It has been nearly a year since we've been able to get up close and personal with Tebow and hear what he shouts and prays on the field.
Remember in the comeback against the Texans last year when he flew over to the sidelines to tell everyone in no uncertain terms which former Gator would be running the ball into the end zone in the closing moments of the game?
If you didn't hear that inspiring declaration, give Skip Bayless a call; I'm sure it's his outgoing message on his cell.
They were telling sounds, speaking volumes about Tebow the singer, Tebow the prayer and Tebow the gregarious praise-talker. It's all there, in a soundscape so divine you will think you'd been Tebowed. Onward Tebow soldiers to the No. 5 thing we learned from the Tebow mic.
Tim Tebow will generally not offer an aesthetic appraisal of his football play. He usually deflects direct questions about his statistical fluctuations from terrible in the first three quarters to phenomenal in the fourth. Instead, he insists that he wants to win games, no matter how he looks in the process of victory.
If he won’t come right out and say that his game looks ugly sometimes, he is blunt about his singing ability, or inability, as it were. And that discordant drone was on full display in pregame throws against the Bears.
He broke out an old '80s Christian tune from Rich Mullins, who died in a car accident in 1997. The full chorus follows:
“Our God is an awesome God, He reigns from heaven above; with wisdom, power and love, our God is an awesome God.”
Well-meaning Christian leaders often encourage the musically challenged members of their congregations to not worry about their shaky singing voices because “God hears the heart.” Listening to Tim Tebow sing this song will make you pray for your own divine auto-tuning device.
While watching the game on television, I noticed that Tebow’s second interception of the season did not faze him one bit. Indeed, it was clear that Tebow opted for good-natured banter instead of venomous trash talk with the thief of his throw, Charles Tillman.
In the mic’d up scenes you hear him in a similarly gregarious mood with Urlacher and others. After they paste his pelvis to the sidelines, Tebow wants them to know how much he admires them. The full crushing blow of a middle linebacker apparently makes him think, “I wonder if this guy visits my home state sometimes.” The mic’d up evidence shows that Tebow lets his opponents know what’s on his innocent mind.
But maybe Tebow has a little Britney in him (an alternative title for this article). Maybe he’s not that innocent, after all. (Hey if Tebow can sing '80s Christian songs, I can go to the '90s for pop references.)
Maybe Tebow is drawing from an innocently subversive line of Christian scripture and getting in his opponents heads with his killer kindness. “If your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads” (Romans 12:20-21).
I play a lot of doubles tennis, so I can attest to how nerve-shattering it is to play with someone who you know is going to react with either a loud groan or defeating silence when you flub an important point.
He will come over, put his hand on your shoulder and tell you that you are going to come through when it counts. That’s what he did with Demaryius Thomas.
He encouraged him to believe that just as quickly as the ball slipped through his hands in that near touchdown miss, it would slide smoothly into his fingertips on a game-winning catch.
Indeed, he told Demaryius Thomas that he would receive the winning touchdown pass.
Thomas went on to make a number of key grabs to put the Broncos in a game-winning position, but not a final touchdown grab.
Tim Tebow is the most encouraging liar ever!
I got chills watching him talk to whoever the young, little guy is that Tebow heaps with effusive attention before the game.
Here, Tebow is in his element, even more so than when he is preaching. There is nothing stilted or rehearsed in this conversation. Tebow lights up with genuine enthusiasm and blows the kid away when he recounts their last encounter in Florida. “You remember?!” the child beams.
Oh man, I better stop. I’m going to end up proposing again.
First, let me whisper something very important: If you are a Bronco fan and do not believe that there is some divine force orchestrating Tebow’s fourth quarter magic, Shhhhhh!!!! Don’t let Tebow hear you!
How could it not be a good thing for our man to have an unwavering belief (as misguided as it might be) that God or God’s angels have taken the field. Those sacred field crashers are steering running backs out of bounds, and snatching footballs from their hands when to do anything less would be to cede victory to mere mortals.
There are two key theological terms relevant to our No. 1 point: transcendence and immanence.
The transcendence of divinity refers to how vast God is, how the divine realm is far above the human plane of existence. Immanence, on the other hand, speaks to the presence of the divine in our earthly midst.
After Barber fumbled, Tebow started singing about the transcendent getting immanent: “You came from heaven to earth.” The rest of that song, in case you were wondering, goes, “to show the way; from the earth to the cross, my debt to pay; from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky, Lord I lift your name on high.”
It is in the interest of every Broncos' fan—atheist, agnostic, Jew, Gentile—to keep Tebow and his teammates believing in miracles. If, at some point, Tebow snaps out of it and starts to think that God doesn’t care about football after all, I want that moment to come right after the Super Bowl, while he is hoisting a trophy above his head and muttering, “What just happened?”
Now check out the sounds for yourself.