Taking The Sacrament That Is Tebow

Steve Murray
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Wednesday - December 06, 2011
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Denver quarterback Tim Tebow prays with teammates and members of the San Diego Chargers Nov. 27 after the Broncos overtime win. AP / Lenny Ignelzi photo

I learned something about myself recently. I hate Tim Tebow because he is a Christian. It’s much the same reason why LeBron James makes me so angry. I loved how he turned an otherwise boring free agent period into a self-aggrandizing media event as much as seeing Jim Gray and ESPN spread the love butter over the king’s regal thighs. I just couldn’t handle him not being a Cavalier.

Thanks for the lesson. I’ve never said anything bad about Tebow other than he’s overrated, is another example of Denver’s bizarre draft history and that he started for no better reason than to maintain fan interest in a floundering franchise. But that’s enough. I am evil. I have sinned. But along the way I’ve discovered something: that the key to his success is not about work ethic or a stingy defense, but something more divine.

It should come as no surprise that God is in Tebow’s corner. For decades the big guy with the extended reach has been determining the outcome of sporting contests. It’s a likely reason why HPD didn’t pursue an investigation into the alleged points-shaving at UH. Heaven is out of the department’s jurisdiction.

Jesus told his followers to love their enemies, and Tebow prayed with the Chargers. It’s nearly the same thing except the NFL is tougher. The Ten Commandments give a little leeway, NFL merchandising rules do not.

Even with all this heavenly help, the pressure on Tebow is immense. Being God’s ambassador to the NFL isn’t easy. Temptation is all around, and evil in the guise of Bill Belichick is just waiting to pounce.

But doubters repent. Tebow is getting it done. Since being named the starter, the patron saint of Gainesville has gone 5-1 (at press time). He may not come within a stone’s throw of Goliath’s eye, but he’s winning and that’s all that matters. Plus, he’s helping redefine what it means to be an NFL quarterback.

The gospel according to Curly Lambeau is explicit: A running quarterback can’t win in the NFL. Some have tried, only to come close and fail. An option quarterback would just get killed. It’s why no one has ever tried it, and why Denver’s attempt to win games with a 100-yearold offense is so interesting it’s like watching an old Mustang go down the track. You know modern engine design makes the trusty fastback a big underdog, but you just hope it can make it to the finish line before the engine blows. Even if it doesn’t win, it can upset many along the way. And that’s almost as much fun.

In the Nov. 28 issue of Sports Illustrated, Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said about facing Tebow and the Broncos, “They (are) running that college sh—, that zone sh-, quarterback’s gonna hold it sh—. Man, we practiced that sh-all week.”

And they lost. Any victory over the Raiders is worth celebrating for Bronco faithful, but to do so while causing so much aggravation is just icing on the cake. Or as Denver running back said in the same article, “Everybody always says you win football games by playing defense and running the ball, and that’s what we are doing now. I don’t see why people want to make it into a negative.”

I can think of one person cue Dana Carvey’s church lady Satan!

On a different note.

In the years I’ve worked at MidWeek, I’ve had the opportunity to interview more than my share of interesting people Bill Cosby, Little Richard, Adm. Timothy Keating who as in the Pentagon during 9/11. But spending time with the veterans of the 442, 100 and Military Intelligence Service was truly special and gave me a new appreciation for the term “hero.” If you’ve made it this far without reading the cover story, I urge you to turn back. Not because I wrote it, but because these men deserve the recognition, and the convictions they speak of, and what drove them to secure the freedom of others while their own was being trampled, are as necessary today as they were then. In this Dec. 7 issue of MidWeek, you’ll read several appreciative reflections of those lost at Pearl Harbor, our nation’s veterans and those currently in service. Better yet, you can attend the parade in their honor or stop by the 442 Veterans Club on Wiliwili Street just to say thanks. You will be glad you did.

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