Yesterday Tim Tebow was traded by the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets. The trade follows two weeks of the Peyton Manning courtship that Denver won. I do not remember anyone making much of what Tebow might think, how he might feel, and what losing his job as starting quarterback would mean for him in the future. He lost his job without a chance to compete but no one made a sound.
But when the trade was announced, suddenly everyone wondered what Mark Sanchez thought. Questions arose immediately about the psyche of the Jets locker room and how the city of New York would respond to such developments. Today, despite the suspension of an NFL head coach for a year, the indefinite suspension of a defensive coordinator and the stiff penalties handed out to a general manager and an assistant coach, Tebow is still in the news. When he was out of a job and tosses aside like trash to the NFL curb no one seemed to mind. There were no articles, commentaries or statements defending him or his contribution to his former team. There were no questions about fairness, locker rooms, or fans’ responses. No one seemed to mind that he was gone.
So if his leaving was not news, why is his going to New York suddenly registering on the social/sports/media scales like a major earthquake? In leaving he wasn’t praised, admired, or helped. In going he becomes dangerous, divisive, a burden, and a misfit. Everywhere Tim Tebow has ever gone from Middle School to the NFL playoffs he has made everything around him better. He is a warrior who never quits or complains. He is a winner who brings the best from himself and his team. He is a believer who lives his faith with quiet assurance. He doesn’t make excuses, he doesn’t fold under the relentless criticism of his foes and he doesn’t ask for anything but a chance. And, whenever he gets an opportunity he does his best with amazing results.
I’m beginning to think that what troubles people is not his skills (of lack thereof) not his personality and not his confidence. What troubles people is Tim Tebow. He is his own man, with his own faith, and his own life. He lives as if he does not pay any attention to anyone who doesn’t like him or who can’t believe in him. It’s not that he is perfect. He’s just different in a way that most people are not accustomed to. We’ve grown used to fakes, punks, hypocrites, cheaters, liars, men who have children and refuse to father them, personalities, and players who quit and refuse to be teammates.
I have a great idea. Leave Mr. Tebow alone. Given enough time he will do what he always does-make everything and everyone around him better.