Is the Tebowmania over? I hope so.
Denver's recent crushing defeat at the hands of the fired-up New England Patriots should have silenced the "Tebow Craze." We found out again that Tim isn't really the "mile high messiah" that some have made him to be. He is the first to admit his failures, having never bought into the "mania." He wisely didn't have a post-game interview, thus able to avoid stupid questions like, "If you're a Christian, how come you didn't win the game?" Such ignorance prevails by those who have a distorted view of true saving faith. Yes, thankfully, the hype is fading.
However, I couldn't resist doing a follow up piece on Tim after reading "Tebow 3:16," depicting Denver's previous game against the Steelers. The "magic" number 316, in this case, denotes his passing yards in that game, breaking down to 31.6 yards per throw. Quite remarkable, in light of Tim's history of placing "John 3:16" on his eye black during his college days.
Call it coincidence, superstition, or providence, etc. - it sparked interest across the country. I doubt if Tim was as impressed with the stats as were the media. For those not familiar with "John 3:16," this is a Bible verse which states:
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life."
This is the Christian Gospel in a nutshell, which has become Tebow's testimony. It explains the basic reality and purpose of his life, especially in light of his mother's near-abortion decision while Tim was in the womb.
Consequently, his determination to give God thanks, privately and publicly, has become habitual. Not all habits are wrong, especially when they promote integrity and strength of character. He's made a tremendous impact on others, especially young people who are swamped by the negative influence of a decadent society.
Detest the "3:16" or not, you can't argue with this young man's example. Especially, since he's not in it "for the money," nor does he exude an arrogant, holier-than-thou attitude. The critics can only slander his sincerity and the God he serves.
I remember how popular "Forrest Gump" was several years ago. While not embracing all of its content, I thought the movie portrayed well the unusual and refreshing character of this country boy from Alabama. Overcoming early paralysis, Forrest became a runner extraordinaire, saving the day both as a football player, and a war hero in Vietnam; eventually, he became a wealthy shrimp boat captain.
As the village "idiot" or, at best, a simpleton, he stymied his critics. They couldn't fathom his loyalty, integrity and undying love. Gump's pristine character captured the hearts of moviegoers who could only respect and envy such genuine enthusiasm for life. How stimulating, in contrast to the immoral and loveless complexities of our society. But remember, it was just a movie based on a novel - a fictional acting performance.
Tebow, on the other hand, is not "performing." From every indication, he's a real-life, genuine role model. Moreover, he's not a simpleton or idiot, as some would make him. He's true to his convictions, whether popular or not. What you see is what you get. Even so-called religious people can't believe that Tebow is for real. Many professing Christians hide behind their religious facade, hoping never to be exposed. Hypocrites are actors by definition. Tim admits his sinfulness and seeks God's forgiveness. That's not hypocritical, but real humility. Dislike him, if you will, but his example is undeniable.
It's easy to be critical when we don't understand what makes people tick. Could it be that "we're down on, what we're not up on?" Away with the frivolous fanfare called "Tebowmania;" rather, give us a genuine and ongoing epidemic of Tebow-like young people across the nation.
Finnigan is a Howland resident. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.