“Tebowing” and the Man Behind It

November 30, 2011

Political Theory


Without question the most talked about NFL player the past few weeks has been Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.  Tebow has brought the Broncos from a dismal 1-4 record to a respectable 6-5 record today.  However, Tebow is not just in the news for his debatable football play, but the person he is.  Tim Tebow maybe one of the most powerful and followed Christians today in America, and this is why he is such a lightning rod for so many people.

Tim Tebow began his outward proclamation for God during his college career when he would put Bible verses on his eyeblack for games.  This outward sign of religion was met with many critics and detractors.  From then on all his interviews begin with Tebow thanking and praising God for his skill and chances to be quarterback.  Now Tebow is becoming such a big deal he is having verbs named after him.  “Tebowing” is becoming a household verb which many people now know.  “Tebowing” is getting down on one knee and praying during something, for instance a football game.  Tebow is getting made fun of it, but on the other hand there are many other football players who do the same thing.

      “Tebowing”
I think Tim Tebow is such a lightning rod for conversation obviously for his suspect football skills, but his ability to get the job done is second to none.  Also, he is not afraid to say what he thinks and believes which is what so many people hate about him.  After watching Tebow for a couple of years he says what he thinks which I admire.  I also think it is something that Mill would like to see.  As you can see many people make fun of Tebow for what he does and who he is.  However, that doesn’t stop him from saying what he wants to say.  Possibly his most controversial move was when he was in a pro-life commercial during the Super Bowl.  He took immense flak for doing it; but he is talking for what he believes in, which Mill would for sure find as admirable.

I find it interesting that so many people dislike Tim Tebow.  I can see how people think he is speaking of his beliefs from the wrong platform.  People, for the most part, don’t like being told what to think or how to act, which could be the reason why he is such a polarizing figure.  However, undoubtedly John Stuart Mill would be a proud supporter of Tebow and his platform to preach for his beliefs.

I personally enjoy watching Tim Tebow play football and I find him to be a well rounded human being.  I like what he stands for and is a person I believe is genuine and true.  In a time when many athletes are in the news for the wrong reasons it’s nice to see one that is in the news for doing good things.  I do also find it interesting how so many people want to see him fall flat on his face.  It might be because of his subpar ability to play the quarterback position or it could be because they don’t like what he stands for.  Either way what do you think.  Do you think Tebow has the right to speak about God and prayer in such a public forum?  Do you agree with what he says?  How is he leading the Broncos to victories week after week?   Finally, have you seen someone “tebowing” today?

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12 Comments on ““Tebowing” and the Man Behind It”

  1. zekeharris Says:

    This is a great blog post and I am happy that someone was finally able to address Tim Tebow in a positive light. I fully agree that Tim is an average quarterback at best. He is not exceptional at any part of his game, but he wins. And he wins with God on his side. I think thats what gets to people the most. There is nothing specific that the Tebow haters can point out for his winning other than what he publicly states as his faith and belief. I personally love that a man in this day and age is able to express what he believes whether positive or negative through the media without curtailing it to outside views. Mill would commend Tim Tebow for his use of his rights to freedom of expression. We all have the right to express our beliefs, I just think many people are afraid to because of societal views on what is acceptable in our culture. I believe in everything Tebow is saying and sometimes bad publicity is good publicity. He is getting God talked about at the dinner table and media where it normally wouldnt. Sadly I have not seen any “Tebowing” today, but there’s always time.

  2. aecorwin Says:

    Though I do not personally believe everything that Tebow is saying, I do believe that he has every right to say it. Mill would also agree that he has this right, and that it would be robbing society of their own rights if he were not able to express his beliefs. Every person should be allowed to express their beliefs, so long as they do not harm or threaten any other individuals. Tim Tebow may not be making the most widely accepted statements, but he does not seem to be harming anyone else. People love to watch others fail, especially those who they feel are attempting to preach a specific way of life that they do not believe in. Therefore, I am not surprised that so many are waiting and wishing for Tebow to fail. I don’t think that Tebow needs Americans waiting for his failure, I believe that eventually he will grow older and not be able to play football as well as he did when he was young (though, as a Georgia fan, I can’t say that he was ever that good to start with.) Regardless of his football skills, regardless of his profession in general, Tim Tebow has every right to discuss his religion if that is truly what he believes is helping him achieve his goals. I do, however, also see the humor in the Tebowing situation and the blog of various Tebowing photos. It is all in fun and games, and if Tim Tebow is allowed to express his opinion, then there is no reason that the term and act of Tebowing should not be allowed either.

  3. rpsafian Says:

    I also really enjoy this post and agree that it’s good to finally see some positive news about a professional sports athlete. Personally, I am a huge Tim Tebow fan as I grew up in a Florida Gator’s household and actually got the chance to see Tebow play several times while at UF. I have also had the opportunity to hear him speak about his life, his community service, and what he wants his impact on the world to be after football. I am somewhat of a religious person, but have never responded to a question about my personal success with “I thank God” or “He is the reason why I did what I did”. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t respect when other people respond like this. If Tim Tebow wants to believe that God truly is the reason why he won a Heisman trophy, 2 national titles, and turned around a NFL team midseason, it’s more than fine with me. He has every right and should not be frowned upon for speaking about his religion and beliefs in such a public forum. If you believed in something so strongly and were a headlining figure in the media seen by millions of people each day, I think you would do the same thing.

    In terms of “Tebowing” itself, the action of kneeling down on one knee and bowing the head hits much closer to home. Ever seen Denard Robinson in the end zone after he scores a touchdown? Call it “Tebowing” or “Denarding”, but either way it looks pretty intimidating after a score and is now a world famous celebration.

  4. JustinMandeltort Says:

    Along with aecorwin I don’t believe in all the things he says and preaches, but I do believe that he can express his views in whatever forum he feels fit. Tebow has taken almost all approaches to expressing his religious views, from his eye paint in college to commercials in super bowls and even post-game interviews. Now I’m not saying you need to agree with all of his views and thoughts, but making fun or laughing at his antics shouldn’t be tolerated at all. Now regarding the authors question about how Tebow is winning all these games, it’s easy, he is a born leader. Tebow is probably one of the worst passing quarterbacks in the league, but that doesn’t mean he is not an effective quarterback. He is one of the top rushers in the nfl dating back to when he first started and runs very effectively. He is also a great leader and motivator, his players rally around him and play for him. The defense has stepped up and Tebow makes the plays in the 4th quarter when they count. Tim Tebow is a national icon, and Tebowing has just b

  5. cobyj17 Says:

    Many feel that Tebow is using the wrong forum to communicate his beliefs, I wholly disagree. As you mentioned, today, many athletes are in the news for the wrong reasons. Our culture is one that idolizes celebrities, including professional athletes. You rarely see athletes that use their status as a celebrity to make meaningful contributions beyond their professions. I disagree with most of what Tebow says, but I admire that he demonstrates to the public the importance of thinking about important issues beyond football. Celebrities have a unique ability to speak directly to such a wide section of society, and they serve as role models to many. By not being afraid to express his beliefs on the football field and in commercials, Tebow represents the value in being well rounded beyond football.

  6. bbarocas Says:

    I agree with several people above who mentioned that they do not believe and follow everything that Tebow says or does. But, I too choose to respect other people’s views and their desire to express themselves and share their beliefs. I think that this is what Mill wanted and I believe that he would be very happy to see what Tim is doing. One reason why I think that some people do not like Tebow, is that they perceive him to be just so religious and expressive about it that it is too much for them to take. They seem to think he is almost “in your face” about it. I don’t think this is the case at all. In a league that has more off-the-field issues than any other in professional sports, it is great to see a player who values what he does so much and takes pride in having such a clean image. If Tebow wants to speak about God so much then by all means he can go right ahead. He has been getting the job done on the field and completely turned around the Broncos season. Say what you want about the way he plays, but Denver has adjusted their offense to cater to his talents, and the guy is an absolute winner. He is extremely fun to watch because he has such a great knack for clutch plays, and because of his unique skill set and talents. “Tebowing” is quite the phenomenon now and is another form of expression that Mill would enjoy. There are a lot of players that do something like that, including Denard as mentioned above. So overall, I say good for Tim Tebow. I am glad he is able to express his opinions so freely, and I hope he continues to have success on the football field.

  7. arielleshanker Says:

    Tim Tebow’s public displays of religion in the professional sports world are causing detractors to betray an anti-Christian bias. Because Tebow is so up-front about his religious views, many people want him to fail just to prove that he is not some “mythological athlete.” While many other professional athletes have been prominently pious, including Kurt Warner and Kareem Abdul- Jabbar, Tebow has been causing the most controversey due to his on-field prayer and commercials during the Super Bowl publicizing his views on an intimate and personal matter. Not only that, but Tebow’s reputation for his Christianity on the field proceeded his NFL debut, and he has not had much professional success to back up his faith.

    The main problem arising from Tebow’s action is the lack of tolerance being displayed by others. This relates to Locke’s essay, “A Letter Concerning Toleration,” in which toleration is defined by peaceful coexistence with something you don’t agree with. Locke does note, however that Catholics are one of the three groups of people that need not be tolerated, simply because morality does not bind them. Catholics, along with Muslims and atheists, are not guided by the threat of reward/punishment of the afterlife and therefore can do whatever they want in this life without consequence.

  8. ceabee Says:

    I think Tebow does have the right to speak about God and prayer in such a public forum. At least attention is being brought upon him for positive things and not for scandals. I don’t necessarily agree with what Tebow says, but i find it respectable and admirable that he is standing up for something that matters. I think those that have a problem with Tim Tebow have a problem with the fact that they can’t find many flaws to him. I think Tebow is leading the Broncos to victories week after week because he has gained the respect of his teammates. Before he was drafted into the NFL, I watched an ESPN documentary on his “path to the draft.” It showed Tebow’s work out routine and included interviews when he expressed his determination to become a successful NFL quarterback. I think his dedication to his team and his work ethic has rubbed off on his teammates and made them strive to be better individuals and to work together successfully as a team in order to win games.

  9. Austin Telling Says:

    I’m a fan of Tim Tebow, and I love watching him play. Of course he has the right to use his popularity and access to the public sphere to speak on whatever he wants (unless the NFL stops him, which they have a right to).

    I think a good amount of the hate some people have for Tebow is the fault of the media. A lot of people I know don’t really hate Tebow the man, but hate Tebow the image. They are sick of seeing him on Sportscenter all of the time, and that affects their attitudes towards him. “Tebowing” was also really pushed into the mainstream by the media.

    Many other sports stars also publicly display their religion, but people don’t get upset at them because the media doesn’t make a big deal of it. How many times have you seen Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera point to the sky after touching home plate after a home run? How many times have you heard a player “thank god” in a postgame interview?

    I think this issue is not about Tebow himself, but rather how much influence the media has over people’s perceptions.

  10. jrsmyth177 Says:

    Finally someone who respects Tim Tebow. I must admit I used to hate this guy when he was at Florida. One reason was that he always won (except when Michigan beat him in the 2007 Capital One Bowl), and two because I thought he faked being so religious to get attention from the media. Now, I respect Tim Tebow so much because whenever someone criticizes him he just smiles and works to prove them wrong. I respect that he is not afraid to express his views in such a critical society we live in today. Also, I believe that he is one of the most humble guy in any professional sport. When the Lions played his Broncos a few weeks back my friend criticized him so much. I just cannot see how someone can hate this guy. He does so many good things and he does not brag about his 2 national championships or his Heisman. I honestly do not think that this guy has done anything wrong to hurt his reputation.

    As for the author’s question yes I do think that Tebow should be allowed to express his views in such a public form. As the author said, Mill would support Tebow because we should all be able to express what we believe in. Mill would say that we should allow Tebow’s views into the market place of idea because it will only benefit the human race. To suppress someone from expressing their views would be robbing the human race the right to learn about Tebow’s ideas. Being a Catholic I respect everything Tebow says. One thing that Catholics believe in is that one should not be afraid to express their beliefs in Jesus. I think Tim does an amazing job at that.

    As for Tebow’s success just watch his speech in the national championship game on youtube. This guy is born to lead. Finally, as someone already stated the last time I saw someone “Tebowing” was at the Michigan games when Denard does it.

  11. bbarocas Says:

    I agree with several people above who mentioned that they do not believe and follow everything that Tebow says or does. But, I too choose to respect other people’s views and their desire to express themselves and share their beliefs. I think that this is what Mill wanted and I believe that he would be very happy to see what Tim is doing. One reason why I think that some people do not like Tebow, is that they perceive him to be just so religious and expressive about it that it is too much for them to take. They seem to think he is almost “in your face” about it. I don’t think this is the case at all. In a league that has more off-the-field issues than any other in professional sports, it is great to see a player who values what he does so much and takes pride in having such a clean image. If Tebow wants to speak about God so much then by all means he can go right ahead. He has been getting the job done on the field and completely turned around the Broncos season. Say what you want about the way he plays, but Denver has adjusted their offense to cater to his talents, and the guy is an absolute winner. He is extremely fun to watch because he has such a great knack for clutch plays, and because of his unique skill set and talents. “Tebowing” is quite the phenomenon now and is another form of expression that Mill would enjoy. There are a lot of players that do something like that, including Denard as mentioned above. So overall, I say good for Tim Tebow. I am glad he is able to express his opinions so freely, and I hope he continues to have success on the football field.

  12. rmwells3 Says:

    I believe that Tebow is in no way in the wrong here. He has done nothing to garner this much attention. In fact, I attribute it solely to the role of the media. The media has blown everything he does out of proportion. The media focuses on him more than any other athlete at the moment–I practically breathe, eat, and sleep Tebow updates thanks to the media.

    However, I think that the qualities and character Tebow demonstrates are being severely overshadowed. The man has shown how inequality (in the physical sense) can be overcome, that overcoming adversity is possible if you put your mind to it. He has demonstrated the importance of good leadership and its impact. Maybe this is something that the next president should aspire to? Furthermore, maybe this is what the country needs?

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