As a football fan in general and a Denver Broncos fan in particular, I was elated to see our home team select Florida’s Tim Tebow with the number 25 overall pick in last night’s NFL draft. Dusting the snow off our local papers in our driveway this morning, I was greeted with the following headlines in my Denver Post and Colorado Springs Gazette:
“Professing Faith: McDaniels Makes His Tenure-Defining Choice in Florida QB”
“Mr. Eye Black A Black Eye?”
Sports coverage around the country is echoing a similar theme. Few, if any, expected Tim Tebow to be a first-round draft pick. While most applaud his character and integrity, they question his ability to compete in the NFL. Tim says the doubters don’t discourage him—they actually motivate him even more.
That’s the mark of a true competitor. Last night’s stunner inside New York City’s famed Radio City Music hall wasn’t the first-time, nor will it likely be the last, when Tim surprises people and defies conventional wisdom.
To be sure, in the coming months, the pundits will continue to haggle over the wisdom and logic of the selection. “Awesome or Awful?” asked Denver Post sports columnist Woody Paige this morning. “It definitely will be fun, fascinating, fantastic. It will never be boring.”
Colorado Springs Gazette columnist David Ramsey was even more generous and on point, at least from my perspective: “He’s a smiling representative of the best side of Christianity. He doesn’t spend his time ranting and dividing, always a waste of time, but instead dedicates himself to service.”
Professional sports is a quirky and unpredictable business. In some ways, it’s a metaphor for life: The strongest and most talented don’t always come out on top. Fortunes can rise and fall on a play or over the course of a single day’s time. The hero of today is often tomorrow’s goaded goat.
I get the sense that win or lose, Tim Tebow will do just fine. As a Christian and as a young man who clearly has his priorities in order, he doesn’t view football as the ultimate thing—though for this season of his life, it’s the thing he’ll be pursuing with all his heart and energy. Though not to the exclusion of all else.
On his personal Facebook page last night, Tim struck a fun and inspirational tone in reacting to his selection. “Looks like the Orange and Blue is in my blood!” he reflected. “I am so excited to be starting what God has planned for me in Denver!”
Tim, the Dalys and the rest of the fans of the orange and blue are excited too, and we’re looking forward to rooting for a guy who sees his job as much as an obligation as he does an opportunity. How refreshing!
And I suspect a lot of America will be rooting for Tim, too.