The Denver Broncos, their amazing kicker and their amazing Christian quarterback, all won again in an exciting overtime win. That’s three games in a row (at least, I’m not following it closely) where Tim Tebow and the Broncos have managed to come from behind to win at the last possible second.
Here’s the scoop on the latest nail-biting victory by the Denver Broncos.
Tim Tebow has led the Broncos to five fourth-quarter comebacks since replacing Kyle Orton at starting quarterback eight games ago, when Denver was 1-4.
“I guess I’ve just got to get to the stadium and start practicing a little bit earlier,” Tebow said.
The win is Denver’s sixth in a row, and secures the Broncos (8-5) the AFC West lead, which they shared with Oakland entering Sunday’s games. Chicago dropped to 7-6, further clouding its playoff chances.
The Broncos could be playoff bound, but the only prediction coming out of Denver locker room Sunday was this: “I’m definitely going to be going bald by the end of the season,” said the 27-year-old Prater, who has made four game-winning field goals this season. “Bald or gray, one of the two.”
Denver could have made Sunday’s game much less of a heart-stopper but muffed two scoring chances earlier in the game. A 28-yard attempt by Prater was blocked in the second quarter. In the third quarter, Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas broke away from coverage near the end zone but let a deep pass slip from Tebow through his hands.
Tebow said he told Thomas not to worry about it, that Thomas would score the game-winning touchdown.
The prediction was off, but not by much.
With 4:34 left in regulation, the Broncos were trailing 10-0. Tebow completed seven straight passes to lead Denver on a 63-yard scoring drive, capped by two receptions by Thomas. The 10-yard touchdown catch came with 2:08 remaining.
“It was just a big relief,” Thomas said.
Chicago, still leading by three points, lost the opportunity to run off time on the clock when running back Marion Barber, starting in place of the injured Matt Forte, ran out of bounds with less than two minutes left in regulation.
“I might have thanked the Lord when he did that,” Tebow said.
Tebow and the Broncos offense regained possession with 53 seconds left. Tebow completed three passes to put the Broncos in field-goal range, then Prater kicked a career record-tying 59-yarder with eight seconds left to send the game into overtime.
“You can’t say enough about Prater and how clutch he is,” Tebow said.
Man, can the Denver kicker kick field goals – he nailed a 59-yard field goal today. But the quarterback Tim Tebow is the one getting all the attention lately. And I think because this is a Christian blog, we need to take a look at why that is.
I read this article in the Wall Street Journal about Tim Tebow, and I asked myself the question “does God care whether Tim Tebow wins football games?”.
First, Tim doesn’t think that God cares about who wins football games:
In the waning moments against the New York Jets, Mr. Tebow manufactured a 95-yard game-winning drive, punctuated by his own 20-yard touchdown dash. He brought the Broncos back from imminent defeat, just as he had done in previous weeks against the Miami Dolphins, Oakland Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs.
And when the shouting was over, Mr. Tebow did what he always does—he pointed skyward and took a knee in prayer. In postgame interviews, the young quarterback often starts by saying, “First, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” and ends with “God bless.” He stresses that football is just a game and that God doesn’t care who wins or loses.
He’s right about that. God doesn’t care about who wins and loses football games. He doesn’t care about making us feel happy or sad, either. He doesn’t care about giving us what we want. God has one reason and one reason alone for creating us. To give us time on Earth to respond to his drawing us toward him. It’s our job to puzzle about science and history and logic now and try to see if he is there and what he is like. Our job is to know God and to serve God. You’re not going to be able to tell whether God exists based on the Denver Broncos’ wins and losses. Football is not a premise in any argument for God’s existence or Jesus’ resurrection.
But that doesn’t mean that Tim Tebow can’t use football to serve God. Here are a couple of ways he helps to do that.
While at Florida, Mr. Tebow became well known for spending his summers helping the poor and needy in the Philippines. He also spoke in prisons and appeared to accept every opportunity to volunteer. He encouraged his teammates and classmates to follow his lead.
As Mr. Tebow recounts in his book “Through My Eyes” (written with Nathan Whitaker), after he won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, he had the idea to use his fame to raise money for the orphanage that his family runs and for other organizations. Since National Collegiate Athletic Association rules prevented him from raising money for his own causes, he worked with the university to found a student society that could be used for charity.
According to the former Florida coach Urban Meyer, Mr. Tebow’s philanthropic efforts reshaped campus culture, and for a time, volunteering became fashionable. In his senior year, the powder-puff football tournament that he launched, with the help of the university’s sororities and fraternities, raised $340,000 for charity.
Mr. Tebow’s acts of goodwill have often been more intimate. In December 2009, he attended a college-football awards ceremony in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The night before, at another gala at Walt Disney World Resort, he met a 20-year-old college-football fan named Kelly Faughnan, a brain-tumor victim who suffers from hearing loss and visible, continual tremors. She was wearing a button that said “I love Timmy.” Someone noticed and made sure that the young woman had a chance to meet the player.
Mr. Tebow spent a long while with Ms. Faughnan and her family, and asked her if she’d like to be his date for the award ceremony the following night. She agreed, and the scene of Mr. Tebow escorting the trembling young woman down the red carpet led much of the reporting about the event.
You can read more about their date here. (H/T Tim McGrew) Tim Tebow considers his presence something to be given away to others who would benefit from it. It’s not something he uses to gratify his own needs. He gives himself as a gift to people and he leaves them better than he found them.
Second, Tim Tebow gets people curious and/or angry about Christianity, because he acts on his beliefs:
In 2010, while still at the University of Florida (where he won the Heisman Trophy and helped the Gators to win two national championships), Mr. Tebow filmed a Super Bowl commercial for Focus on the Family, the mega-ministry known for its conservative political advocacy. The ad is about how Mr. Tebow’s mother was advised to abort her son following a placental abruption, but she refused and, well, now we have Tim Tebow.
The ad takes the softest possible approach to the subject and never uses the terms “abortion” or “pro-life,” but its intent was clear, and it generated controversy. Since then, feelings about Mr. Tebow have been a litmus test of political and social identity. If you think he’s destined to be a winner, you must be a naive evangelical. If you question his long-term chances as an NFL quarterback, you must hate people who love Jesus.
In another article, Tim Tebow is quite honest about his refusal to engage in sex before marriage.
Tebow’s successful college football career and current position as Denver Bronco’s quarterback make him a manly-man in an everyday sense, but evangelical Christians say it’s his unashamed willingness to adhere to the moral teachings of his faith that make him a man in a religious sense.
Tebow, who told reporters that yes, he was a virgin and yes, he was waiting until marriage to have sex, has become an example of contemporary “biblical manhood,” a good guy, willing to speak out for Christianity and actually practice what he preaches.
The notion of biblical masculinity is based on a complementation view of gender roles, as described in Scripture, which positions men as head of the household. The leaders of the movement to restore biblical manhood say today’s men aren’t living according to that Christian call, and social and spiritual downfalls have caused them to be lazy and passive or overly authoritative. There’s a man crisis in society, they say, and the church needs to educate men on how to fulfill their responsibilities.
Consistent Christians have to be different like that. People think that none of us actually take these things seriously. But there are people out there like Tim, who understand what sex and love and marriage and parenting are really about, and have the self-control to try to do things as correctly as they can. And we need people to see that there is something different about evangelical Christians – we are the ones who take this stuff seriously. We are the ones who care about children’s need for a mother and a father and a stable marriage, and we advocate for chastity and traditional marriage so that vulnerable children get the stability and love they need as they develop.
But not everyone is going to respond to Tebow’s chastity, charity and pro-life activism with admiration and curiosity. Some will hate Tim and will want him to fail. The reason why people hate him is because people who are sinning, especially sexually, feel better when they think that “everyone is doing it”. In fact, that’s exactly why the left tries so hard to sexualize children, to give them condoms, and to have Christians pay for their abortions and recognize gay marriages. The anti-Christians don’t want to believe that anyone is out there trying to be good. They feel that if they could just bring everyone like Tebow down to their level, then all the evil that they are doing will be OK. What would be great, they think, is if people like Tebow could celebrate their sinful choices so that they would feel better about them.
The Bible actually talks about this in Romans 1, where the Bible explains that sinful people know about the moral law but “they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” They want Tim Tebow to approve of their sinfulness and selfishness, and by choosing to go a different way, he is disapproving of their choices, and they don’t like that. They oppose the idea that there is any purpose to sexuality other than feeling good. They don’t want anyone to impose rules on their pursuit of pleasure. And they don’t want anyone to tell them that what they are doing is wrong. I am not advocating coercing anyone to be moral, but I do think that people like Tim Tebow should be free to be chaste, and free to express his views on what he thinks is moral when it comes to sex and abortion.