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Tebow’s success has commentators, fans discussing God's role in football
December 12th, 2011
06:51 AM ET

Tebow’s success has commentators, fans discussing God's role in football

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Tim Tebow led his team to another come-from-behind victory Sunday, this time against the Chicago Bears. He has now won seven out of eight games as the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback, all the while unabashedly preaching his devout faith in God.

"If you were not a believer coming into this game,” said Fox's Daryl Johnston after the Broncos win, “you have to be now.”

While Tebow’s unexpected success on the field has perplexed football commentators and fans alike, his faith and on-field success have led people to talk about belief, miracles and their impact on the sports world.

Tebow has even convinced some nonbelievers that more is going on than just football. Les Carpenter of Yahoo Sports, after assuring readers that he believes in evolution, dinosaurs and the big bang, writes this:

"But I also believe in Tim Tebow because there is no scientific explanation for what is happening to the Denver Broncos. There is no other plausible way to make sense of these games and the amazing, miraculous way with which they win week after week. … It just happened."

The question is this: Does Tim Tebow’s unexpected success, with his awkward scrambling style and his shotput-esque throwing motion, have something to do with a higher power?

Does Tebow really have God on his side?

The answers to that question run the gamut, and while the general consensus is that something special is happening in Denver, there are just as many who believe Tebow is benefiting from a good team as those who believe God sports the blue and orange on Sunday.

Bronco fans are not shy about discussing faith and their team.

In an article titled “Tim Tebow has the Broncos believing they can’t lose,” Mark Kiszla exhibits an overt belief that Tebow is getting help from upstairs. He writes:

“The magic of Tim Tebow is bigger than football and grows larger with each late-game miracle by the Broncos. Logic fails to explain this no-way-in-heaven, overtime victory against Chicago, unless you consider: Denver played as if victory were preordained.”

Looking for religion in that paragraph (between the uses of miracle, heaven and preordained) doesn’t take reading between the lines. And that wasn’t even as blatant as when Rick Telander of the Chicago (the town Tebow just defeated) Sun-Times appealed to God directly.

“And God, if you’re reading, doing some Monday-morning quarterbacking, would you mind telling the rest of us what’s up with this proselytizing young minister who did nearly a full minute of his famed “Tebow-ing” on the goal line, balancing motionless on one knee, chin on fist like Rodin’s “The Thinker,” while the rest of his team lined up for the opening kickoff?”

Telander even offered to speak in tongues, which surprisingly enough wasn’t the first time that idea came up on Sunday.

Former New York Giant Michael Strahan, when asked about Tebow after the game, jokingly spoke in tongues after the game to show his astonishment at the win.

But not everyone is a believer.

In post-game interviews, Bears players told the Chicago Sun-Times that “It’s not really what he is doing” and that no one was panicked because it was “Tebow Time.”

People online were equally skeptical.

If deciding whether Tebow is God’s quarterback were a football game, Twitter would be the field. Believers and skeptics have used the platform to make their case between a mixture of hash tags and fake accounts.

People tweeted about Chicago’s bad defense and Tebow’s rough three quarters. They also asked why God favors Tebow’s belief, while players on other teams believe in God, too. What makes him special, people questioned?

A fake Jesus Christ account, @Jesus_M_Christ, tweeted: "I think Dad loves @TimTebow more than me."

With all of this talk on Twitter, including from the Tebow doubters, four topics relating to Tebow, including #tebow and #themilehighmessiah, were trending worldwide on Twitter.

But not all football fans are ready to ordain Tebow. The New York Times’ Frank Bruni, who did acknowledge that he was a believer in Tebow, writes about this disbelief:

“Tebow performs a sort of self-righteous bait-and-switch — you come for scrimmages and he subjects you to scriptures — and the displeasure with that is also writ colorfully on the Web, in Tebow-ridiculing Twitter feeds and Facebook pages, one devoted entirely to snapshots through time of Tebow in tears.”

“We’re a team that keeps the faith,” Tebow told Fox sideline reporter Tony Siragusa after Sunday’s game. “We just kept believing.”

Whether it is belief in God, good play or a mixture of both, the quarterback whom the Wall Street Journal has anointed “God’s Quarterback” will continue to start for the Broncos - and fans will certainly be watching.

And maybe that is Tebow’s biggest accomplishment. In a year when the sports world has been rocked by scandals both on and off the field, Tebow has people interested in a positive sports story.

So whether they are watching because they believe in miracles or because they just like football, does it really matter?

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Christianity • Sports

soundoff (2,257 Responses)
  1. Realist

    .
    .

    Let me tell you all something ... (and convert each of the following into a website address)

    ... www GOD IS IMAGINARY dot com (and he resides in the) www EVIL BIBLE dot com
    .
    .

    December 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Steve

      Let me tell you all something ... (and convert each of the following into a website address)

      WWW YOU'RE AN IDIOT.COM

      December 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  2. kellly

    So God cares about who wins a football game than providing food to a starving child....... oh I forgot he works in mysterious ways!

    December 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  3. Realist

    Let me tell you all something ... and convert each of the following into a website address)

    ... www GOD IS IMAGINARY dot com (and he resides in the) www EVIL BIBLE dot com

    December 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  4. mightyfudge

    You want to know why the ranks of the non-believers get exponentially larger each day? Because you religious idiots attribute your "God" to stupid crap like this. Seriously, it makes you look dumber than you already do... which isn't easy.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  5. Snc735

    Is tim tewbow playing iron man football now? I didn't see him out there making tackles and sacking the bears' quarterback. Did Tebow kick the game winning field goal too? Wow, i don't think god is on his side, TIM TEBOW IS GOD!

    What a bunch of nonsense this is. Those that believe in imaginary sky fairy's should have their heads examined! Religious folks need some serious mental treatment.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  6. novoodoo

    looks like god ignored the hungry children to pay attention to Tebow. How arrogant Tebow is in his public exhibition of - look at me pray, I'm humble and special.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  7. dsptchr645

    Tebow believes it. Let him alone.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  8. mouse

    Yeah, god helped David slew goliath and he helped him kill Bathseba's husband since David violated her and everyone knows when a woman/man cheats it's the other spouses fault!

    December 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Al

      In the bible, it's totally cool for any man to sleep with any woman he likes as long as SHE is not married or another man's concubine. David was punished for sleeping with a married woman and getting her husband killed. Had he taken on any single gal, god would have been okeydokey with it. The bible is for simple minded people.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • nympha

      Wow! Is that ever wildly off! G od condemned David for that act and he was punished.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • TR6

      @Al: ” David was punished for sleeping with a married woman and getting her husband killed.”

      Oh yea, some punishment. Did god take away his kingdom? No. Did god take away his girl friend? No. Did god take away his thingie? No. At a time when infant mortality was astronomically high god decided to kill one of David’s children as punishment; but, let him have other children with his ill gotten girl friend. Some punishment! Some god!

      Actually now that I think about it, David’s god is just the sort to fix foot ball games

      December 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  9. Realist

    I guess THE COLTS are Satan's Team? ... Hardy Har Har !!!

    December 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  10. Joe

    The Broncos didn't win the game–the Bears lost it....... because they have the worst GM in professional sports, who never puts them in a position to win.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • claybigsby

      joe, sorry but the GM doesnt have anything to do with Marion Barber running out of bounds or fumbling the football.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  11. Realist

    www GOD IS IMAGINARY dot com (and he resides in the) www EVIL BIBLE dot com

    December 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • joeblow

      If God is imaginary, then so to are microwaves and radio waves, which can only be proven to exist in theory. You can't see them. Before they were invented they still existed even though people had no clue.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • HellBent

      @joeblow – that has to be the stupidest comment ever. And on these boards that's saying quite a lot. You clearly had to flunk fourth grade science.

      How do you think your computer works? Just on theory? Magic?

      It's scary to me to think that people like you can vote.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Snc735

      hahahah joeblow, you need to go back to school.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Al

      @Joeblow, your logic is way flawed. We witness microwaves. The concept of god, on the other hand, is made up and exists in each god believer's mind. That makes god imaginary.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • Smell the coffee

      @joeblow – people didn't invent radio waves – people detected them using reliable and tested equipment.

      God was invented and there is no proof otherwise.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • steve505

      @joeblow The same can be said about pink unicorns. I've never seen a pink unicorn. Does that somehow add to the probability that they exist? No, no it does not. We don't have to see them to know whether or not they exist. We know they do not exist because the idea is silly and illogical, much like religion.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
  12. novoodoo

    That would be the same as god answering the terrorists prayers in their missions success to destroying the towers.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • joeblow

      The towers came down because of "free will" which God gave each of us. Free will of those to take the action of bringing down the towers. They could have chosen not to do it.

      Free will.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Steve

      Sorry pal...wrong God

      December 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • novoodoo

      all the same delusions.. And Tebow won out of freewill.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • I'm The Best!

      Free will does not exist.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  13. cheesehead57

    IIf Tebow is God's favorite QB, then the Packers are God's favorite football team.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  14. Ed

    Interesting timing. I am in no way saying or implying that this was "stolen" from me because that would be absurd lol...but I just posted an article on my blog about this topic and why pro athletes thank or "give glory" to god after they score or win.it can be found at http://www.atypicalcynic.com (or atypicalcynic dot....com... if this is censored.

    if there was a god, i doubt he would have a favorite player or team...or a compelling reason to make the other guy/team lose.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  15. Al

    Sigh.... While I'm happy I was born human, my species is waaaaaaayyyyyy too dumb for its own good.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  16. Games Rigged

    It not GOD, it's satan NFL

    December 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  17. Dan

    He will never lose again if that is true (which it is not). Sorry folks, the earth is not flat and there is no invisible guy in the sky controlling everything.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Al

      Don't you remember? When god makes you lose or give you cancer or starves you to death, he's just testing you.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • arc@arc.com

      God doesn't live in the sky numb nuts. At least try to get your ignorant troll-like abusive statements right, so that you only look like a partial idiot rather than a complete moron.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • John

      How do you know?

      December 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Al

      @arc, can you tell us where your invisible friend lives then?

      December 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • claybigsby

      "God doesn't live in the sky numb nuts. At least try to get your ignorant troll-like abusive statements right, so that you only look like a partial idiot rather than a complete moron."

      Abusive statements? REALLY? With this drivel coming from your fingers I would have thought it would take something more to be "abusive"

      December 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
    • joeblow

      Dan–You believe microwaves and radio waves exist yet nobody can see them or prove they exist. Only in theory do they exist.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • HellBent

      @joeblow – your radio proves that radio waves exist. Or do you think you only theoretically listen to music in the car?

      December 12, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
    • joeblow

      @Dan
      You believe radio waves and microwaves exist yet nobody can prove they exist. Only in theory do they exist.

      Your ignorance is not theory, it is proven.

      December 12, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
  18. Jennifer C.

    I believe that God is on Tim Tebow's side...been saying it for a while now. Of course there are believers on other teams..but how many of those players take the credit for themselves? Is there anyone but Tebow that doesn't take the credit but gives God all the glory? He knows he can't play football....but God gives him wins.....

    It is pretty obvious Tim Tebow is one of God's favorites.....and why shouldn't he be? He is a good upstanding young man who has gone on missionary trips and gives God the glory!

    I think Tim Tebow is our generation's David...King David...... God loves who he loves....... he works in mysterious ways.......

    God helped David defeat Goliath and Tim Tebow defeat the Bears.....

    Tim Tebow...keep doing what you are doing! and I will keep watching happily.

    Even though personally I am a Vols fan...........and Tim Tebow's Gators whooped up on them...but that is okay..I already knw God didn't like me....

    J.C.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • BL

      Incredible, mind boggling childishness. Everything is in a constant state of change, as is this nonsense. To imagine some "divine" intervention is beyond stupid. It's only your personal vanity and ego believing what it wants to believe.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Dan

      So your God prefers to help your football player but chooses to ignore all the sick, dying, and hungry children in the world? Your god's a fool.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Not All Docs Play Golf

      Comparing the old testament story of God intervening with David and Goliath with Tebows' football team is lunacy. That same God supposedly flooded 'the whole world" killing innocent children including the unborn in the wombs and chose Noah to survive and repopulate the world. So when you selectively quote the Bible, you have to take all of it in it's craziness, too. I for one don't buy it.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Madtown

      God loves who he loves.......
      ---
      We're told God loves us all equally.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  19. Jason

    We'll see how he does against the Patriots next week.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  20. philbertfl

    God's on everybodys side, unfortunately though, most people don't know it.

    December 12, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • werdc

      Good post.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • Steve

      Smartest thing I've seen said all day.....

      December 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • Jew-C

      barf

      December 12, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Al

      Why doesn't he let them know then? If god started a chat with me, I'd take notice. Pretty simple if you're god (you would think) to make sure people have no doubts about you.

      December 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.