Skip to comments.Miracle at Mile High
Posted on 11/19/2011 2:39:46 AM PST by Kaslin
I think we witnessed a miracle last night.
I'm not talking about Tim Tebow's incredible 95-yard game-winning drive. I'm talking about the fact that Tebow got at least two NFL Network football analysts and stellar former players—Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin—discussing God on a post-game football show. Overall, the analysts were flabbergasted by what they saw in Tebow's performance. They couldn't explain it.
But they could sense something was different. I've watched football religiously growing up. I've never seen a cluster of NFL analysts, most of them former players and coaches, so star-struck as when Tebow came on set last night after the game. After he left the set, Rich Eisen was at a loss for words.
To stats and football experts, Tebow's 4-1 record seems so complicated. But it's really very simple.
People enter life with different gifts. Some get Heidi Klum knockout looks. Some get Steve Jobs' innovative genius.
Passion and faith are gifts. So are work ethic and the ability to inspire people. And Tebow has a superhuman capacity for all four.
You will never completely understand Tebow, how he wins, and how he plays the game, by looking at statistics in the NFL. It's a passing league, and Tebow isn't a passer. It's a league where a quarterback should be able to scramble, but not run (ask Michael Vick). It's a league where a guy who only completes two passes in a game shouldn't win that game. I know the game; I know it's foolish to think a player like the one described above will succeed. Initially, it defied common sense.
But now, several analysts are the ones defying common sense. Stop wasting energy trying to explain Tebow in only the way described above. Stop being so unoriginal. Human beings, in addition to physical ability, have a mental and spiritual component. Way too often, that third component is underdeveloped. But that doesn't mean it doesn't exist. When experts do talk about it in the NFL, they often call it 'character.' Kurt Warner, in fact, told Townhall Magazine earlier this year that character isn't weighed heavily enough in the NFL.
Tebow, of course, takes that a step further. People get worked up because Tebow prays and attributes his success to a higher power. Tebow is simply living his life. He goes about his business. He's the kind of guy, he said yesterday, who gets more excited about a hospital he's building over in the Philippines than glory on the football field.
When people ask him why he wins, he'll say faith and that his teammates believe in each other. Yet somehow Americans – the country that made sending a man to the moon possible, the country where athletes have so many superstitions that it's downright hilarious– are too cynical to believe that is possible. So quick to praise an unproven dream team quarterbacked by Michael Vick, so surprised when a hardworking guy who's never let anyone down on a big stage keeps doing what he's done his whole career.
Marshall Faulk—a truly great running back—said last night that he can't analyze Tebow's faith, only what happens on the football field. He had a good point, but he's missing something: Tebow's game intertwines them. If you want to analyze his game, you need to understand his motivation and how powerful that faith can be. It doesn't mean you have to adhere to his faith; but it's silly to pretend that it's not a factor in his game.
"You are the Professor Tebow that's giving us all a lesson," Michael Irvin told Tebow last night. "We put so much on skill, not enough on will. When I am watching you, you are willing this team to victory."
Tebow is moving the mountains analysts put in his way. He is growing legends of mustard seeds. To fans and analysts in this situation, I say engage in a bit of well-placed wonder. We'd all be better off for it. Unless, of course, you're a Jets player or coach. Then I'd say learn a lesson.
Before the game, The New York Post ran a picture of Tebow looking to the heavens with an admittedly clever headline saying, "God help him."
Well, He did.
Sports fans should know that winning is all that matters - not HOW you win. This is nothing new; sports “experts” been bad-mouthing Tim Tebow since he started at Florida. And that was AFTER he won the Heisman, as a sophomore.
Tebow is an embarassment to the ultra-liberal media; they don’t believe there is a God. But we will be better off seeing Tebow continue to win and confound the “experts”.
The very attitude that's killing sports, and was the opposite of what every kid learned growing up...years ago.
Playing with the constant intent to win is good... and it’s a biblical metaphor for persevering in walking with God. “Winning at any cost” isn’t so good because the cost will be your own conscience.
Very well put. (And I’m an atheist.)
Whatever team Tebow ends up being a coach to after his playing career concludes... that is going to be one enviable team.
Call it corn, but I don’t have faith enough to be an atheist.
Actuall, Vince Lombardi gets credit for the quote:”Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” That was over 50 years ago; so I don’t know what generation you speak of. WWI or WWII kids, maybe?
Since you don't even know who actually "gets credit" for that--it's "Red" Sanders, Lombardi merely popularized it after he heard it from him--thanks for making my point.
And it would be a sad oversimplification. Do you want to start faking drug tests, schmoozing on the sly with high school bigwigs, and the like in order to piece together that mighty team?
Tebow has shown the high road and it works. He inspires the rest of the team to do its best.
You get to the point of the matter--he INSPIRES the others to DO THEIR BEST.
I couldn't give a damn for any of the awards and trophies kids win in their sports. I work with teenagers, and the ones who were dedicated in their specific sports, who worked hard--you can SEE it emanating from them.
They talk about doing their very best, not "winning is all." And guess what? They're the ones whose teams have the best records. It's no coincidence.
People want to be INSPIRED but it's often hard to discuss or even admit, so they go along with the "Yeah, win!" attitude. But every one of them who says that wants to feel good about the quality and sportsmanship of 'their team,' and that's how they want to win.
This is so obvious I feel silly even talking about it, but look at the state of pro sports, and the growing boorishness of fans and players. No wonder my friends who are most into sports take their kids to farm league games to get them hooked.
And it’s a biblical ethic. Winning is something that comes from within — serious Christians believe that God puts it there in you, and that God then puts the onus on you to present it to Him and the watching creation. Superficial people, Christian or not, think only of externals, or rather of the externals that can be seen by men. God isn’t impressed by glitz, but by guts.
My FRiend, you are firing on all cylinders this morning on this topic. Great, great points (even though etc. etc.). I wish more of the kids I work with had parents, relatives, friends and mentors with this ethic, but it’s amazing how many people DO have it. I’ve shocked by kids who at first sight might be dismissed as punks or thugs who are very articulate about this topic. Of course there are many who talk about money and trash talk, but it is encouraging to hear how sincere so many are about HOW you play the game.
And I’m not at all ashamed to present the gospel this way to an “atheist” (and some atheists are much closer than they think to agreeing with God). The Bible uses the Roman races (agon) of old as one metaphor for living in faith the way God wants a person to live. Run as though to win, “beat” your “body” (persevere through difficulty and never give up the struggle when human weakness might tempt you to), do it with “fear and trembling” (not running scared with the idea that God is threatening to toss you into hell, but knowing that God means business and He is going to brook no nonsense) because it is “God that works in you.” Jesus Christ is God’s explanation of “how” and it is an amazing explanation. God suffered what no man could, and gave power that no man had. In an amazing transaction, God takes the guilt of sin, and you get the blessing. All you have to do is ask God for it and accept it. It just beats man’s philosophy all hollow.
I seem to be the designated heathen at FR, but while I am not a believer, I am very interested in discussions of it, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. It’s very interesting reading.
Dallasites watch Irvin and Sanders and realize that many people need to build a life after football, much as any businessman needs a life outside of work.
Many sports figures now have charities, and we can debate how effective these charities are in truly making a difference.
Occasionally a famous athlete will show charity emanating from who they are.
Ask Kelly Faughnan her opinion of Tebow.
The Tim Tebow treatment by the general media and their allies points to their HYPOCRISY.The same media that gets so upset at Joe Paterno because he has a reputation as a good guy makes fun of Tim Tebow because he is so PRO-LIFE and speaks about living a good Christian life.
This is the same media that pushes pornography immorality and homosexuality any chance it gets.
It was great to see Tim put things into perspective.He likes football but his missioary work and hospital for the poor in the Philippines is more important.
Congratulations to Deion Sanders,Michael Irvin,Steve Mariucci and Rich Eisen for their beliefs and their courage.
It’s like here, we got the polar opposite of the Sandusky scandal.
God doesn’t quit, and neither do we pesky Christians. In the end, it was I who came begging to God on my own knees. When God has you in the crosshairs, you will know it.