US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Toning down on Tebow

By Elizabeth Lefebvre | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

As the media’s obsession with Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has exploded over the past months and weeks, I’ve been sitting on my hands waiting for an opportunity to chime in, and it seems I can no longer just sit back and idly roll my eyes.

Reports are in that custom Denver Broncos jerseys are now appearing with Tebow’s number 15 and the name “Jesus” written across the back.

Though some say that the jersey is really just some positive PR to spread the word about Jesus and Christianity--and that it’s fitting for this to come (nearly literally) on the back of an outspoken Christian athlete--others (include me on this list) think it’s an example of going too far to equate this mere mortal to Jesus.

As one Colorado resident told the Christian Post, “It's making Tebow out to be a god instead of an athlete. I'm happy he's a Christian and isn't afraid to demonstrate that, but for fans to hold him up in such high regard, perhaps comparing him to Jesus, is going too far.”

A lifelong sports fan myself, I know what it’s like to place an intense emotional value on a team or an individual player who can energize an entire city, state, or country (though I readily admit I’ve never been a fan of either the Florida Gators or of anyone who Brady Quinn backs up at quarterback). But can we please tone down the Tebow-mania?

Say what you will about Tebow’s openness about his Christian faith. Argue all you want about his skills on the football field. Admire his faith. Or his Heisman Trophy and two national titles. Heck, even take a picture of yourself “Tebowing” somewhere and post it online.

But please, stop comparing him to Jesus.

At least until the Broncos win the Super Bowl.