My goodness, the Grey Lady is bitter toward Tim Tebow.

I’m not the world’s biggest Tim Tebow fan. His faith is great, but I’m of the opinion that it’s more “par for the course,” and I don’t think it healthy to swoon over someone for simply doing what they ought to be doing. Makes that which is simply right seem extraordinary. If you’re impressed, join him in witnessing to the joy that is in you on account of your faith.

Seems to me that those who don’t care for his religiosity ought to just leave him be—especially those who preach tolerance as the Most Important Virtue and castigate Christians for daring to think some behaviors are wrong (i.e., “being intolerant” of those behaviors).

I’m ambivalent toward his football career. He’s a running quarterback with a flair for the dramatic deep ball, zero accuracy under 15 yards, and a looooong windup that makes him look more like a Major League Baseball pitcher than an NFL quarterback (where have you gone, Dan Marino?). I predict Tebow will have a serious sophomore slump when teams start copying what the Pats did, and he’ll lose the starting job as soon as someone with accuracy comes along. So that’s where I stand on Tebow.

But wow, New York Times, tell us what you really think about religious people and what’s going on with Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos.

You massively misunderstand both in this piece, but sound like one of those know-it-all bitter old spinsters jealous of others’ grandkids.

The Times‘s Harvey Araton condescended to share his thoughts on Tim Tebow’s demeanor and behavior after the Broncos’ bad loss at New England on Saturday. A few examples:

Tebow had been, to Araton’s mind, unduly upbeat during the post-game press conference. He mentioned the name of God once or twice with a thanks and/or praise, and actually said that overall it hadn’t been a bad day. A little while later Tebow came out to meet up with a young man who lives in the Boston area and who had been permanently disabled due to a head injury sustained while playing high school football. The boy and his family were in attendance, presumably at Tebow’s invitation.

Araton reports:

Soon they were all praying together, while a protective cocoon of Tebow’s people formed around the pair, becoming huffy when a couple of reporters stopped to observe.

“Private family time,” one said, which was strange, because the scene was a hard-to-miss public spectacle, like so much of the Tebowing phenomenon, and it lasted considerably longer than any Denver drive.

Take that, Tebow… you’re praying longer than you played football. So nyeh.

“Becoming huffy” sounds like a better description of Araton’s last bit than of a family friend saying, “please move along, no reporters, private family time.” But how dare anyone ask a NEW YORK TIMES reporter to leave something alone?

And Harvey? A couple of people huddled for prayer in an interior corridor of a professional football stadium is a bit less than a “public spectacle,” your discomfort with prayer and demand that all respect your exalted position notwithstanding.

Moving along…

A while earlier, John Elway had walked past the scrum, seemingly paying it no mind on his way to the bus in a long camel coat, a cellphone pressed to his ear. And at that moment, you had to wonder if Elway, the Denver vice president and most famous Bronco of all, really believed — if he ever did — that Tebow could ever be the unquestioned quarterback of an N.F.L. title contender.

Um, Harvey? This.

Yeah. That smarts, eh?

Next up…

While Tebow has made his priorities clear that his faith comes first, Elway’s job demands that Tebow be the analytical secularist and stick to the science of football.

Because the two are mutually exclusive, or something.

Elway’s job demands that Tebow be the best quarterback he can be for as long as Tebow is the Broncos’ starting quarterback. How long Tebow is the Broncos’ starting QB depends on the coach and management of the team, as well as Tebow’s decision to continue playing or retire. If either decides that it’s not working out, well, that one has the prerogative to end it. If Tebow’s faith and charity work prevent him from being the right guy for the job, then the coach and management can go another route—Tebow clearly wouldn’t be devastated considering his order of priorities. Tebow didn’t make himself the starter: John Fox and John Elway did, and Elway has elected to endorse that decision for the time being. Business as usual, really.


On the matter of Tebow’s future as a starting quarterback, Elway has to play God. But even he may be hamstrung by the sheer magnitude of what Tebow has become in rescuing the Broncos from near oblivion earlier this season and driving them into the playoffs and past the Steelers on wild-card weekend.

Plenty of players in many sports have a short period of great success and then fall back to earth. Hard. Plenty of very successful college QBs get NFL starting gigs and fizzle out. Perhaps Tebow will be another. Time will tell. If the Broncos lose their firs seven games next year and it is demonstrably Tebow’s fault, you can be sure the fans will be calling for his head and Elway will have plenty of football reasons to make a change. But while the guy is being unconventionally successful there is no football reason to make the change.

And then on his frequent invocations of God, Harvey shares:

He comes off as exceedingly earnest and sincere, though his religious invocations can have the same repetitive effect of those uttered during a Miss America pageant.

What, cause you to roll your eyes before you mock and deride the one who has faith and is comfortable in it? Perhaps that says more about you than it does about him. I’ll bet Tebow would be happy to smile and pray for you, Harvey. Probably resolved to when he saw your silly article.

Being uncomfortable with them doesn’t make one a hater or a heathen, just one of many who wonder if there is an appropriate time and place and if the football environment doesn’t always have to be one of them. Maybe as part of the growth process, Tebow will figure that out.

You trying to justify yourself now, Harvey? “Iiiii’m not a heathen; Heeeeee’s the one being in appropriate.”

And, Harv, life is the appropriate time and place to give thanks and praise to the One who made it all possible (no, I don’t mean your agent). Contra the shirt so many high school and college athletes wear, football is not life. If Tebow chooses to thank God for the good things in his life with some frequency, and if that seriously discomfits you, get another beat and let someone else cover Tebow. Otherwise, try some of that tolerance you insist Christians don’t exercise toward others.

Besides, It’s not like Tebow is sneeringly telling anyone that the way he chooses to live his life is seriously weird and he should stop it. That would be intolerant. Am I right, Harvey?

Anyhow, one last biting bit…

As he always does, he thanked his teammates for their support and effort immediately after praising God. But one was left to surmise that he, the Broncos’ purported leader, should have been with them late Saturday night instead of in the corridor tending to his personal business, no matter how giving it was.

There are times when duty to team has to come first. Surely one of them is in the wake of lopsided and season-ending defeat.

Hey Harvey— You attend to your business, and let Tebow and the Broncos attend to theirs. Tebow was the only reason the team recovered from their early season doldrums and got as far as it did, and it certainly was not solely his fault that they got shredded in New England. So unless you think he ought to have been on the bus leading the guys in prayer [cue eye roll] I’m not exactly sure what you expect Tebow would have done on that bus for the span of time he spent praying with a kid who probably will never forget that special moment of his life when one of the biggest names in sports, and a genuinely nice, good person, took time out of a very important and difficult evening to pause and truly care for him.

I think Harvey could learn a thing or two about how to treat people and what is really important from observing Tebow rather than the other way around. If, that is, Harvey could get over his own navel.



  • Jesi

    I love Tebow. Wanna know why? because at 28 years old all I’m asking for is a man that can publicly admit he loves my Savior! Tebow does exactly that! and if public praying is bad then I’m in big trouble….This weekend I PUBLICLY prayed with over 1,000 other people and at a Luis Pulau festival once I prayed with over 10,000 other people…..I love Jesus and am not afraid to tell anyone about it or pray with anyone that may need it. I do believe the Bible meant that one should not pray in public JUST so that others see them praying and think good of them. Tebow obviously loves Christ and there is nothing wrong with sharing the love of a man that died for YOU!



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