Tim Tebow and His Religious Rhetoric Should Be Applauded, Not Ridiculed

Eric Ball@@BigLeagueEballFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2011

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 11:  Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos passes the ball during the game against the Chicago Bears at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 11, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Why do you hate Tim Tebow?

Is it because he’s a quarterback that struggles to throw the ball? Is it because he’s running an offense that hasn’t been seen in the NFL for 40 years? Or do you hate Tebow because he constantly reminds you about his religion?

Most people that can’t stand the Denver Broncos QB pick option C.

In a league where a player gets arrested seemingly every week, people are infuriated with the way Tebow must always dedicate his first sentence of an interview by thanking his lord and savior Jesus Christ. He created the popular “Tebowing” phenomena by kneeling to one knee for a quick prayer after scoring a touchdown. He does charity work in the Philippines in the offseason.

People are infuriated by this. They don’t want him to use his platform to shove religion down our throats. As we approach the year 2012, it’s clear our society is as snarky and sarcastic as ever. Nothing is off limits. So when a guy like Tebow comes along with his positive attitude and supreme sense of optimism people naturally reject it.

The intensity of the ridicule and the criticism towards the 24-year-old has been much stronger than what was thrown in Ben Roethlisberger’s direction after being accused of sexual assault twice in the span of two years.

Frank Bruni of the New York Times talks about how Tebow uses his strong beliefs to help propel him on the field:

He reminds us that strength comes in many forms and some people have what can be described only as a gift for winning, which isn’t synonymous with any spreadsheet inventory of what it supposedly takes to win.

This gift usually involves hope, confidence and a special composure, all of which keep a person in the game long enough, with enough energy and stability, so that a fickle entity known as luck might break his or her way. For Tebow that state of mind comes from his particular relationship with his chosen God and is a matter of religion. For someone else it might be understood and experienced as the power of positive thinking, and is a matter of psychology. Either way it boils down to stubborn optimism and bequeaths a spark. A swagger. An edge.

You don’t have to care about religion to be a good football player, but for this particularly player it really motivates him. Why can’t he give credit where credit is due?

Get pissed that he averages under 140 passing yards a game. Get upset that he has turned a 1-4 team going nowhere to 7-5 and in the driver’s seat to win the AFC West or that he is plastered all over T.V. and magazine covers everywhere.

Just don’t get angry at him for spending the first sentence in a press conference giving credit to what he believes helped him win that day.  

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