“I don’t know if there will ever be another one like him — certainly not in my lifetime.”
“A special one.”
“He’s been extremely important for people, as a sort of role model of how you want to live your faith and not be embarrassed.”
“He’s one of those guys that you look at and go, ‘That’s what all believers ought to be.”
“He is so brave.”
“His impact is more far-reaching than you or I will ever know.”
“We all knew that we’ll never see anyone like this again.”
“The cynical and envious rip him – and rip the media for saying nice things about him.”
“The winning attributes, the leadership qualities, the endless acts of charity.”
“It’s not just his unquenchable spirit. It’s his generosity of spirit.”
“As usual, so many people wanted something from him. As usual, he enthusiastically gave it.”
If you thought all of this lavish praise was leveled at one of history’s great leaders – Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Billy Graham, Jesus, etc. – you’d be wrong.
All of these quotes, and thousands more like them, were written and said (in the last week) about a 22-year-old college football player.
Think about that for a second.
Tim Tebow has been called many things by fans and detractors alike. My family in Alabama referred to his school as “The University of Tebow” and his team as the “Florida Tebows” over Thanksgiving break.
And if anything can definitively be said about him, it’s that he is one of the most interesting case studies the world has ever seen. He seems the ultimate embodiment of the classic, “If I was famous, I wouldn’t act like other famous people” statement.
He takes mission trips to the Philippines. He takes sick kids to his practices. He told the media he is saving himself for marriage. He sings Christian worship songs at practice. He speaks at local prisons in an attempt to save the inmates.
He has won two national championships and a Heisman trophy, and may win another of each before it’s all said and done.
The real question now is how long he will be able to keep it up. Society has countless examples of what too much early praise does to someone later in life. Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Brett Favre, almost any child actor you can name, perhaps even Tiger Woods (whose father trucked him out to morning TV shows to show off his golf skills as a toddler).
And this man has received nothing but praise. As a 17-year-old high school senior he was the subject of an ESPN documentary titled, “The Chosen One.” Less importantly, he led his team to a state championship that year.
Forget what the experts say, the future is only getting brighter. Tebow has been touted to save the Jacksonville Jaguars financially. The political world is there too, as he has already met the governor of Florida nearly a dozen times. If he wants to be a preacher, well, is there any doubt?
Talk about the weight of the world. Talk about pressure. Tiger Woods is now in a scandal because he may have had sex with the wrong woman. Tebow will be in a scandal if it comes forth that he’s had sex at all. Another scandal awaits if we find out he’s ever gotten drunk.
My friends, you heard it here first: the man will fall from grace sometime, be it gambling, sex, drugs, the Tebowland Ranch, whatever. Nobody, nobody is perfect.
But here’s the really sad part: I’m kind of excited about seeing it.