September 2, 2014

Tebow critics need to look in the mirror

By Jeff Patrus
News Editor | news@oscodaherald.com
Posted 1/11/12

Everyone seems to have an opinion about Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow these days. Many journalists have written about his unconventional style of play, and his outward expressions of his Christian faith.

It is the latter topic that seems to have many people talking. Tebow’s practice of kneeling down to pray has often been described as polarizing, which is a term I disagree with and frankly don’t understand. Some journalists have taken to writing smart-aleck comments about Tebow and his faith in an attempt to convince other people that they’re hip and cutting-edge. In reality, their sarcasm masks their insecurity about religious faith and its importance to many people.

Even though Tebow is very open about his faith, I truly don’t believe that he’s pushing it on anyone. I think there’s a difference between being passionate about your beliefs and forcing them on others, and for the most part, I don’t think Tebow crosses that line.

I can think of one exception to the above statement. As quarterback at the University of Florida, Tebow would paint Bible verses on the eye black that he wore for games. In that case, I can see where that would rub people the wrong way. Football, in my view, is the ultimate team game, and everyone on the team should follow the same rules when it comes to uniforms and on-the-field play.

Besides that, I don’t see what the uproar is about. From all that I have heard about the man, he is the real deal as a person. He sincerely tries to live his faith to the best of his ability, doesn’t pass judgment on others, has dealt with the intense media spotlight placed upon him in a professional manner, and is very generous with his time in working with charitable organizations and visiting with sick children.

One example of those efforts came during a feature on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown” pregame show, where a young boy who is battling leukemia talked about how Tebow is an inspiration to him, and how Tebow arranged for the boy and his family to be his guests at the Broncos’ recent home game against the Kansas City Chiefs. The man seems to take being a role model very seriously, and that should be commended.

It is hard to figure out what people want sometimes. On one hand, they criticize someone like Terrell Owens, and rightly so, for acting self-centered. On the other hand, they criticize Tebow, who by all accounts does the right things in life, simply because his viewpoints don’t mesh with theirs. I can see where people would criticize the amount of press Tebow gets, but that’s ultimately the media’s problem, not Tebow’s.

If you want to criticize Tebow because he doesn’t put up gaudy passing numbers like other National Football League quarterbacks (the Lions’ Matthew Stafford, for one), or because you don’t think the Broncos can win a Super Bowl with him as their quarterback, that’s cool. Those questions are certainly warranted.

However, when it comes to his personal beliefs, leave the man alone. He’s not infringing on others’ beliefs, so those people who spend their time criticizing him endlessly might be better off looking in the mirror and seeing what they can do to improve their own lives.

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