I love sports and I have for as long as I can remember. The TV was rarely on in my home when I was young except when the Cubs, Bears, or Bulls were playing. The Cubs played all their home games during the day back then, so I grew up with the Cubs of the 70′s and 80′s.
Nowadays I don’t watch much TV other than my range of ESPN shows. I listen to sports radio in the car and call my favorite ESPN national radio show (The Herd with Colin Cowherd) a few times a week.
I love sports throughout the major seasons (NFL, MLB, NBA) because they are ongoing, unfolding, and unfinished dramas. And they’re pure fun. While our hearts can be crushed when our favorite teams lose, in a sense sports don’t really matter. Or, they shouldn’t.
Because of how I regard sports, I appreciate Tim Tebow as a football player.
One of the main problems with sports these days is that they have become so over-analyzed that the games themselves have been overshadowed. All the technological hyper-tinkering of isolated athletic movements has led to a generation of technically perfect young athletes who can’t actually play the games for which they are training.
We see this especially in golf. Young golfers (male and female) enroll in golf academies where they learn perfect putting strokes and perfect swing planes, but can’t actually play the game of golf.
This is one reason why many football experts predicted NFL failure for Tebow. His throwing motion is slightly better than Charles Barkley’s golf swing. Despite expectations, however, he took the helm of a 1-4 team, made the playoffs, and beat the Steelers, who had the best defense in the league.
Tim Tebow is an athlete who excels in the game–in the actual contest–while not having the best best technical skills.
In an age of fantasy leagues (I seriously cannot get into those) and statistical over-analysis, he has made games unpredictable, which is thrilling.
And he seems to be having such a great time. I appreciate that he genuinely takes delight in the game.
This isn’t as easy as it seems. Many athletes play for the wrong reasons. It’s hard to watch Kobe Bryant, who plays angry. He’s playing for individual glory, to be known as the greatest individual in the game. He is impatient with his teammates and coaches. He doesn’t seem to be having fun.
While I tune in any time he’s playing, much of this is true of Tiger Woods, who seems to have lost his way, as well. I’m not talking about his personal life. I’m referring to the simplicity of just enjoying the game, win or lose.
I’ve questioned whether Tebow has the right approach to integrating football and Christian faith, but I must say that I admire him as a person and I really enjoy watching the games in which he’s playing. He plays for the right reasons and he plays the right way.
He certainly has made the Broncos game this weekend one to watch!