Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Insanity of Tearing Down a Role Model

I've been a fan of sports nearly all my life.  Daddy had one child - me - and even though I was a girl, that didn't stop him from teaching me about sports and learning to enjoy them.  We spent a lot of my childhood at the ballpark in Anaheim watching the California Angels.  My grandmother was a dedicated and devoted Denver Bronco fan.  And my cousin, even at 5' 2" but with amazing skills, played college basketball on a scholarship.  I follow hockey, SEC football, baseball, and about the only sport I could care less about is basketball.  Even today, a lot of my conversations with Daddy are about sports - he's a Cubs fan - and it's something we enjoy together.

That being said...I haven't followed the NFL for quite a while.  I love college football - especially SEC football - but the NFL just didn't have it for me anymore.  For one thing, John Elway retired and I tended to work a lot on Sundays helping my husband with his business a number of years ago.  Not much of a chance to watch games.

And, let's be honest, I got tired of hearing about the thugs.  

Players hanging out - constantly, it seems - in strip clubs.  Players getting shot.  Players doing the shooting.  Players driving drunk, beating their wives, engaged in dog-fighting, gambling, you name it.  It turned me completely off to the NFL and I stopped watching.  Just didn't care.  

And then along came Tim Tebow.

As a Georgia fan, I absolutely HATE THE GATORS, but I still enjoyed watching Tim Tebow play.  Granted, he wasn't the best quarterback, technically, but that kid had that something that inspired people to rise about their limitations and do their very best.  He could rise above his own limitations and do amazing things.  SEC football fans saw it time and again as he motivated his team to win after win.  And the fact that he's a good kid, a Christian, someone who sees football as a platform to do greater things and help people, well, that just made it better.  

So, he got drafted by my beloved Denver Broncos (Grandma would be thrilled) and I decided to watch the NFL again to see Tebow play.  I wondered if he could bring that same magic he had during his college days.

And he did.  And believe me, my family in Denver went nuts over him.  He made this team believe in themselves again, which is something we haven't seen in a while.

So we finally get a good role model - a football player who isn't all about himself.  One who takes a city and helps it believe in greatness again, even if it's in an arena such as sports.  One who helps others.  One who sees the big picture and it isn't all about himself.  And what does the media do?  They tear him apart.  

All because he bends down on his knee and prays.

Honestly folks.  We whine and moan and cry and complain - "Where are the role models?" - and we finally get one that is a good and true role model and what happens?  They rip him up.  They deride him.  They make fun of him.  And it's absolutely ridiculous that it's happening.

So, for all those media snots who are having fun ripping up Tebow, let me tell you one thing.  I wouldn't be watching the NFL if it wasn't for Tebow.  Granted, that's one person...but I suspect there are a few others out there who may have given up on the sport, perhaps for some of the same reasons I have, who are now a bit more interested.  Who've come back to the fold, and who are actually following the NFL now.  

And it's because a truly good, inspirational player is out there, trying to create magic with his team.  Give me that any day.  

Because, truly, character does count for a lot.  And Tebow, he has character.



Carmen said...

What a coincidence! As an alumna of UF, I absolutely HATE THE DAWGS! :)

But I agree wholeheartedly with you about tearing down positive role models. It really aggravates me the way the media has ripped Tebow apart because of his faith (how dare he show it in public!).

I live in Colorado now, so I've become a Bronco fan since Tebow joined up... he shows more heart and determination than any player I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

He brings fresh air to the game.

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