Does God Really Care About Pro Football?

With the NFL playoffs resuming this Sunday, what do we do for an inspirational storyline now that Tim Tebow’s Denver Broncos have been knocked out of contention?

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Posted in , Jan 20, 2012

Guideposts Editor-in-Chief Edward Grinnan

A fellow football fan sent me a cartoon the other day. It showed a downtrodden player speaking to the media: “First I’d like to blame the Lord for our defeat ...”

Isn’t it consistent, my friend teased, that if Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, a devout Christian, thanked the Lord for victories, players should also blame heaven for their losses?

I don’t think my provocative friend really expected an answer so I just responded with a sarcastic little smiley face. But his question deserves some thought. Does God care about football? Is he really in the huddle with Tim?

First, let’s be fair. Tebow thanks the Lord just as profusely after a loss. He thanks him for the opportunity to play pro football, to escape serious injury and for the chance to praise him publicly, win or lose. But it is that now-iconic pose called Tebowing that has fused with the national consciousness and our obsession with football. Check out YouTube. People are Tebowing everywhere, both mockingly and earnestly. Will it be long before we have streakers kneeling in the end zone and Tebowing?

Given all the inane celebratory choreography players perform after scoring touchdowns (admittedly some of them are pretty entertaining), Tebow’s display seems low-key by comparison, even respectful. He is young and exuberant in his faith, and some might say a bit exhibitionistic. Maybe he just gets a little carried away. But is it worse than miming a roll of the dice, dancing the salsa or performing CPR on the ball? What about the jump-and-bump?

I might argue that former coach and TV commentator Tony Dungy demonstrates his faith in a more effective and mature manner. But Tony has been around for a long time. He has a truly inspiring life story and has made his faith felt throughout professional sports as both a player and a mentor. It’s hard not to respect how Tony Dungy carries himself. He’s had a lot of practice.

I have a feeling Tim Tebow might pull back a little on the Tebowing thing next season, if only to avoid the appearance of trivializing his faith by linking it to scoring a touchdown. Most folks I know think God couldn’t give a heavenly hoot about pro football. They’re right. Meanwhile I’m curious to know what you think of Tebowing. Please post below. And while I’m at it I’d like to thank the Lord for helping me write this blog today. Let me strike the pose….           

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