My father is visiting and has been a New England Patriots fan for many years. He has followed Tom Brady since his unimpressive days at the University of Michigan. Because Brady is a former Michigan quarterback, Dad gives him his loyalty. Michigan football is like a religion in our family. Attend Ohio State or Notre Dame and you might as well never show up for another family get-together!
As we sat and watched the incredible victory Tim Tebow brought to the Denver Broncos last Sunday night, Dad was conflicted. You can’t help but love Tebow. He represents everything good about professional sports.
Tebow is a competitor who loves to win. He showed fire in his belly when he made the plays and cheered the fans, “Let’s go Broncos.” In the face of bad calls (I counted two facemasks that weren’t called), he was gracious. He gave credit to his team and has no need to be a big celebrity. Tebow has said on many occasions that football is only a game and knows the value of service to others. And best of all, he doesn’t hide his faith or return fire to those who chide him for loving God. Mocked for “tebowing”, he stays true himself.
“I like that Tebow guy,” Dad admitted during the game, “so much so that if he beats my Patriots this weekend, I will be OK with that.”
Wow. I bet others share my dad’s sentiment. Tebow embodies the words of Christ–they shall know us by our love.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
When love is on display, we can’t help but be drawn to it.
The mark of a true leader is to influence, but to do so with humility. This type of leadership, in which football is only a game and character rules the day, is sorely lacking in the world of professional sports.
So while my head tells me that Tebow and his Broncos will probably take a pounding by the Patriots, my heart wants him to win. So I will be cheering for the Broncos come Saturday night. And while people who hate what Tebow stands for will continue to poke fun at him and the Jesus he serves, we’ve already seen enough to know that love still wins the day.
A die-hard Chicago Bears fan, Dr. Linda cheers on the Broncos against the Patriots. For more from Dr. Linda Mintle, check out her website, www.drlindahelps.com and read more about why people hate or love Tim Tebow.