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.
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