Why are so many people making fun of Tim Tebow?
Nobody who watches football regularly seems to make fun of the guys who do a goofy little dance in the endzone or the fans or wear cheese hats on their heads or paint their faces and bodies in their team’s colors. Is it a big deal that the kid (I call him a kid because if I were in the NFL I would be at retirement age) kneels down and says a prayer in midfield? I guess I don’t see what the big deal is – it seems he’s expressing himself in a way that’s comfortable and familiar to him. We’ve seen other NFL players express themselves in all kinds of different ways -- sometimes those expressions have resulted in poor press, an appearance before a judge and a criminal record.
Many players have charitable organizations or appear on behalf of causes, and we don’t mock them for their beliefs. Over and over again, we’ve seen that it’s not always wise to focus on a professional athlete for a role model – from Charles Barkley to Mike Tyson to Mark McGuire to Pete Rose, they may be great at what they do, but you probably shouldn’t hold them up to your kids as a shining example of how to act. So I guess it's nice to see somebody taking the field who doesn't throw a hissy fit, beat people up, pop steroids or make illegal bets. I know most of these players are not like that, but the most notorious seem to get the most exposure.
Most professional athletes have pre- and post-game traditions, and that often includes praying. Some pray in the locker room or on the sidelines. Some thank their families and God when they are talking to reporters. So why is it suddenly a big deal for Tebow to, well, "Tebow?"
I really don’t think it’s a gimmick or a ploy on his part or a way to get better publicity – I think that’s just how he really is.
He’s taken heat for both his playing and his praying - the playing I can understand, but the praying, not so much.
It takes guts to express your beliefs in a lot of situations – it takes more to do it in front of a packed stadium and a TV audience.
Time has a way of changing things in the sporting world. Injuries, trades, bad luck, personal problems, scandals – they can all turn a stellar or promising career into a has-been or a might-have-been. In 10 years, the name Tebow may be just a footnote in football history or it might signify a legend. But for now, whether he's throwing a Hail Mary or saying one, let the boy play – and let the boy pray.
--By Victoria Stanish, Daily Press Editor