Photograph by Jeffrey Beall

I admit it — I’m a fan. I’ve been a Denver Bronco fan since my college days. At the time my parents lived in Denver, and I spent summers with them — the time of Spring Training. Honestly, you couldn’t watch a news show without a blow-by-blow report on Broncos happenings, and before I knew it, I was hooked. Never mind that they weren’t much more than a break-even team. But then, along came a player named John Elway, and things changed. But what does all this have to do with Tebowing? For that matter, what is Tebowing?

Tim Tibow was the Denver Broncos’ 2010 first round draft pick, taken number 25 over all. In spite of the fact that Tim won the 2007 Heisman Trophy — the only sophomore at the time to do so — and led his college team, the Florida Gators to two National Championships, his selection was controversial. In fact, Tim is controversial.

His introduction to controversy came when he was in high school. As a homeschooler, he was allowed by Florida law, to play for a school in his district. When the school he first played for would not put him at quarterback, he and his mom moved, so he could be near a school of his choice. He went on to be named Florida Player of the Year in both his junior and senior year. Nevertheless critics complained that homeschoolers had an unfair advantage over others who weren’t free to choose their school.

In college, Tim stirred another controversy because this son of missionaries incorporated Bible references in the eye black he wore.

In the 2009 BCS Championship Game, he wore John 3:16 on his eye paint, and as a result, 92 million people searched “John 3:16” on Google during or shortly after the game. (“Tim Tebow”)

The following year the NCAA passed the “Tim Tebow Rule,” banning messages on eye paint.

Controversy continued to follow Tim, in part because sports analysts doubted his ability to play quarterback at the professional level. After he was drafted, the controversy spread to his faith.

Tim, you see, was born in the Philippines, the youngest of five children and one who almost didn’t make it into the world. “While pregnant, his mother suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba” (“Tim Tebow”), and doctors recommended she abort her baby (Tim) who they feared would be still-born. She refused, and he lived.

When Tim and his mother shared their story as part of a Focus on the Family commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLIV, he was at the heart of controversy between pro-choice proponents and pro-life advocates.

All this, and I still haven’t explained Tebowing. This adulteration of Tim’s last name came about because of another controversial Tim Tebow activity — he prays, openly, on the field. Mind you, he’s also started interviews with, “First, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” and he answered a reporter’s question about his sex life that he was in fact a virgin, so apparently what people find offensive about Tim Tebow praying, versus all the other athletes that have been caught on camera praying, is that he means it.

Tebowing, however, stems directly from one particular prayer. In Tim’s first start this year with the Denver Broncos, his team won in overtime. As Tim left the field, he dropped to one knee, bowed his head, and in all appearances, offered a prayer of thanks.

A fan and his group of friends imitated the pose that night, taking a picture and posting it on Facebook. Later he started a blog inviting others to share their pictures of Tebowing, defined as “(vb) to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different.”

The next week, however, the Detroit Lions demolished the Broncos. Players and fans alike mocked Tim by taking the posture of prayer he had taken after the Miami game, and Tebowing became as much a joke as a point of honor.

But what a thing to be known for — praying in public. If I hadn’t been a Broncos fan, I still think I would have become a Tim Tebow fan. Here’s a line from the latest Associated Press article about the Broncos’ overtime victory over San Diego last Sunday:

Tim Tebow wasn’t watching as San Diego’s Nick Novak lined up to attempt a 53-yard field goal that would have given the Chargers an overtime victory over the Denver Broncos.

He was praying, of course.

Whatever else people may think of Tim Tebow, they can’t take away the fact that he’s a man who lives out his convictions, even in the face of controversy. Good for Tim. Good for Tebowing. 😀

Published in: on December 1, 2011 at 6:04 pm  Comments (2)  
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  1. I respect Tim Tebow very much, and appreciate his Christian testimony.


  2. It is okay to offer a prayer of thanks. Of course. But to pray for the other guy to miss a field goal? Really? Like God, please come down and cause a wind and make the ball go right. Do you know how ridiculous this sounds. How about feeding some starving praying people.


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