Everyone wants a piece of 24-year-old Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Most people settle for a high-five or an autograph. Others ask him to surrender his values, like the young women who beg him for fan photos and then start stripping off their shirts—sending Tebow darting away.
Tebow has All-American character. He espouses capitalistic values that are foundational to America: Competitiveness, ownership, responsibility, hard work, optimism, faith and persistence.
As a football celebrity, Tebow effectively glamorizes a rational lifestyle. Sure, he celebrates after touchdowns by pointing to heaven and shouting: “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! … Victory!” But he is not expressive in an irrational way.
Tebow once told ESPN: “When people ask, I let ‘em know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I’m not ashamed of that and I never will be.” The three key words in that sentence are: “When people ask.”
Tebow’s faith is public without becoming irrational or aggressive. Case in point: When asked by the press whether he’s “saving himself for marriage,” he confidently answers: “Yes, I am.” There is neither hesitation nor conceit in his face when he answers; there is merely self-assurance.
Even “Tebowing,” Tebow’s trademark pose, is pensive. Unlike President Obama’s perpetual “I’ve-got-my-nose-in-the-air-and-I-don’t-care” stance which conveys prideful philistinism—Tebowing is purposeful and humble. In fact, TIME Magazine compares it to the philosophic pose of Auguste Rodin’s Thinker sculpture.
Tebow’s mere existence sets irrational people on edge. Just as Occupy Wall Streeters claim that entrepreneurial risk-takers like Steve Jobs got rich through “luck,” Tebow’s critics claim that he wins football games through luck—not hard work and raw talent. Dolphins linebacker Kevin Burnett told Sports Illustrated that Tebow is “a football player who just happens to be a quarterback.”
Luck plays little role in Tebow’s career. Tebow has worked hard, developing his natural abilities to become a pro and outwit his opponents.