Tim Tebow and the Mom Phenom
- Monday, January 09, 2012
When across the nation moms like me are dropping everything to commit to a whole football game with the men in the family, you know there’s something supernatural going on.
Most women I know are eager to grab a few hours for ourselves, maybe drifting in and out to try to comprehend an ear-shattering play or to do our Proverbs 31 thing with sustenance for the hungry hordes. But then it’s back to Facebook and Pinterest.
Or at least that’s the way it used to be.
Now there’s Tebow, and now many of us are not just watching football with husband and kids, but stressing when things look bad for the Broncos and jumping for joy when Tebow pulls out all stops for a win. We’re finding the drama inside and outside the field and some of us are seeing the hand of God at work – not in guaranteeing wins for the Broncos, because they don’t always win, do they? But in leaving telltale signs to keep us buzzing coast-to-coast the next day.
Take Sunday night. The Broncos were clearly the underdogs (at least that’s what the menfolk in my life told me), and yet they immediately took charge of the game, leading until the fourth quarter when the Steelers marched back ending with a tie. Who could have predicted the swift victory which followed on the first play with Tebow’s winning 80-yard pass/touchdown – which brought out the same football frenzy in me I’ve only watched from a distance all my life?
Miraculous, maybe? I don’t know that we can answer that question. But what clearly seems miraculous are the signs God uses to make the most of the window of opportunity Tebow has opened. That final pass brought his game total to 316 yards, and since he completed 10 of 21 attempts, he passed for 31.6 yards per completion.
316 is a very important number to Tebow and to the God he wants to point us to. When Tebow sent a message to America using white on the black paint under his eyes, USA Today reported 94 million google searches for John 3:16. The NFL promptly put its foot down, and in banning under-eye messages may have won the battle. But God clearly won the war: on Monday, news outlets from Fox News to the Los Angeles Times covered Tebow's supernatural numbers.
This culture skirmish has caught the attention of many moms like me, who love the backstory: fifth child from homeschooling missionary family, two-time Heisman trophy winner (check out his 2007 acceptance speech), and perfect role model. The lines between believers and scoffers were drawn during the battle over the Super Bowl commercial which featured Pam Tebow’s story of rejecting abortion when she fell ill during her fifth pregnancy.
This year, things heated up even more when sports writers began attacking Tebow for taking a knee and thanking God for successful plays. Boy, was that the wrong tack to take as it brought out the Momma Bear in all the women who had ever noticed Tebow even just a little. Not only did we want to protect him and pray for him, but we wanted to know more. Our eyes were riveted on him and on football because that’s where he lives. One mom, Chris, writes:
I became aware of Tim Tebow the year that the media made such a big deal about his pro-life commercial during the Super Bowl. It was the only time I actually was looking forward to watching Super Bowl commercials. I have 4 boys and a husband who would love to watch ESPN every minute of the weekend (which is exactly WHY we don't have cable :0). For years, we have had to limit the number of games they watch on any given Saturday and Sunday... Once, when one of our teams were playing the Broncos, I happened to pass the TV and saw Tebow. I stopped and watched and told them about the prolife commercial, how he was homeschooled, etc. The look on my highschool boys' faces were priceless when I sat down and watched and cheered for the Broncos! Now they know that all they have to do is mention that the Broncos are playing and they have a "free" game to watch. I still don't understand all of the rules of the game but my boys are being very patient explaining them to me -- I'm sure, in hopes that this sudden love for football is due to the game itself and not to a certain quarterback who is exactly the kind of young man that I want my boys to imitate and my daughter to marry.
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