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on October 25, 2011
On the campus of the University of Notre Dame - within sight of its football stadium - is a statue of Jesus with his arms upraised. Due to the statue's proximity to the gridiron, many have informally dubbed the statue, "Touchdown Jesus."
Many could use the same moniker for Tim Tebow, the Bible toting, scripture-spouting quarterback, ex-Heisman Trophy winner, national football champ for the University of Florida Gators and now (at least this week) the starting quarterback for the Denver Broncos.
It is unusual for someone in their early 20's to write an autobiography. Tim Tebow seems to understand that some people are fascinated by his story and hunger for more.
Others are nauseated by it. There are Tebow lovers and Tebow haters. Few seem neutral about Tim Tebow. He is an unlikely polarizing figure but polarizing nonetheless.
His autobiography, THROUGH MY EYES, offers his story. To many, this will not be unfamiliar terrain. Mostly, it is a story of faith, family and football, in that order. Each chapter begins with a Bible first. Some people will like this. Other people will find it grating and annoying. It appears clearer that Tim Tebow's Christian faith serves as the cornerstone of all of his activities, both on and off the gridiron.
Having said that, he was obsessed with sports and football at an early age. Because of his stocky body type and his passion for weight lifting and strength training, many football coaches tried to shoehorn him into playing linebacker or running back. However, from an early age, Tebow was fixated and obsessed with playing quarterback and no other position. His father moved him from different teams and coaches who were determined to play Tebow some position other than quarterback.
This is ironic. To me, part of the gist of Christianity is subordinating your ego and personal preference to the will of God. However, when it comes to football, it appeared that Tebow placed his ego and his desire to play a particular position above the judgment of coaches who felt that he would serve the team better in a different position. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just an anomaly between Tebow's submissiveness in one realm and his "me first" approach when it came to selecting his football position.
Bottom line: if you are a Tim Tebow fan, you will likely enjoy this book. If you are a hater, you probably wouldn't take the time to read the book in the first place and, if you do, you will find it grating and annoying.
When I mentioned to my oldest son, age 25 and an ardent NFL football fan, I was reading Tim Tebow's autobiography, he sarcastically remarked, "Finally we will learn about somebody that the media has left undiscovered!" There is a risk of Tebow overload. As the book comes to press, Tebow finally gets the nod to be the starting quarterback for the NFL's Denver Broncos. There is a raging debate about whether or not Tebow is suited to ever succeed as quarterback in the National Football League.
While Tebow tends to wear his faith on his (jersey) sleeve, I personally do not find it irritating. I do not believe that he comes across as a "holier than thou" or judgmental guy. Because of his faith and his willingness to be "out there" with regard to his Christianity, many have thrown stones at him and have tried to paint him as some kind of sanctimonious hypocrite or religious nut. I don't think that this stereotype fits Tim Tebow. Even before he turned pro, he used his fame as a vehicle to raise funds for needy children and other worthy causes.
Part of the problem is people thinking that Tebow is "just too good to be true." Since so many paragons on pedestals have been brought down by scandal, it is easy to examine closely to see if Tebow has feet of clay.
While anything is possible, Tebow appears to be The Real Deal. THROUGH MY EYES serves double duty as both an athletic and faith journey.