Peptalks and Prayer

Ever wonder why players can’t keep their mouths shut? Me neither. But let’s think about this for a moment.  Why should they? They are human beings with a life of their own. Everyone has the freedom to express themselves…and the right to bear arms but that’s a different story.

The challenge for me this week has been keeping my mouth shut. Sometimes the best thing we can do is keep our opinions to ourselves and wait for the appropriate time to arise. Take Tim Tebow for example.  I know, I know. It pains me to discuss this, but I feel it valid.

Religion is a topic that I am well versed in. I was raised Christian, went to church school and attended both Christian and public colleges, so I can pretty much argue both sides of the Tebow argument. Lets start with the obvious. Is religion/Christianity appropriate for the football field? I think the bigger question to ask should be this: Is religious expression wanted on a nationally televised sporting event? I think the general consensus in no. Otherwise why would “tebowing” be such a fad right now?  Seems to me the more opposed something is, the more publicity it gets. So how is Tebow any different?

He has grown to represent something I think we as a society shun, for many good and bad reasons. Expressions of faith.  Football is a manly sport. Full contact. Brutal hits. Sissy yellow flags.  It builds teamwork, character, strengths, and ego’s.  It’s not a place of hand holding and prayer. Or is it? NASCAR is the only sport I’m aware of, correct me if I’m wrong, where they will televise the prayer given before each race.  Are we as a society so afraid of religion? Listen people, it might not be in our public schools or our pledge of allegiance anymore, but I’m pretty sure it’s still on our coins and dollar bills. That’s what I appreciate about Tebow. He seems to not be afraid of his religious convictions.  He has drawn our attention to it.

Lest we not forget. Football has its religious undertones. Players gather before and after games to have prayer together. Have you seen that more? I have. They take a knee when a player is injured and celebrate in the end zone when a score is made.  So lets not let us get our panties tangled because we have a QB that has ridden the religious train to sports page headlines.That, if anything, is what I have grown to admire about the Tebow phenomenon.  Not the man himself, but that for now, it seems he is letting his actions speak louder than his words; and no I’m not talking about his QB skills. He hasn’t addressed the criticism and backlash from the public nor has he, to my knowledge, given any glory and thanks to anyone else except God.  He’s keeping his mouth shut, or is at least aware when the mic is on, hey Charles Barkley?

The guy is a talented running back who fits into a QB position (Michael Vick) and who is in desperate need of new throwing mechanics. I do not think they will make it pass Brady and the Pats, but that is because I think Brady is a better seasoned and qualified QB. Big Ben was too, but injury and luck hampered that game. Football isn’t just stats and playbooks. It’s a lot of luck, good athletes, some prayer and chance. So I’ll be watching Tebow this weekend, but more to see how he handles himself, not if he can pull off some 4th quarter “miracle”.