|Posted on October 3, 2012 at 2:10 PM|
Why the world needs a few more Tim Tebows
First let me start by saying I didn’t follow Tim Tebow while he played at the University of Florida. I’m not a New York Jet’s fan. As a matter of fact, you could say I despise the Jets, being born and raised in New England. I actually hope Sanchez plays all year so big mouthed Rex Ryan loses his job.
For the most part I’ve stayed away from the Tebow hype. But then I got to thinking...and came to the conclusion that regardless of whether you love him or hate him – The world could simply use more people like him.
Now you’re probably thinking “Oh boy, here comes the preacher coming to tell me I need to confess all my sins and turn myself over to a higher power.” Well, not quite. I won’t lie; I admire Tebow’s dedication to his faith but that’s not what prompted me to write this blog. And based on the fact that Tebow is averaging about five plays a game with the Jets this year, this blog certainly isn’t making a claim to have Tebow start at QB.
So then…Why does the world need a few more Tim Tebows?
In 2012 we’re perhaps witnessing the erosion of every major belief system known to mankind. In my humble opinion very few people are willing to stand up for anything this day and age. We’re even teaching young kids in school to tattle on the bully rather than confront them.
Why don’t people stand up for anything these days? Is it because we’re so caught up worried about offending people? Or maybe we’re too busy texting? Some may simply be playing Angry Birds?
Yet there is one man who no one can question when it comes to what he stands for - Hint. Hint. It’s Tim Tebow.
Regardless of whether you believe in God, The Devil, Scientology, The Stars, Absolutely nothing or a smorgasbord of all of the above, you simply have to respect the man’s unwavering commitment to what he believes in. The mainstream media, many of which adhere to the “Absolutely Nothing” category, have blasted “The Tebow” prayer since his early days at Florida. Many have asked, “Is it a publicity stunt?” Others have suggested he should get fined. Yet he hasn’t changed a thing. Good for him.
You only need a few minutes watching Tebow to understand what he’s all about. And I don’t know about you, but to me that’s damn refreshing.
In my new book, Grown Men Don’t Cry, the two main characters Ben Chase and Jimmy Keller go through life trying to discover their true purpose. Each battles his own inner demons and eventually hits rock bottom. Only their unbreakable friendship and will to overcome keep them going. You could say Tebow’s unbreakable will and perhaps his purpose formed in the womb.
While his parents served as missionaries in the Phillipines, his mom Pamela became pregnant. In the middle of her pregnancy she suffered a life-threatening infection and went into a coma. Because of the drugs used to rouse her from her coma and treat her infection, doctors predicted that unborn Tim would become a stillbirth. To save Pamela’s life doctors strongly encouraged an abortion, but due to her Christian faith she refused. Miraculously Tim was born perfectly healthy.
Flash forward...Years later during his junior year at Nease High School in Florida Tebow shined on the football field. Late in the season he suffered an injury to his right leg late in the first half of a game. Originally believed to be a bad cramp, he actually played the entire second half with a broken fibula, at one point even rushing for a 29 yard touchdown. After the game, when the extent of the injury was confirmed, he missed the remainder of his junior season. Despite being out, he was still named Florida’s Player of the Year.
In 2007, Tebow’s first full year starting as Florida’s QB, he finished the regular season with the second highest passing efficiency rating in the nation with 177.8 (Yes, Tim Tebow).
Additionally, he averaged 4.3 yards per carry on the ground. The team finished 9-4 in the regular season and lost by six points to Michigan in the Capital One Bowl. All four of their losses came against Top 20 teams, with two against the AP’s Top 2 (LSU – National Champion and Georgia # 2). Three of their four losses were decided by less than a touchdown.
Oh, did I mention he won the Heisman Trophy? Sounds like a pretty good year, huh?
Not so fast. Before the 2007 season had even come to a close, Florida coach Urban Meyer stated that he would likely use two quarterbacks during the 2008 season to “take some of the workload off of Tebow's shoulders.”
Can you imagine winning the MVP for all of college football and then your coach suggests you might split time? How would you handle that? Tebow didn’t flinch. Actually, he simply went on to win the National Championship the following year with a 12-1 record by beating then #1 Oklahoma in the title game 24-14.
Speaking of being comfortable in your own skin and standing by your beliefs, Tebow was nominated for the 2008 Play Preseason All-American Team but had his name pulled because it conflicted with his Christian beliefs. For show? I doubt it.
He opted to stay in college one more year setting just about every record in Gator History. This time he finished third in the Heisman Voting. However, NFL analyst Mel Kiper (who I normally agree with) believed Tebow did not have the intangibles to play quarterback in the NFL. "I don't think he can be a full time quarterback. I don't think he can be the quarterback of the future for you, but I do think in the third round, maybe the second round, he'll be the same as Pat White,” said Kiper.
How many of you have heard of Pat White? Enough said.
Tebow said of his critics, "I just have a passion to play football. When you do things different than other people sometimes do them, and you don't settle for just being average, you open yourself up for criticism. But, I'm ready for it. I've learned to live with it. I never just wanted to do things the same way everybody else does.”
That’s what you call conviction! I love it.
Kind of like when Jimmy Keller confronts a hostile group of heartless parents while defending his fellow teammate in Grown Men Don’t Cry. I think Tebow would be proud.
Hey Mel, did you happen to see the Broncos/Steelers playoff game? You know, where Tebow threw for 300+ in a win against the Steelers?
Recently I was introduced to one of the most powerful quotes I’ve ever seen. And it came from an unlikely source, actor Will Smith. Yes, Will Smith from Men In Black. That’s him.
Listen up folks. This may be the only time you hear me compliment the soulless in Hollywood.
Will Smith is different. A guy who grew up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in West Philadelphia, his family had to scratch and claw for every meal. Now he’s almost worth a billion dollars, but somehow he’s remained true to his beliefs and continues to stay humble.
“It’s very simple. This is what I believe and I’m willing to die for it. That’s it.”
Wow! How awesome is that?
Another quote from him - “The only thing that is distinctly different about me is that I’m not afraid to die on a treadmill. You have more talent than me, you might be smarter than me, but if we get on a treadmill one of two things is going to happen. You’re going to get off or I’m going to die. It’s really that simple.”
Can I tattoo that on my forehead? If America adopted this mantra we would be in a much better place today! My only regret is that I just found out about these quotes a few months back.
I would be shocked if one in a hundred of you reading this blog have ever seen these quotes. Yet on YouTube when Will Smith confronted a male reporter for trying to kiss him on the lips, that gets 8,970,410 views. Yes he slapped the loser. Most guys I know would have superman punched that guy. Smith gave him a love tap. No pun intended.
How many viewed Smith’s interviews with those remarkable quotes? A measly 81,406 views. Some of the best advice anyone could ask for and it gets 1% of the views of the “bitch slap.” Call me crazy but that just about sums up the state of the world doesn’t it?
So back to Tebow. The guy probably has just as many haters as he does followers, certainly more if you travel above the "Bible Belt." If he wanted to take the path of least resistance he’d move to Tight End and start on most teams. Maybe even fullback. He’d also take much less flack if he just dropped the “Hail to Jesus” stuff.
But like Will Smith, I’ll bet Tebow would rather die than pretend to be someone he’s not. If only there were a few more people like that in the world, who stand for something they believe in and never waiver. I for one would be proud.
B.W. DeCaro, Author– Grown Men Don’t Cry
Visit me @ www.bwdecaro.com
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