This wasn’t supposed to happen. Tim Tebow was supposed to “fade into Bolivian”, as famous wordsmith Mike Tyson once said.
Instead, the opposite has occurred. Despite an onslaught of invective, Tim Tebow remains as relevant today as ever before.
In his first series with the Columbia Fireflies, the New York Mets’ Class-A affiliate, Tim Tebow hit a homerun. Twice. Fireflies manager Jose Leger said, “He’s the leader on the team already. He does have the power to play in the big leagues. No doubt about that.”
It’s a safe bet Leger is being overly sanguine about Tebow’s major-league prospects; he went 3 for 13 with five strikeouts and left 13 runners stranded. Nobody expects him to rocket through the Mets’ minor-league system like a young Darryl Strawberry did over 30 years ago (prior to Strawberry’s newfound faith, Tebow would’ve been his antithesis in every way, save for left-handedness).
The broader point is the display of Tebow’s resilience. He attacks everything he does with the same plucky attitude, and yields competent results. Leger also stated, “He outworks anybody that we have out here.”
It’s not an act. Millionaires don’t wake up at obscene hours and partake in a grueling training regimen only to play Single-A baseball in front of dozens of fans as part of some gimmick. That takes determination.
The thing that grates Tebow detractors is he attacks everything with the same level of dedication. In college, he won two national championships and the Heisman Trophy (the first true Sophomore to win it). He became a first-round pick in the NFL draft, and improbably led the Denver Broncos to the playoffs, which culminated in a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Off the field, he’s made time to commentate on college football for ESPN, pursue philanthropic endeavors through his charitable foundation, and pen two New York Times best-sellers – and he isn’t even 30-years-old. If work ethic is a skill, it’s Tebow’s greatest attribute.
Yet he’s still disliked. Skeptics are leery of his spirituality. People have universal disdain for moral hypocrites.
For example, NBA Center and avowed Christian, Dwight Howard, once proclaimed he wanted to “raise the name of God within the league and throughout the world.”
Now Howard allegedly has the same number of baby-mamas as NBA all-star game appearances (eight).
Public trust has been violated by “good guys” countless times. When they see Tebow, they refuse to believe he’s sincere.
But people can breathe easy with Tebow. The overwhelming preponderance of evidence suggests he’s genuine.
In the HBO series “The Night Of”, a meek, doe-eyed college student named Naz gets charged with a murder he didn’t commit. Naz is denied bail and he’s forced to live in the snake pit known as Riker’s Island. Freddy, the alpha male of the prison, takes Naz under his wing and protects him. After Naz is acquitted and scheduled to be released, he asks Freddy why he looked out for him.
Freddy tells him, “These dudes in here…whether they’re in here for selling drugs or murder, they all got one thing in common: if you ask them, every last one say they innocent. But they all got that stink about ’em…That lying stink. But you, you smell like innocence…And the fact that you’re under my wing, it’s like I got something nobody else got…Like I got a unicorn.”
Freddy essentially tells him it’s a sad commentary on humanity if he can’t find the decency to look after a “unicorn.” Well, it’s the same for Tim Tebow.
It’s okay to root for Tebow as he navigates the murky waters of life. He’s not going away any time soon, and that isn’t a bad thing.