Please, oh please: may the soon-to-be ex-Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow sign with the Miami Dolphins. I know (at least I hope) you’re busy with issues other than the state of professional football here in the United States, but please hear me out. The Denver Broncos announced today that they would be signing four-time Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning to be their starting quarterback. They also made clear that their incumbent QB Tim Tebow, would be vanquished in short order.
I’m going to assume, although his fans think otherwise, that you have no idea who this Tim Tebow happens to be. He’s a star; a sports sensation; an idol to millions. He’s also, statistically, the twenty-eighth best quarterback in the National Football League. His completion percentage was 46 percent, dead last in the sport. To put it in terms you’ll understand, if David threw a slingshot like Mr. Tebow throws a football, Goliath would have been flossing his teeth with the future King.
But Mr. Tebow did lead the Broncos to their first playoff victory in six years and as awfully as he performed in the first three quarters of games, Mr. Tebow was terrific when it mattered the most. He played with the guts of a linebacker and he inspired his teammates with his joy in playing the sport. To put it in the most gentle terms, one could say he kept both teams in every single contest.
By now you’re probably asking, “What in My Name does this have to do with me?” Please don’t get too wrathful at Mr. Tebow, but you should know that he seems to believe that he speaks for you. He has a fan base of fervent followers who believe the same. They love him not just because he’s a loud and proud Christian, but more for his particular brand of Christianity.
Mr. Tebow believes that the path to your grace lies in supporting organizations that believe gay people need to be “cured” and women should “submit” to men as well as relinquish control over their own bodies. He constantly fundraises for his father’s expanding Mission in the Philippines, a country that is more than 80 percent Catholic. To be Catholic, in the eyes of this family, is to not be in God’s grace. As Bob Tebow writes about Filipinos, “It is estimated that over 64% of them do not have a single evangelical church. In a country of over 92 million, the number of people who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ is staggering.” Tim Tebow also believes that to not be circumcised is a road toward Hell. Without medical training, the young man does his own snipping when amongst the heathen Filipinos. We all hope, in this endeavor, he’s more than 46 percent accurate.
I know it’s remarkable that someone who claims the same faith as Martin Luther King Jr., Oscar Romero and Sister Helen Prejean could act in such a manner but it’s less about faith than using faith to serve a political agenda. In fact, Mr. Tebow has already made clear that he has an interest in a future amongst that true den of thieves and moneychangers: the United States Congress.
Getting unceremoniously dumped by the Broncos takes some of the shine off of Tim Tebow’s evangelical glow, but his holy brand is lucrative and he will most certainly find a new home. The smart money is on that most unholy of states, Florida. This is the boyhood home of Tim Tebow and his return would make quite the splash, restoring his status as false idol. He could go to the Jacksonville Jaguars or the Miami Dolphins. Please, send him to Miami.
During his time in Denver, Tim Tebow had local media that asked him questions with the tenderness of a foot massage. Nearby Colorado Springs, the home of organizations like Focus on the Family, the New Life Church and a host of other entities that aim to harm others in your name provided Mr. Tebow with a ready base of power and public pressure. Tonight, they surely mourn.
In Jacksonville, Tebow’s hometown, we could expect more of the same. In Miami, he would have to face questions that reflect the city’s demographic reality. Your LGBT children gather often in Miami. Mr. Tebow would be asked if he believed they needed to be “cured.” The large Catholic population might want to know why his family ministry targets their religion for conversion and believes they haven’t heard the gospel. The young women of Miami would be curious why the new quarterback believes in banishing their birth control.
My hope is that by having to answer these questions, Mr. Tebow might, for the first time in his sheltered life, have to confront why he so desperately wants to change others. My hope is that this will lead him down to Miami neighborhoods like Liberty City, the boardwalks of South Beach and Overtown (formerly called “Colored Town” during Jim Crow). My hope is that he would go not to preach but to listen, and maybe he would then use his fame and fortune to empower others, instead of his own agenda.
Please deliver him to Miami. I know you have more pressing pursuits, but if it’s easy and quick, I’d be grateful. Also, if the Knicks could maybe win a championship in my lifetime, that would rock.
In struggle and sports,