Dec 1, 2011, 3:44 PM EDT
Remember earlier this year when we thought the Rapture was coming? Yeah … um, can I get my guitar back? Anyway, little did we know that instead of all of the Christian faithful going to God’s house for Thanksgiving, he’d be coming to ours. But not in person. He sent a representative: Tim Tebow.
Want proof of God’s handiwork here on Earth? His latest miracle: After initially naming Cam Newton the cover athlete for the premiere issue of its new official monthly publication, NFL Magazine, the National Football League will instead launch the mag with Tebow on the cover (pictured). Publication date: Dec. 13. NFL press release:
The collectors’ edition, in print just in time for holiday gift subscriptions, will be the first of 12 monthly issues published by the NFL and will be available by subscription and on newsstands nationwide.
So exactly why did Newton get the boot in favor of Tebow?
“It was a last minute decision made by the NFL Magazine team,” an NFL spokesman told Off the Bench. “After the victory against the Jets and Chargers it was hard to ignore his 5-1 record. Cam has a huge feature in the magazine as well and was very deserving, but the magazine wanted to go with the hot name and chose Tebow.”
As you can see there on the cover, NFL Magazine asks the musical question about Tebow: NFL’s hottest player? Well, technically, no — the 49ers’ Alex Smith is 8-1 over his past nine games, and there are 53 members of the Green Bay Packers who are 11-0 this season. But there’s little doubt that slapping Tebow on the cover is the smart move: that’s going sell several additional bundles of the magazine, which is so important for a new print publication. Just ask the editors of Kicking Tee Aficionado (RIP).
Here’s the deal, America: Like it or not, Tim Tebow is here to stay. And here are the main reasons why:
1. The Denver Broncos have a great defense. Want a sure-fire way to break in a relatively radical offensive system? Make sure you have a defense that’s going to get you the ball back if it happens to sputter. Tebow doesn’t sweat his inability to throw a tight spiral because he doesn’t have to: just shot-put the ball to a few open receivers and run for a first down now and again, and you’re good.
2. Religion sells. You may not agree with Tebow’s beliefs, or the fact that he wears those views on his sleeve. Or perhaps you do. But whatever: the fact that Tebow is a devout Christian and loves to talk about it creates controversy, and that’s good for headlines. And publicity drives the NFL. Which is why Cam Newton is not on the cover of NFL Magazine this week.
3. He may be a virgin. Not kidding here: In the site stats that I check regularly, the search engine referral terms “Tebow virgin” and “Is Tim Tebow a Virgin” appear in the top 15 every single day. Even though to my recollection I have never written a post on that subject. Apparently, you are fascinated by this. I’ll keep you posted on any developments.
4. He’s not Michael Vick. Tebow loves puppies, and if we didn’t already have a Patron Saint of Animals, St. Francis of Assisi, we could nominate Tebow for that post. He is also not Ben Roethlisberger, or Ray Lewis, or Ndamukong Suh. The only time Tebow would stomp your leg is if it were on fire. And even then it would be a gentle stomp, filled with love.
In all seriousness on point No. 4, Tebow is bringing new football fans to the table in a way that no other player is. Check out this excerpt from a blog post I found recently, in which a woman writes about her new-found love of football, and a certain quarterback:
Tim Tebow’s passion for the game of football and his passion for His God has stirred something in my soul. It’s caused me not only to wait with excitement for the next Denver Broncos game, but it’s also encouraged me to lace up my shoes, take to the game of life and tackle the giants that stand in the way of my own victory.
Simply put, the life of Tim Tebow, both on and off the field, inspires me.
His life reminds me that character counts as character draws others onto your team and inspires them to give their best. It reminds me that attitude determines our level of victory which in turn can greatly impact the lives of others.
And no matter what you think of his playing ability, if Tebow is having that kind of impact on people, how can you not root for him to succeed? Excerpt from the NFL Magazine cover story:
“As iron sharpens iron, men sharpen men,” Tebow told the group, loosely quoting Proverbs 27:17.
Do Tebow’s constant references to his Christianity still bother you? Maybe they do. And that’s your prerogative. For what it’s worth, linebacker Von Miller, the havoc-wreaking rookie who is among the biggest reasons for Tebow’s recent success, was inspired by that quote.
“What he said really stuck with me,” said Miller as he walked toward the team bus. “Just having that guy around, it makes us better men. I think he plays for us, and he makes us want to play for him.”
There’s been much wailing and gnashing of teeth lately over the fact that Tebow talks a lot about his faith and points to the sky after touchdowns. Then there’s all the Tebowing. But my TV comes with a mute button, and with the invention of NFL Red Zone there’s no reason to even watch the Broncos if that kind of thing annoys you.
So live and let live. Or as Jesus said, “Blessed are the cheesemakers.” At least I think that’s what he said: I was way in the back.
Rick’s Cafe Americain appears on Thursdays. Contact: Rickchand@gmail.com.
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