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.
I asked other moms to share their thoughts and wish I had room for them all, but this will get us started – because in the end, I want to hear yours.
I hated football. I told my husband when we married that he could watch any baseball game he wanted, but absolutely NO football was allowed in our home. Then came Tebow. I watched the NFL draft when he was picked up by the Broncos. I kept an eye on him and when he was chosen to be QB, I started to watch the games. Now I'm hooked and all the bad feelings have melted away. Tebow and his witness have melted my heart. Go Broncos!
I have six daughters, four of them teens and pre-teens. They have never taken an interest in football, except for the Superbowl. And that's typically to socialize and for the advertisements. As I read the Washington Post article today about Tim Tebow, I read excerpts out loud to them. I'll tell you that they watched and cheered for most of the game today due to their interest in him and his story. That was a first!
I have never been into sports much, but learned of Tim Tebow awhile ago, probably first heard of him when he won the Heisman, but have come to know more about it through the attention he gets in the media for his Christian views. I admire him for his strong convictions and faith. He's the kind of role model our children need, especially in the sports arena where so many sports stars have reputations of being womanizers, rapists, wife beaters, dog abusers, etc. He is a man's man, a woman's kind of man and the kind of man I pray my sons will grow up to be.
Here’s my take: Like the magic when an otherwise macho movie adds a romance so we will go with our husbands to see it, Tim Tebow’s story has opened a door for many of us into a world that used to be of little concern. Whether or not we remain interested in football, we will always be interested in stories like Tebow’s and the wonderful ways God is messaging us.
Oh, and that “across the nation” line I started with? Scratch that. This just in from a missionary mom in Japan:
I love that he's an MK and I can point my little MKs to him! I was raised in a non-Christian (anti-Christian, really) home and so I am captivated by Tebow's parents and think often about what their home must've been like to mold a child like that (I know there are no formulas, but God obviously used them and it's so encouraging!). I love to hear about people who gave their lives to Jesus at a young age and never turned back.
What are you thinking about Tebow today?
Barbara Curtis, author and mother of 12 who blogs at MommyLife.net, says that if anyone had told her a month ago she’d ever write anything about sports in 2012, she would have laughed them out the door.
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