Tim Tebow: The Ideal Role Model Dealing with Adversity and Jealousy from Critics

Michael Nargi@NargOnSportsSenior Analyst IJanuary 13, 2012

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos celebrates after running the ball in the end zone for a touchdown in the second quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

While many athletes and celebrities flaunt their money and wealth, Tim Tebow should be recognized and respected, not criticized, for his acts off the field that go so far in individual's lives.

Tim Tebow will play the biggest game of his life this weekend. Tebow's leadership inspires not only his team, but many others.

Well, he inspires everyone who allows him to. 

Tebow is polarizing because people are fixated on the fact that he prays and people hate him for that.  There are two types of people who watch what Tebow does: the ones who genuinely want to see what he does next and the ones that cannot wait to see him fail. 

He has rallied his team to get to the divisional round of the playoffs. He is doing a good job of not failing.  

All we hear is that he shouldn't be in the NFL, shouldn't be a QB, shouldn't pray.  This week we have heard, "he won last week but has no chance to win this week against the Pats." During his regular season win streak, we heard it week after week. 

Maybe everyone is right. He doesn't have the characteristics of the average player in the NFL.

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Think about it, have you ever seen him get in his opponents' face and mock them after making a big play? Celebrate to insult the other team? Show up to a press conference and rant to the media? And how much has he been fined or penalized for obscene gestures and taunts?

If someone is a positive role model and setting a good example, then sometimes it is okay to stand out.

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos receives high fives from fans after defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime of the AFC Wild Card Playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denv
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Not everyone is able to live the life Tebow chooses to live. It is impossible for most people.

It creates a sense of jealousy in those who are unsuccessful in their pursuit of that kind of life. It doesn't help that he is successful and people hate him for it. 

What about the people that recognize his skill set, but still do not like his lifestyle?

Jake Plummer, the Broncos QB five years ago, found time to voice his opinions in a USA Today article in late November:

"...regardless of whether I wish he’d just shut up after a game and go hug his teammates, I think he’s a winner and I respect that about him...I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ then I think I’ll like him a little better. I don’t hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every single time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff.” 

I'm glad you think he is a "winner," but that is what warrants your respect? And what bothers Plummer is that he "loves Jesus Christ?" That seems a bit harsh, but Plummer is a class act.

In 2004 he was fined $5,000 for flipping off fans from the bench on the sidelines. So if anyone should be able to criticize Tebow and tell him how to live a more respectable, "well-liked" life, its got to be Jake Plummer. 

That's the guy that Tebow should be striving to be more like.

Jake Plummer, former Denver quarterback, was critical of Tebow earlier in the season.
Jake Plummer, former Denver quarterback, was critical of Tebow earlier in the season.Brian Bahr/Getty Images

How did Tebow respond? USA Today published his response. It was a response that I have come to expect from Tebow.

"If you're married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only say to your wife 'I love her' the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and every opportunity?...And that's how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ is that it is the most important thing in my life. So any time I get an opportunity to tell him that I love him or given an opportunity to shout him out on national TV, I'm gonna take that opportunity. And so I look at it as a relationship that I have with him that I want to give him the honor and glory anytime I have the opportunity. And then right after I give him the honor and glory, I always try to give my teammates the honor and glory."

Classy and humble as always.

That is how Tebow handles his critics. He has the ability to reject the negative influences that others try to project into his life. It is what I admire about Tebow and what his critics cannot stand. 

Unfortunately, these views of Tebow are everywhere. People with something that they do not like about him can't wait to jump on him when he does something wrong.  

Once people begin to accept Tebow for who he is then maybe more people will appreciate his genuineness.

There are countless stories of all that Tebow does for individuals battling illness and those less fortunate health-wise. The guy is genuinely good at heart. While people can criticize his football skills, they should not let that interfere with the caliber of individual that he is.

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos celebrates his second quarter rushing touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It is not often that a public figure comes around that people can look up to for strength. People look up to him and find inspiration in his acts.

It is imperative that people have the decency to separate his football and his personal life and allow for him to live the life that he wants to live. No matter how envious people are of him. 

He does tremendous deeds away from football that should be recognized and respected. He gives strength to individuals who might otherwise not have any hope. There is nothing negative that can be said about helping people.

In terms of football, he has inspired his team to completely turn their season around and now battle in the playoffs.



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