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Takeaways From Tebow

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Let me introduce you to Tim Tebow.  You may have heard his name before. He’s the guy that last weekend completed an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play in overtime to help his Denver Broncos advance to the 2nd round of the NFL Playoffs. He’s the guy, that after the game, nearly shut down twitter with 9,420 tweets per second mentioning his name. He’s the guy everyone’s talking about. He’s the guy that just keeps winning football games and defying all odds placed against him.

So what is it about Tim Tebow that has made him more viral than a Justin Bieber YouTube video? What is it that’s driving Tebow-mania?  Is it people wanting to see “the good guy” win? Maybe.  Is it people wanting to see him fail?  Possibly.  Is it divine intervention?  PUH-lease. Tell me we haven’t shrunk God down to a deity that wins football games and finds parking spots?

Before we head down the road of trying to figure out what’s really the driving force behind the Tebow mystique, let’s take a look at some Tebow history.

Tim Tebow was born in the Philippines.  While pregnant with him, his mom suffered a life-threatening infection.  Because of the complications, doctors expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion.  His mom decided not to have one.  It’s almost as if Tim Tebow was being molded into a fighter even before he was born.  This fighter’s mentality has followed him his whole life.

In his junior year at Nease High School in Florida, Tim suffered an injury to his right leg during the first half of a game. Originally thought to be a cramp by his training staff, he played the entire second half with a broken fibula. You heard that right.  A broken fibula.  Not a headache or a hangnail but a broken bone.

In his sophomore year at Florida, he played against Florida St. where he threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two. It was later revealed that he fractured his hand during the game. That year he won the Heisman Trophy.

Can you see a theme developing?

Forward the tape to this year.  In Tebow’s first game as a Broncos starter, he rallied his team from a 15-0 deficit to win. It was the largest come from behind victory, with less than three minutes to play, in NFL history. Over the next ten games as a starter he had five more “come from behind” victories (most ever by an NFL quarterback in that timespan). And last weekend, he set a postseason record for yards per completion.

Simply put, you can’t count this guy out.  He seems to thrive best when the chips are stacked the highest.

By the way, do you know what Tim Tebow was doing for the first hour after last weekend’s overtime victory against the Steelers?  Tebow was spending that hour talking to 16-year old Bailey Knaub about her 73 surgeries so far and what TV show she likes.  “Here he’d just played the game of his life,” recalls Bailey’s mother, “and the first thing he does after his press conference is come find Bailey and ask, ‘Did you get anything to eat?’ He acted like what he’d just done wasn’t anything, like it was all about Bailey.”

When I read that, I teared up.  I would love to believe that I would be the same way.  However, I question what I would do with that kind of acclaim, money and limelight.  After a win, would I be counting how many Facebook likes I got or how many tweets were sent out about me? Would I tune into SportsCenter that night to see if I made “Top Plays”  The example this guy sets is humbling and awe-inspiring.

Here’s yet another example of his uncompromising integrity.  Check out what he had to say in response to why he spends so much time with sick and dying kids before and after each game. “It’s by far the best thing I do to get myself ready. Here you are, about to play a game that the world says is the most important thing in the world.  Win and they praise you.  Lose and they crush you.  And here I have a chance to talk to the coolest, most courageous people. It puts it all into perspective.  The game doesn’t really matter.  I mean, I’ll give 100 percent of my heart to win it, but in the end, the thing I most want to do is not win championships or make a lot of money, it’s to invest in people’s lives, to make a difference.”

Contrary to popular opinion, Tim Tebow is not God.  I will admit though, observing his unwavering faith, the decisions he makes and the way he chooses to conduct himself, can be a near religious experience.  I find it incredible that he flies ailing individuals and their families in for every game, home or away, just so that they can have one amazing day.  He rents them a car, puts them up in a hotel, buys them dinner, gets them great seats for the game, visits with them before and after the game, and sends them off with gift baskets.

The bottom-line is the guy gets it. He is as real and authentic as they come. And he does it under a microscope, under the most intense and pressure-filled of conditions, and does it all with class, character and professionalism.

Win or lose this weekend against the Patriots, Tim Tebow’s legacy is in tact. Although, if he wins, it will be pretty cool to see Twitter implode:)

Be it known, Tim Tebow is not a winner because he wins football games. He’s not even a winner because he proclaims the name of Jesus.  Tim Tebow is a winner because his actions honor the name of Jesus.  Tim Tebow is a winner because he serves people over himself.

My main question is, “What are we going to do with all this Tebow inspiration?”  I keep reading all over the internet about how this one man has made the masses believe again.  In what? Him or his mission?  If the answer you give is his mission, then be prepared to act and serve even when the hysteria has died down.

Strip off the helmet and pads and what you’re left with is a mortal man making massive decisions with his life that we can all learn from.

May we be inspired to live out our proclamations and act in accordance with our beliefs.

GB2 [Go Broncos.  God Bless]

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