What do you think of Tim Tebow?

Certain public figures elicit strong opinions from all quarters.  Tim Tebow, quarterback of the Denver Broncos (who play the Bears this weekend, by the way), is a prime example.

The facts: Tim Tebow’s team is 6-1 since he became the starter.  They were 1-4 previously.  He’s defied all predictions.  He’s got a terrible delivery and doesn’t fit the prototype for a pro quarterback.

He’s something like Doug Flutie, another great college quarterback who didn’t fit the typical professional profile, but still had an excellent pro career (albeit, mainly in the CFL).

Sports radio is dominated by talk of Tebow.  “Tebowing” seems to be replacing “planking.”  Tebow’s faith is a big part of all of this, too (Kurt Warner has advised Tebow to tone down the “faith” talk).

What cultural dynamics account for his being such a provocative figure?  What do you make of all of this?

13 thoughts on “What do you think of Tim Tebow?

  1. athanasius96

    While I wouldn’t present my faith the way he does, the flip side is that too many people think the Bill of Rights grants them “freedom FROM religion”. It’s absurd. As far as the effectiveness of his witness, I think it takes all types. For some, he’s a great role model.

  2. Wesman

    Lots of them, probably. For one, we love the underdog, and he’s definitely that. And it’s not a paycheck for Tebow; he loves the game and he plays with passion. Neither is it about raw talent, but guts and heart and working hard with others. Neither is there a hint of showmanship; rather he catalyzes a spirit of teamwork and optimism, even constantly praising his coaches. And, of course, there is your typical slice of conservative evangelicals that always get aglow when “one of their’s” makes headlines accompanied by bold comments about faith. Just my two cents worth.

  3. jeff

    An inspirational leader.
    We all want to be there when the wheels come off.
    Providing some with the occasion to mock.
    Others to be inspired by cruciformity.

  4. Haddon Anderson

    He’s a provocative figure because there’s so many stories about him, whether it’s praise for his team leadership and grit, criticism for his throwing mechanics, praise for his sincere faith, or criticism for his overly zealous admonitions of faith. Society’s overly hyper over him and doesn’t know whether to praise or criticize.

    I’m curious to hear your thoughts on something…I saw what Kurt Warner said about Tebow and I’ve been considering if some of Tebow’s antics during games (Tebowing (kneeling for prayer), finger pointing to the sky, etc) take it a bit too far. My guess is that most of society finds Tebow’s displays of faith on the field to be annoying (Jake Plummer essentially voiced this). Think it’s time for Tebow to tone some of this down? Do you think his testimony would be stronger if he “strategized” and discerned when to display his faith?

    I’ve been thinking these thoughts for numerous weeks, but I’m too much of a chicken to actually voice them in a blog post. If I question Tim Tebow, I might be deemed a heretic. Kidding, but in all seriousness, our Christian cultures are obsessed with him and seem to view him as flawless. I’m definitely a fan of Tebow and I do think he’s great for sports and Christianity, but in his unique role, is being bold all the time and overly animated with his faith annoying people rather than stirring up intrigue?

    1. timgombis

      Great question, Haddon. I’ve been thinking about that for a while now. He seems plenty sincere, and there’s lots to say about just the pure football stuff, but I do wonder whether the ‘faith’ expressions are proper embodiments of redeemed human behavior in athletic contexts. Still thinking about that, though, and how to articulate it rightly . . .

  5. Hieu

    I’d like to see Tim point to God when they do lose a game. That will give the audience a difference side of his Christianity… which I think is healthy.

    Faith aside, being 6-1 in the NFL takes talent and skill… or maybe it was predestined all along. 🙂

  6. Todd Huster

    I’m glad you asked. I’ve been waiting for just such an opportunity to express my opinion. Tebow is a sort of singularity of sports narratives: popular and successful college player, unconventional, underdog, “just wins”, seemingly mystical success, outspoken about his faith. He’s kind of like the Miami Heat in that regard: the narrative is so obvious and requires such little imagination that the natural human reaction is opposition. Who wants to be obvious? The majority of the talk about him is how he won’t fulfill the “expectations”, which is funny because the expectation is clearly tht he will fail.

    The funny thing is that while he’s been terrible as a passer and he’s benefitted from a lot of luck and defense, he’s nearly approaching acceptable quarterback status. His ability to run has helped his RB’s and he clearly a better passer than your typical wildcat QB. It will be difficult for him to have a long career with his playing style, but he could be an average QB or so for a couple years.

    1. timgombis

      That’s one of the funny things, Todd. He just keeps winning and so many commentators keep criticizing him for the reason that it won’t last forever. So what!? How is that a criticism!? And isn’t it undermined by the fact that he just does keep winning, even if in ugly fashion?

  7. Nate Archer

    Plenty of players take a knee after a touchdown or point to the sky and no one bats an eye. Reggie White was the “Minister of Defense” and he was respected. I wonder how much of the hatred for Tebow stems from being blackballed because of his Focus on the Family Super Bowl commercial?

    1. timgombis

      It’s a good question to ask if that’s the source, but I’m not sure there’s “hatred” or that he’s being “blackballed.” He’s doing pretty well as an ad-man and I bet his jersey is selling really well. But it is indeed true that there’s no shortage of comment and opinion!

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