Tim Tebow, Football & Anti-Christian Bias

For football fans and even for some non-football fans, say the name Tim Tebow and you are sure to start a “discussion” that will be anything but mild.  Tebow,perhaps unlike any other athlete in professional sports, engenders strong feelings.  There seems to be no middle ground when it comes to evaluating Tim Tebow — the football player and the person.  From the talking heads on ESPN (see yours truly quoted in an ESPN The Magazine article here), the NFL Network, Fox Sports, CBS Sports, and the local media in Denver, everyone has an opinion about Tim Tebow.  Sadly, many of those opinions are rooted in what can only be explained as anti-Christian bias.

Most “analysts”  try to hide their religious bias when it comes to Tebow, but there are a few who are open (and seemingly proud) of their terribly skewed opinions.  For all the Boomer Esiason’s and Jim Mora, Jr’s., who hide their disdain for Tebow by offering up their daughters in marriage, there are the Jason Whitlock’s of the sports’ world who openly disparage not only Tim Tebow, but anyone foolish enough to even give the young man a chance to fail or succeed on his own.  I guess Tebow would get a fairer shake from Whitlock and others if, as Chris Collinsworth pointed out on a recent edition of Inside the NFL, he was out carousing at all hours of the night instead of spending time doing missions work in Asia.  One can only imagine the break Tebow would get if he was a reformed dog killer!

Fox Sports’ Jason Whitlock, whose claim to fame seems to be as an offensive lineman on Jeff George’s high school football team, recently wrote a scathing article on the Denver Quarterback entitled, “Don’t let Tebow hype fool you.”  Using the word “fool” in his article was appropriate, but not for the reasons that Whitlock might have originally intended.

If Whitlock was trying to hide his religious bias — which he seems to think he is doing — he did about as poor a job as one could imagine.  His opening paragraphs telegraph exactly where the article would head and, it would be all downhill.  Writes Whitlock:

I hope I don’t get struck by lightning or my Tebow-loving, FOXSports.com colleague Jen Engel for writing that.

I’m not for or against Touchdown Timmy. I’m a Kansas City-fed, Show Me State, fence-sitting skeptic when it comes to the religious symbol/Broncos quarterback. You have to show me more than a 4-of-10, 79-yard passing half to get my heart racing about a Tebow Era.

I will not disagree with Whitlock when he says that he is “Kansas City-fed” (apparently quite well-fed by looking at his picture), but his own words which follow clearly contradict his contention of being some type of objective, “fence-siting skeptic” when it comes to Tim Tebow.  Even if that were true (which I don’t believe), I’m not sure there is a fence big enough to hold Mr. Whitlock while he makes up his mind about Tim Tebow.

In the very next paragraph, Whitlock feigns shock at Coach Tony Dungy’s positive words directed at Tim Tebow and his belief that Denver Coach John Fox needed to start the former Florida Gator in their next game in Miami.  But, when Whitlock calls Dungy a “religious zealot” who has caught “Tebow religion” and has “fallen for the hype” surrounding Tebow, then all pretense of impartiality flies out the window.  Tony Dungy maybe many things, including being zealous for his faith (since when is that a bad thing), but to imply that Coach Dungy is a fool for falling for the Tebow thing is clear evidence of an anti-Christian bias on the part of Whitlock.  Can you imagine him writing something similar if the football player in question were a Muslim?  Me neither.

Fools like Whitlock will continue to spout nonsense.  Whether they understand the “Tebow thing” or not, many in the sports’ world will never accept Tim Tebow as an NFL quarterback, no matter what he might do on the football field.  Ronald Reagan once quipped that “facts are stubborn things.”  The facts surrounding Tim Tebow are that he has been a proven winner — with the stats (including passing) to back it up — at every level that he has ever played the game of football.  At the University of Florida, he led his team to two National Championships, the last of which was against a Sam Bradford-led Oklahoma team in the very stadium that Tebow will return to on Sunday.

The Broncos have never beaten the Dolphins in Miami.  On Sunday, they will be led by Tim Tebow, one of the most exciting and successful quarterbacks to ever play at the college level.  I can’t see into the future, but it is often said that the past is one of the best predictors of the future.  If that is the case, then look for Tim Tebow and the 2011 Denver Broncos to do what no other Denver quarterback or team has ever done — win in South Florida.

 

 

 

19 comments for “Tim Tebow, Football & Anti-Christian Bias

  1. October 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Tim Tebow may surprise everyone and be a good quarterback. I believe that he will be like Kurt Warner if that happens, and live to glorify God in his success. I think that if he fails miserably as a quarterback like so many experts say he will, he will still honor God in all he does.

    That’s why I like Tebow. He’s not just a “God helps me succeed” kind of guy.

  2. October 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    Tim Tebow may surprise everyone and be a good quarterback. I believe that he will be like Kurt Warner if that happens, and live to glorify God in his success. I think that if he fails miserably as a quarterback like so many experts say he will, he will still honor God in all he does.

    That’s why I like Tebow. He’s not just a “God helps me succeed” kind of guy.

    • October 21, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      Not sure how I said that twice.

      • October 21, 2011 at 4:26 PM

        Dave,

        It’s the “Tebow Thing.” You just can’t help saying “extra” nice things about him 🙂 You are right in that Tebow will bring honor to God, regardless of the outcome. I do hope he succeeds on the football field and uses his solid play to silence the critics.

  3. BDW
    October 21, 2011 at 5:44 PM

    I’m not a Broncos fan. I’m not a Tebow fan either. I don’t root for Gators even after they graduate. But, I am a Champ Bailey fan. So I’ll probably end up rooting for the Broncos this week.

    I think it would be a huge mistake to pretend like most of the anti-Tebow sentiment out there is driven to any degree by an anti-Christian bias. Yea, Whitlock is a tool. What’s new. He’s always had a controversial tongue.

    And I don’t doubt there are quite a few folks on the message boards and twitter and calling in to radio shows who take shots at Tebows public faith. That’s the nature of the online world we live in. People speak their minds and Christians and non-Christians alike have strong views and often struggle at civility and fail to respect faith.

    Still, there are alot of good football reasons to think Tebow won’t be successful in the NFL. NFL analysts don’t like him because he’s not a traditional QB in any sense. When folks like Colin Cowherd hate on Tebow, it’s not because of an anti-Christian bias. It’s because the ESPN Elite are not fans of running QBs.

    I read Denny Burks blog on Tebow the other day and was left with the impression that Burk sees Tebow as some sort of evangelical football savior – like Tebow is the only Christian playing on Sundays!

    • October 21, 2011 at 7:19 PM

      Aaron,

      Champ Bailey is a pretty special player. Hopefully he will have a great game on Sunday. I don’t think that all of the anti-Tebow stuff can be blamed on anti-Christian bias, but I think that it is a component in more analysts’ opinions than one might think. Tebow has shown at every level that he can win. His stats, most importantly at Florida, show that he can both run AND pass with proficiency. If he falls flat on his face after a season or two, then the talking heads will have been right about him. But, the facts do not support their predictions. Therefore, I believe that there is a subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle (in Whitlock’s case) anti-Christian (or perhaps better stated, Evangelical Christian) bias that informs some of the analysis. That being said, I don’t think that Tebow should be seen as some evangelical football savior. As he said the other day, footbal, in the whole scheme of things, is not really that important. I can’t explain it, but there’s something about Tebow that makes him special. Is his faith a part of that? Absolutely. But, he is on a different level than Kurt Warner (not football wise) and other strong Christians who play. As Champ Bailey himself noted the other night on one of the NFL Network shows, he has not seen anyone like Tebow in all of his years of playing professional football. Hopefully Tebow’s football playing ability will translate on the field on Sunday in Miami and in the following weeks. It will be fun to watch. Have a great weekend and God bless,

      Howell

  4. October 21, 2011 at 10:24 PM

    I think Tim Tebow is a Christian, but that does not make him a statesman for the Country, it’s political character, nor the politics of abortion.
    His pastor was Jerry Vines. Mark Noll and Dan Williams speak to the legacy of Jerry Vines and the likes of Jerry Boykin in the June 6 TNR piece and Williams in his book God’s Own Party.
    There is some virtue in the country that needs to speak against that aspect of Tim’s witness.
    Patrick Nix, former Auburn QB has written a book about David and Goliath. Probably good for an FCA function at your Baptist church.
    With Bill Glas and Johnny Hunt I commend Nix and Tebow for that function.
    For the character of our country there are better.
    Here is a short list
    Randall Balmer

    Wayne Flynt on the Auburn football that shaped Nix
    Taylor Branch, MLKing Pulitzer biographer that most recently wrote scorching article on the NCAA at theatlantic dot com
    Mark Noll
    The Baptist Covenant Movement
    Amy Butler of Calvary Baptist Church, D.C. and her parishioner Rachel Johnson.
    Colin Harris of Mercer University

    • October 24, 2011 at 11:59 AM

      Hey Stephen, your comment is a little difficult to follow (and quite ambiguous in parts). Why do you suppose that Tebow meant to speak to the political, rather than moral, aspect of abortion primarily? Where do you get the idea that “there is some virtue in the country that needs to speak against that aspect of Tim’s witness”? What does this even mean? What virtue? What aspect? If you are claiming we ought not to like Tebow or something to that effect, what objective facts are there to support this?

      • October 26, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        First to Howell and BDW and the other good natured responses to this post. If you click on my name should take you to a light hearted opinion piece at Religiondispatches Dot org I came across today. One of the better pieces to date. Kinda puts the whole Christian defensiveness aspect of the matter in perspective

        Now to Randy Everist:

        There is an ongoing discussion at baptistlife.com forum SBC Trends on Abortion.
        Two things (btw I have mentioned this many times to Adrian Rogers Son David and David Miller as well at SBCImpact) I have to date never seen an SBC–and that goes for Richard Land to Al Mohler to Russ Moore–engage Karen Gorney’s easily googled piece of 2008 “Parsing the Politics of Abortion”.
        You and I remember the Tebow abortion ad in the Superbowl few years ago and his Mom and the Tebow family affiliation with Jerry Vines and FBC jacksonville are not a secret.
        I am proud of Tim Tebow and his Jesus Jock witness. I don’t think that should transpire into a vote changer for some as it seems to do.
        For that you have to do more background reading, beginning with Mark Noll’s June 6 print review of Williams and Dochuk’s new books on GOP and Religious Right, with a focus on SBC and the fundamentalist takeover as part of the puzzle.
        Wayne Flynt of Auburn has a new book Keeping the Faith. He devotes 40 scorching pages to the football program at Auburn. His politics in Alabama and beyond are guided by much more substantive soil than Tebow’s genuine but lite substance on everything from abortion in the political calculus, to I imagine Immigration reform.
        In a nutshell that is what concerns me.
        I’m glad Tebow is saved, sanctified, baptized and on the Road to Glory. I’m for every youth Revival he wants to testify at; and bring Auburn QB Patrick Nix and his new book on David and Goliath as well.
        But in the program lets look at Taylor Branch coverstory on the NCAA, Howell Raines on George Wallace and the Bear; and Hal Crowther in the current issue of Oxford American Magazine; and let Tim’s Mother bring Rachel Held Evans to FBC Jaxville for youth retreat for their college bound to study Evolving in MonkeyTown.
        Register at BL.com and we’ll go further from there.

        • October 27, 2011 at 2:25 PM

          I guess I’m simply unsure of the significance of FBC Jax or Jerry Vines as it relates to whether or not anyone should or shouldn’t do anything viz-a-viz Tim Tebow.

          Let me see if I understand your argument correctly:

          For any argument on abortion, it will entail politics.
          Any influence exerted by proponents of this argument should not extend to political action.

          Is this correct? If not, what is your position, exactly? If it is, your first premise is false. Of course, it rationally should follow that if one thinks X is a moral issue of sufficiently great magnitude, then one should seek to legislate for or against it (murder seems to qualify). Your second premise is confusing, if only because “should” can take on so many meanings. Should in order to what? To be rational? To be moral?

          To be honest I think this suffers from the “what are you talking about?” fallacy where an argument is both vague and underdeveloped.

  5. October 26, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    Now here is a twist on this discussion. Ronnie Floyd at the center of Christian Jock Football on a national PBS Documentary. I missed it but the transcript is easily googled. And clicking on my name on this post gives you a good intro to the concerns at hand by a fellow blogger.

  6. Sam Morgan
    October 27, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Have you seen “Tebowing.com”? Some good-natured tributes. Thanks for your blog, I wish I had discovered it earlier!

    • October 27, 2011 at 11:24 PM

      Sam,

      Thanks for the comment. I’m glad that you discovered my blog. I have seen the new “Tebowing.com” site. I think it is hilarious and I would assume that Tim would take it in stride and have a good laugh about it. Let’s just hope that Tim Tebow has the last laugh after Sunday’s game against the Lions. That would be sweet. Thanks again for stopping by. God bless,

      Howell

  7. Milton Robins
    October 28, 2011 at 10:56 AM

    While Tebow’s achievements off the field will, in my opinion, outweigh anything that he could ever accomplish on the field, I have to say my biggest gripe with Tebow is football-related.

    His mechanics are bad and he can’t read a defense.

    There’s no question that he adds an element to that Denver Broncos football team, but I’m still dubious about whether he can be successful at the pro level as an NFL QB.

  8. Stephen Fox
    November 1, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Everist: Check the SBC Trends of baptistlife.com/forums. Lot of room for you to explore the politics of abortion there and what SBC Peace Committee Charles Pickering, how he is making national news in Mississippi.

    And Sam thanks for the Tebowing site. I plan to check in on it

  9. Milton Robins
    November 3, 2011 at 10:55 AM
  10. Sam Morgan
    November 3, 2011 at 5:30 PM

    Good link from Milton…Each person’s reaction to Tebow is an opportunity to look at themselves and see who they really are or where they truly stand. Without trying, he’s forcing people to confront their individual beliefs (Good or bad). I don’t really watch sports, but Pastor Howell Scott has inspired me to follow this guy’s story. I might even post a “Tebowing” picture! 🙂
    Sam

  11. Johnny Action
    December 11, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    The truth is Tim Tebow has raised the standard for all men. Like him or not, women swoon over him, and he treats everyone kind. As Howell pointed out, the bias media won’t give him the coverage like they do a dog killer, or a womanizer, but it’s fine with Tebow, he looks to a much greater power.

    People don’t like it when they see faith in action. Tim’s faith speaks loudly, and most women I know find him attractive, especially in his faith and actions. Most men are capable of his faith; maybe, just maybe the Tebow standard will improve our entire nation.

  12. James David
    October 4, 2015 at 8:22 AM

    NFL,NBA, MBL Owner are illuminati they have all Sold their Soul to the Devil, just like 98% of the Player’s. Tim Tebow needs to walk away and take advantage of his fame and share Gospel with young Athletes. He also need to be careful who he adversities with. Most of the owners of Big companies are illuminati.

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