Ready, everyone jump on the Tebow pile because there is a lot to sort through.
The rejected candidates for our No. 1 position get first mention.
How about "Tebowing"?
Tim Tebow might drop to his knees as a testimony to a particular salvation experience through Jesus, but that didn’t stop Jewish Broncos fan Jared Kleinstein from taking the gesture in a more inclusive direction. After he joined his friends in flattering homage to Tebow’s prayer pose during post-victory exhilaration outside a bar, Kleinstein subsequently made that pose an internet craze for the general populace. Could he have known that the term would translate from neologism to officially recognized verb?
If so, Jared, what about “Tebros”: that’s what we should call anyone whose friendship has been enhanced through Tebow devotion. Show me how to trademark that and I will help you get your little website off the ground.
Tebowing is fun, but I’m not sure it has the cultural legs (remember “planking”?) to go the distance as our number one most surprising appearance of Tebow religion and sports.
We move then from Tebow fun to Tebow fear.
Recently, a Jewish Rabbi did a reverse-Charlie Ward and warned that a Broncos Super Bowl win under the helm of their evangelical quarterback could lead to a religious celebration that would leave a devastation of Muslims, gays and immigrants in its zealous wake. Huh?
The Rabbi has backtracked, reflected, and now wants to provide a more careful commentary on the subject so let’s not leave him balancing at the top of a controversial heap.
We were on the right track with that one, though, because the number one most surprising appearance of religion and sports, via Tim Tebow, did have to do with the Super Bowl, and gather around, because this one is a family affair.
When word spread that Tim and his mother Pam had shot a Super Bowl commercial with the conservative Christian and anti-abortion group (or pro-life depending on your loaded language of preference), Focus on the Family, flickers of discomfort with Tebow's bold faith proclamations burst into a cultural conflagration of concern.
Depending on your perspective on this contentious issues, the commercial ended up being either a touching tribute to Tebow family principles in general and the courage of Pam Tebow in particular to continue a dangerous pregnancy that ultimately gave the world Tim Tebow, or a surreptitious link to a sinister organization bent on denying women their reproductive rights.
Indeed, Tim Tebow and his outspoken faith on the field represent a much broader gulf of division within American society, which is not likely to be bridged by prayerful touchdowns or any other manifestation of religion and sports.