Monday, December 14, 2009

Tim Tebow: The Anti-Tiger?

From George Diaz in the Orlando Sentinel:
There might be a few people still rolling their eyes. They obviously don't get it. You can dissect all of Tebow's warts on the football field and argue whether he is talented enough to play football on Sundays. That's all going to play out in due course.

But what's undeniable is that Tebow is a remarkable young man who has emerged as an MVP on a larger stage than a college football field.


His unworldly endeavors give us hope that all athletes -- from Little Leaguers to pros -- emulate Tebow and borrow his playbook.


I'll say this: If Tebow is a phony, then let's shut down any hope that an athlete can truly be a role model. Tebow gives us reason to read sports pages without cringing at the clutter of police reports and egotistical freaks who refer to themselves in the third person.
That athletes are highly fallible people is not a reason to dismiss them -- there is plenty of evidence to show that many high-end athletes fail as people for precisely the same reasons they succeed as athletes. It's the same with many high-performers.

I think Diaz is doing something very dangerous here when he says "If Tebow is a phony..." What he implies is that ANY display of inconsistency of character from Tebow -- not that he has shown any so far -- would be cause to label him a "phony." I'd prefer to give Tebow a little more wide berth than that. He has built up enough goodwill that even something he does that might be out of character -- again, not that any of us are expecting that -- won't tarnish his legacy off the field, any more than losing to Alabama tarnished the rest of his legacy as a football player on the field.

What makes Tebow unique is the way he seemingly lives his values -- and doesn't push those values on people, but instead leads by example.

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