14 December 2011: Football, religion don’t mix – Tebowing

Football, religion don’t mix

Tis the season: Tiny Tim Time unless you’re a member of the latest cult of personality. Then it is Mighty Tim Time.

Some might confuse Tiny Tim Cratchit of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with Bronco quarterback Tim Tebow, which is understandable with them both being Tim.

Tim is diminutive for Timothy, so one might sense timidity when hearing “Tim,” but generally Tims are far from being timid.

Roy Feinson explains why sounds evoke certain responses in his “Secret Universe Names.” When we hear, for example, hiss, “Our reptilian brain,” Feinson writes, “short-circuits our cognitive thinking processes and we find ourselves instinctively on the alert for a possible snake.” A cat’s hissing acts likewise in scaring off predators.

T, B, J, C, K, and D, are “strongly pronounced letters.” Thus, names beginning with those letters “proved to be highly successful in professional sports,” which explains Mighty Tim Tebow, who’s doubly blessed, maybe literally, having two T names.

I’m excited J is strongly pronounced. I’ve dreamed of playing halfback for the Broncos. I can run, so maybe one day Mighty Tim will be handing off the ball to me.

Readers feel sad for Tiny Tim despite him failing to live up to his name unless you’re Newt Gingrich who believes child-labor laws are “stupid.” Newt has a point: It’s tough to feel sorry for a kid who chooses to be born into poverty and then becomes sick. Besides, he can always better himself by wiping up his betters’ table messes at school.

If you’ve never heard of Tim Tebow and “Tebowing,” you live under the proverbial rock or you have a life. Probably the latter.

Tebow likes to get down on one knee—Tebowing—while on the job and, I guess, thank God for the miracle pass and catch made. Some claim it’s a sign of humility, but I recall another saying, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt. 6:6).

That was Jesus, of course, whose birthday is being celebrated Sunday and who’s now #15 for the Broncos. Numerous jerseys say so. Maybe the Broncos should set up a makeshift closet along the sidelines in which Tim can secretly pray.

To be fair, athletes have been for years performing versions of Tebowing, like making the sign of the cross or pointing skyward, presumably towards heaven, before or after engaging in ending war and famine.

The Greeks were the first to connect sports with a deity. The quadrennial Pythian Games were held to honor Apollo. I don’t recall whether professional football or baseball, for that matter, was founded to honor Jesus. Probably not.

The recent Bronco win streak, though, proves God hates the Dolphins, Raiders, Chiefs, Chargers, and Vikings, and by the time you read this—my deadline is Friday—probably the Bears as well.

Despite being omnipotent, God has no choice in that. Once interacting in our dualistic world, He must choose, and the criterion can only be good versus evil. Albert Einstein famously said, “I am convinced that He (God) does not play dice” with the universe or, it seems, with the Broncos. Take it to Vegas.

Tiny Tim’s last words are “God bless us, every one,” and we sense good will come of his plight. So, we’re able to forgive Scrooge.

Can we forgive Mighty Tim?

In his letter to the Denver Post, Tom Satriano of Golden decries the “rabid Tim Tebow link with Christianity,” pointing out its perverseness in a world where “30,000 children die everyday of preventable starvation and disease.” Tom “dislikes athletes who insist on showing their faith.”

Letter-write Pamela Budkovich of Ft. Collins takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to the Tebow cult. She suggests the Post produce a special Tebow section so that “His rabid fans wouldn’t have to scour every page to find references to Him, and those of us who cannot stand Him could place the Tim Tebow section directly into the recycling bin.”

I like mostly what Pamela writes, especially recycling rather than trashing the Tebow section, but I disagree with her and Tom about liking Tim. I dislike athletes showing their faith, especially in or on secular venues built and supported with taxpayer dollars, but not the athletes themselves.

Tebowism is aggravating and Tim is its Prime Mover, but like other young adults, his cerebral cortex where rational thought occurs is still developing. Few proudly point to their 20s as a time of maturity. If they do, it explains much.

Having said that and though no longer a disciple, I find sporting jerseys with Jesus’ name blazoned debasing and disrespectful. One would think Christianity should be more than that…a lot more.

“God bless us, every one!”

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