale that they aren’t even specified in the Ten Commandments.
Paterno’s role in abetting their commission is yet to be known, but from what we do know it’s clear that in State College JoePa was the boss. And we know that when the horrible news surfaced the best JoePa could do was to tell the Board of Trustees not to “spend any more time on me,” because HE would still dictate his departure from coaching.
Paterno’s fall is Shakespearean if not Biblical. An example of how what we fail to do can be worse than what we do. If he still thinks he’s a god, maybe Tim Tebow can dissuade him.
Voted more than once “The Worst Owner in Sports", Donald Sterling is apparently an even lousier human being.
Sterling has been nailed in federal court for housing discrimination, has failed to make good on a years old pledge to help clean up LA’s skid row, and once refused to pay for cancer treatment for one his head coaches.
When I lived in Los Angeles I would see ads in the LA Times every couple of months that he took out for events honoring himself for being a great humanitarian.
Sterling raises the definition of “chutzpah” to a whole new order of magnitude. If anyone needs a Tebow transformation, it’s this guy.