This year, the National Football League and the American media were obsessed with Tim Tebow, the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos. The term “Tebowmania” quickly became part of American vocabulary.
For those of you who don’t know, Tebow is also an evangelical Christian who publicly shares his beliefs both on and off the field.
During every post-game interview, Tebow thanks Jesus first and foremost, then continues with questions. After touchdowns that he’s involved with, Tebow gets down on one knee, rests his head on his fist, and prays. “Tebowing” is now a thing people do at random times of success, both in mockery and admiration. My intramural basketball team even picked it up.
Truth is, I’m not a fan of Tebow. Never have been.
Even when he was in college at the University of Florida I learned to cheer against him. Tebow would paint biblical references (John 3:16 being one of them) on his eye black. After a 2009 Florida loss in the SEC championship game, Tebow cried on the sidelines and during the interview afterwards. Meanwhile, my basement was full of high school laughter. At him specifically.
This year, my disgust towards “Tebowmania” hit an all-time high when fans began to attribute his success, and through that the Broncos’, to God.
I’ll admit, Tebow has racked up some serious stats this season. He threw for 316 yards in an overtime playoff victory over favorited Pittsburgh, averaging 31.6 yards per completion … as in John 3:16.
Coincidence? I think yes.
The idea that God would interfere with a sports game is ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that Tebow is a devout Christian and well-intentioned with his actions. I just think God has better things to do than worry about the snap of a football.
If God would rather ensure a Denver victory because their quarterback is an outspoken Christan than prevent starvation, rape, murder, slavery, racism and a whole other slew of atrocities, is He/She truly worth worshipping?
Let’s imagine for a second that God does favor Tebow and the Broncos. What does that imply about their recent playoff loss to New England? Did Tebow finally do something to offend his Lord and Savior?
As a good friend of mine, who calls himself “a concerned Tebow supporter,” said, “If God does play a hand in sports, Tebow must have paid for a prostitute the night before they played New England.”
Although it was meant purely as a joke, his comment brings to light some important questions.
How, if at all, does God reward those who show public displays of faith? Why does God interfere in daily life? Does God interfere at all?
These questions have no easy answer, but the question as to whether or not God supports one sports team over another does.
Then again, I’m a Kansas City Chiefs fan; the Broncos are our fierce rivals. Perhaps I’m just bitter because we’re no good.