Has Tebow Gone Too Far?


Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

In the world of football, one name has gained increasing popularity. He’s a former University of Florida quarterback, Heisman winner, and was the Denver Broncos quarterback until just recently. He led his team to six second-half comebacks after replacing Kyle Orton, as well as a win over the Steelers during Wild Card Weekend of the playoffs. And, he is extremely open about his faith. Who is he? Tim Tebow.

The terms “Tebow Time” and “Tebowing” have swept the nation after Tebow completed the improbable. Tebow brought a 1-4 team to the playoffs and opened their playoff run with a win over the Steelers. Critics have deemed “Tebow Time” to be during the fourth quarter when the Broncos are losing to their opponent. Tebow will usually then lead a game-tying/winning drive and give his Broncos the victory. “Tebowing” is, simply put, when you kneel and bow your head, something you will see Tebow do while praying on the sidelines. But, is there such a thing as being too open about your faith in sports?

“I think God wants you to be a winner in life, and that spills over into athletics,” said Rev. Jerry Falwell, in an interview Robert Lipstye, a well-known sports journalist. “If kicking butts is part of it, that’s part of it. Jesus was no sissy. If he played football, you’d be slow getting up after he tackled you.”

And who says you can’t be open about your faith in sports? There is no law against it. In reality, there is an amendment stating that Americans have freedom in our religion and speech. And besides, isn’t it better to have an athlete passionate about their faith rather than an athlete entangled in a world of drugs, alcohol, fighting, guns, and murder?

Not everyone is as understanding about religion in sports. “Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer said he likes Tebow but would like him a lot more if he would quit reminding everybody how much he loves Jesus Christ,” from Arnie Stapleton’s article Tebow Mixes Faith and Football with No Apologies.

It’s not that many people completely oppose the mixing of sports and religion; they just believe that Tebow has gone overboard. Almost every interview, press conference, or shot of him on the sideline is a reminder of his faith. And for those fans who don’t practice a religion or aren’t as devout, it can get old. So, is there a point where one can go too far?

In all honesty, if someone’s openness with their faith bothers you, just tune it out. The people frustrated by Tebow and other Christian athletes need to place their complaints elsewhere. The First Amendment clearly gives us the freedom of religion and also speech, meaning we have the right to speak of our religion. And look at how far Tebow has come. He is an NFL quarterback who took his team to the playoffs. The least he could do is thank God for helping get him this far.