Tebow Loves Jesus Christ, and What's Wrong With That?

Furman Bisher

Furman Bisher

Somewhere the other day, I read this: "Tim Tebow's love of Jesus Christ makes people nervous." Hm-m-m-m, think that over for a minute.

In wartime, for instance, would you rather be in a foxhole with a soldier who loves Jesus Christ, or a heathen? You think "tough," don't you? And loving Jesus Christ suggests "soft," doesn't it? In the long run, it makes no difference, it's just that Tebow has gone "public" with his faith. Pray, if you will, but keep it to yourself, so to speak.

Truth is, Tebow has worn his faith "on his sleeve," so to speak, long before he arrived in the NFL. He suggested a prayer among college prospects while they gathered for the NFL draft, and some were inhibited. He isn't a missionary carrying his faith into the NFL, as if on a mission. Maybe it's because of his openness, which to some indicates that he's working an inside pipeline to heaven.

It's sort of like tobacco smoking in some ways. Your faith is OK if you keep it private. How many times, by the way, have you see players from two football teams kneel in prayer together after a bruising, hard-hitting game? It always gives my spirits a lift when I see it, one minute trying to knock the other guy's head off, then on your knees, holding his hand in prayer.

Tim Tebow is unorthodox in many ways, including his playing style and his lifestyle. He's a quarterback more effective as a runner than a passer. He has the physique of a tight end and he'll stick his head in places most traditional quarterbacks wouldn't dare. And his kind of play has the Denver Broncos on a streak. Once, I've read his manner didn't warm John Elway's heart, but the quarterback who preceded him when Dan Reeves coached the Broncos has warmed up to him.

In Denver some have fans have come to endorse him as the "Mile High Messiah." None of his Bronco teammates are incensed, so I've read. Perhaps he has become accepted as a "divine intervention." And as I come to my conclusion, I wonder how it might have been for Billy Sunday, the outfielder who turned evangelist after eight seasons in the National League in the primitive days of major league baseball. And I leave it at that.

Furman Bisher is one of the deans of American sports writing.