March 21st, 2012
02:28 PM ET
Denver Christians mourn Tebow’s departure, say they’ll root from afar
By Dan Merica, CNN
(CNN) – When star quarterback Peyton Manning signed with the Denver Broncos this week, Denver pastor Jim Mackey signed at the thought that Tim Tebow probably wouldn’t be wearing Broncos blue and orange next season. The Broncos don’t need two star quarterbacks and the New York Jets announced Wednesday that Tebow is now theirs.
“It was a topic of conversation last night,” Mackey said in a phone interview Wednesday, describing Tuesday night services at his Next Level Church.
“It is an emotional thing and a bit more emotional for people who have connected with Tebow’s expression of faith,” Mackey said. “Rather than just a QB controversy, which is not unique in the NFL, this does seem to have hit more of a personal nerve for those in the Christian community.”
Mackey’s church meets Tuesday nights, not Sunday mornings, because Mackey believes Sunday is a day for people to do Colorado things – skiing, hiking and Broncos games.
Tebow, who helped turn the bottom-dwelling Broncos into a playoff team last year, transcended sports with his overt professions of faith and his late game heroics, which led some to believe that God was on the young quarterback’s side.
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Throughout the season, Tebow’s jersey was flying off the racks and “Tebowing” – the act of getting down on one knee and praying while everyone around you does something else – became to be an internet meme and widely recognized symbol. Tebow quickly became the public face of FRS Company and Jockey; for months, it was hard to click on ESPN without hearing his name.
“Tim Tebow seems to have won the hearts of not only football fans in Denver but the people here at large,” said Rob Brendle, pastor at the evangelical Denver United Church. “One of the most exciting aspects of last season was that casual sports fans and those who aren’t even interested in football, like my wife, became captivated by the influence of Tim Tebow.”
“Around the water cooler and in church, there is sadness at the likelihood of his departure,” Brendle said, a few hours before the Jets announcement.
Though Tebow cashed in with endorsements, he also lent his face and celebrity to causes he believed in, many in the Denver area. Like many players, Tebow invited individual fans to his games. In his last game with the Broncos, a playoff face-off with quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, Tebow hugged Kelly Faughnan, a 22-yard old female who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor and whom the Tebow Foundation had invited to the game.
Brendle said that Tebow showed that you can be both good at sports and good at giving back.
“It is hard not to cheer for the Christian kid,” Brendle said.
Jim Daly, president of the Colorado Springs-based evangelical group Focus on the Family, teamed up with Tebow for antiabortion Super Bowl ad last year. The spot illustrated how comfortable Tebow is trumpeting his Christian beliefs, even on a polarizing issue.
“I think there is going to be this period of mourning for Tim Tebow’s departure,” Daly said. “I think that that affection that people have for Tebow goes well beyond Denver and his ability to play football.”
Daly says Focus still hopes to work with Tebow in the future.
“Regardless of where he is, he is a national celebrity and it would be great to work with him again – even if he is in New York,” Daly said.
Matthew Ware, Executive and Worship Pastor at Victory Church in Denver, said Tebow fans were hoping for the quarterback to stay local even after the Manning announcement.
“I think most people were hoping for a "both/and" instead of an "either/or" situation,” Ware said. “We love the idea that perhaps Manning could ‘disciple’ Tebow into greatness in the next few years.”
Many believers in Denver will now have to balance being a Broncos fan with rooting for a New York-based Tebow.
“Tebowmania has a magnetism and loyalty that's undeniable,” Ware said. “While most people will ultimately support their home team, once in a while a player comes along that wins your heart. Tebow is that kind of player. He'll have Denver fans no matter where he plays.”
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As someone from Denver I can honestly say that the universal love for Tebow by Denver residents only existed if one was deaf and wore blinders. And no it wasn't a religion thing. Some football fans believe that a QB should be able to complete more than 50% of their passes, after all that is the main task their job requires them to do well.
Many of us are eager (although realistic regarding health issues) about Manning taking over. We are the people (believers and non-believers) who think football is a sport, not a evangelical endeavor.
As a Pats fan, all I can say is that this a great pick-up for the Jets. LOL!!!!
Sheep, tell me you're kidding.........no they're not. a back up qb in the nfl is no one's savior let alone this overhyped self promo machine!
It's not that he's religious, but the way he obviously bring attention as if he is purposely wanting the attention.
I liked Tebow. I'd have liked him more if he was a better QB. But now I've got Manning. Bye Tebow. Hope you have success. Unless you're playing the Broncos. Then I hope you throw 3 INTs have 3 fumbles and get sacked 9 times in a blowout loss.
How many of you Christians have actually read the bible? I've read it and it couldn't contain more absurdities. If you're so devoted to the bible, are you prepared to be executed for picking up sticks on the Sabbath? Wake up and think.
Words can condemn you, you know?
Come on man; that argument is so old and weak.
If you have read the whole Bible and actually understood it, you'll know that (1) this was a cultural thing at THAT TIME, and the Israelites were the only people in the world considered God's people–therefore, that rule only applied to them; and (2) God did a very intricate and complete work on the Cross through Jesus that met every requirement of the law and made a way for us all (not just Jews) to be people of God. So those of us not subject to the 'kill Sabbath workers' laws can be a part of the family.
Don't be so hateful towards the bible man... we don't have ta kill nobody. That's over with.
You should have read Romans 7:6–"But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." Actually Paul talks about release from the law with Christ's sacrifice throughout Romans, Galatians 5, etc.
You might want to read the WHOLE Bible before you judge it or others.
Ryan, either the bible is the perfect, inerrant word of god, or it's not. Which is it?
You already know what I'd say to that. I laugh at your "set up."
I think I'd rather see you try to refute what our friend Chad just said...
I think religion is manmade. There's no evidence to the contrary. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Non believers can't prove god doesn't exist. It's on the side making the claim to prove he does, and no one has. So Chad and anyone else can say I just don't understand all these wonderful truths in the good book, but that doesn't change a thing. I was indoctrinated with the same make believe story as a child and am fortunate to be free of it as an adult.
I really do wish Tebow would do us all a favor and keep his silly religion to himself. It's like a communicable disease.
Check out the God Virus by Darrell Ray
...a disease something like your comments, eh?
It's terrible to have silly religion amongst people running a silly looking ball up and down the field in front of silly people paying to watch the non-event by the millions rather than being productive or creative. Lots of silly behavior.
What would be so wrong with catching Christianity? It's better than the influence of countless instances of pedophilia, murder, corruption, and other filth we're bombarded with on the news on a nightly basis.
@chad: if you watch the news most of those things are carried out by christians. lmfao
Really, WASP? How about the Muslim that slaughtered those Jews in France recently? How about Jared Loughner, a professed Jew, who shot Rep. Giffords and others in Arizona? How about the countless atheists who have murdered people, such as Jeffrey Dahmer, Joseph Stalin, and Adolf Hitler (yes, Hitler opposed Christianity and wanted to impose a secular state)?
Really, Chad? How about Andres Breivik, a right-wing fundamentalist Christian who gunned down 92 people in Norway last year? Or fundamentalist nut job Scott Roeder, who murdered Dr. George Tiller in cold blood? How about the countless numbers of people who were murdered by self-professed Christians during the Crusades, the Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials? The truth is that religious Christians are just as capable of evll and violent behavior as anyone else.
Oh, and by the way, Jared Loughner is not Jewish, nor has he ever professed to be. His victim Gabrielle Giffords, on the other hand, is Jewish, and she probably wouldn't appreciate your slanderous suggestion.
Are there any MUSLIM NFL quarterbacks? We could have a battle between GOD and ALLAH on the field!
So much ignorance in this statement, it's not even funny. One in the same, bud. One in the same.
God and Allah are just 2 names for the same historic God of Abraham. That's what's wrong with most evangelicals, they don't know that and think Muslims worship a different God.
You know, I don't get it.
Soccer players speak all time about God, have cross tattoos, raise their hands on thanks when score and so and so...
ONE American Football player speak about God one or two times and every body on the US is like "WOAAAAAAAA!!!" in a "How dare him!"/"How wonderful!" fashion.
I think it's funny that the same people who talk about Christians being intolerant are the same ones getting disgusted when Christians even TALK about their faith publicly.
Apparently you do not watch Nascar – Trevor Bayne openly prays and talks about his faith all the time and nobody is dishing him. I think it is the Christians getting all mad because he got traded and so they are blaming it on his religion. Just think about what you are saying when you post.
I don't think the trade has anything to do with his religion. I think Elway and the Broncos front office were not as sold on Tebow's QB abilities as Josh McDaniels was. What Minos is trying to say is that it's interesting how everyone (the media, critics, non-believers, etc.) get all crazy because Tebow talks about his faith a lot, especially when other athletes do the same thing in other sports but we don't hear about that.
Soccer players are from foreign countries, so Americans don't care about them.
Chad – I am quite sure also that it wasn't his religion – he was a hot/cold quarterback. But a lot of the post on here seem to suggest it was because he openly talked about his faith. I don't think that is the case I think it is because he is not ready to be a starter and needs molding. He gets a lot of attention because he his a nice looking young man that came in and had a couple of good moments and everyone got on his band wagon and the most glaring thing about him was his faith so that became the topic. If he would have looked like John Kitna he would have just been another average quarterback. JMO
There have been a lot of NFL players who openly profess their faith – Kurt Warner rings a bell. While lots of people love them for it and lots of people find it distasteful, those that find it distasteful (like myself) are largely content to ignor it or root for the other guy. I think the big hoopla came when the faith-in-your-face crowd raised a sub-par quarterback to star status not because of his ability as a player but rather because of his constant calculatingly visible assertions of his faith. Secular minded football fans were appalled that this less than mediocre quarterback became a huge star because he's an in-your-face Christian.
Look, nobody got upset at the only slightly less obnoxious Kurt Warner's star status becuase the guy could flat out play quarterback. Another God Squader in the NBA, Avery Johnson, didn't generate such heat either because his status was roughly commesurate with his accomplishments on the court (modest, but clutch) and leadership with the team (considerable but not dominant).
That said, there's some controversy over whether or not Tebow's skills are suited for the NFL. You've got to totally re-tool your offense and have a very good defense to win with him as your quarterback. Some people think that might work. Heck, Baltimore won a Super Bowl with Trent Dilfer (a mediocre QB) because he made few mistakes and Baltimore had a dominant D. Tebow could have won a SB with that D. He couldn't have won it with, say, last year's NY Giants D or the previous year's Packers D.
"Kelly Faughnan, a 22-yard old female"
Thats a long woman right there!
Funny. I didn't catch that the first time.
Random Thoughts - Good catch... funny.
She unfortunately has a brain tumor. I cannot find a treatment for that in the Bible, but there *is* one, specified by the LORD in Leviticus 14, for leprosy - maybe it could be adapted.
Get two birds. Kill one. Dip the live bird in the blood of the dead one. Sprinkle the blood on the leper seven times, and then let the blood-soaked bird fly away. Next find a lamb and kill it. Wipe some of its blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle seven times with oil and wipe some of the oil on his right ear, thumb and big toe. Repeat. Finally find another pair of birds. Kill one and dip the live bird in the dead bird's blood. Wipe some blood on the patient's right ear, thumb, and big toe. Sprinkle the house with blood 7 times. That's all there is to it.
Hey, Bizarre, I did find treatment advice in the Bible. The countless examples throughout the Gospels of Jesus healing men and women by faith in God, and his saying to his disciples (which includes any of us who follow Jesus), "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." John 14:12
while I am certain there are Christians here in Denver that won't be happy. I believe the publisher missed the point that Chrisstians all over, feel the same way. It was refreshing to see someone who knelt and prayed. Howcome the media has to dilute this meaning. His actions have helped quite a few more people. It wasn't about him. It is about what Jesus did!!.
Silly. All some mediocre player or politician has to do is pretend to be a Christian and the wing nuts come out of the wood work to support him. Tebow got traded because he's not a very good quarter back and that's his job.
He should have prayed for a better throwing arm.
I bet Tebow has more career left in him than Manning does.
Since when does a pastor just get to decide to edit THE 4TH COMMANDMENT? Oh, SUNDAY? Well, let's just move the worship of our lord and savior until Tuesday night, when it's more convenient. The last day of the week – AS PRESCRIBED IN THE BIBLE – says to rest on the 7th day. Does TEBOW follow this edit. No. So...if we can just ignore one frivolous commandment, how about the rest? Stupid christians.
Saturday is the Sabbath proscribed in the Bible. Be careful who you call stoopid.
Show me one "christian" that doesn't cherry pick the bible and I'll show you one slave-holding, infanticidal, genocidal, brainwashed person.
The Sabbath is on Saturday.
Either Timmy didn't pray hard enough or Jesus just isn't that into him.
Buh bye Timmy!
Tebow prayed for the Broncos to make it to the Superbowl, so Jeebus traded him for a real quarterback.
How loosely do you use the term "star quarterback?" Tim Tebow is known for his faith, not by his play. He was great in college, but mediocre in the NFL.
I thought the same thing when I read that line.
One day all of ya will wish that you had listen to Tebow. The truth is ,"JESUS ," is coming again. Like it or NOT- JUDGEMENT!
If Jesus does come back, Christians will crucify him all over again.
Jeb, let me enlighten you...the Romans and Je ws crucified Chr ist. Chris tians came to being after His resurrection.
clarify I'm aware that Skippy. Let me enlighten you. Christians would crucify Jesus because he would rail against their greed, hate, corruption, and hypocrisy.
Modern Christians are nothing like Christ.
Yeah, right. Two thousand years and counting.....................
Well, there were a few thousand Christians when he was crucified...
Grow up and let go if your imaginary friend in the sky.
Yup if Jesus ever comes back, there will be a lot of "christians" that will be sadly disappointed when they get overlooked. christians have led the persecution of more people on this earth than most other faiths and all in the name of Jesus, he would be disgusted.
Yeah Jeb!! Slam dunk on that one. Well put. I couldn't agree more!
Jesus dont win football games but he can sell tickets LOL Christians are so idiotic idolizing a sub par QB
I find it amusing the lack of intelligence that sees only the football side of Tebow. As someone to possibly pick good traits off of Tebow used his recognition to give to other people who aren't so fortunate as to have good health. Yet the small thinkers can only bash his religion and him because of the guilt they feel for their own pettyness.
Drugs, Abortion, Aids, Illegal Immigration, sympathy and pacifism for criminals and terrorists,,,,,,,,,, don't liberals just kill ya!
No, but conservative, teabagging evangelical morons like you do.
Another anti religious bigot . How quaint.
@nookster - I'll second that!
nookster I'll third that!
Two more bigots, how quaint.
Odd how "teabagging" is used as a slur against conservatives considering that its a common and accepted practice among the most liberal of men and women. Kinda like calling someone "gay", eh? I love watching the wingnuts fight. Ahahahaaaa
Uh....explain the AIDS part of your rant.
So you define "bigot" to mean anyone who disagrees with you? How convenient.
God is not finished with Tim Tebow. Tim was successful in Denver and now God has plans for him in New York. Awesome how God uses people to get his word around the world. One day-– there WILL BE people who wished they had listened to someone other than themselves and the world!!!! Thank You, Tim Tebow, for taking a strong stand for our Lord Jesus Christ.
This is exactly what islamist fundamentalists believe, except they think Allah is the bomb! Some day, I hope the world will be rid of the cancer that organized religion is
Ignorance is bliss, right Shirley?
Judge Not lest ye be judged
Kajal is a bigot, ignore him
Hey Shirl, tell the doctors to up your Thorazine dosage.
It's going to be okay Denver. See, Manning is ALSO a Christian, plus, he's a good quarterback. One of the reasons I never cared for the Tebow mania is exactly this. If Broncos fans are now Jets fans because one guy left, were they ever truly fans of the team? It's a team sport, and so many people became fans in the second year of one player's career, and are now leaving that fan community when he leaves. Love your team Denver, not just one player!
No worries. Most people in Denver ARE fans of the Broncos, not of Tebow. This is a marginal but vocal group of extremely religious folks who is mourning. They didn't care that much about the football anyways, clearly. They are mourning the departure of an evangelist, not of a football player
Yes Manning may be a Christian, but he is not a showy "hey everyone look at how holy I am" Christian that Tebow is.
Manning read Mathew. Perhaps Tebow needs to.
as a Jets fan i hope we beat the god out of him. but really i want to know what this means for sanchez, i wanted a new QB but not tebow.this is a step to the side instead of moving forwards or backwards. we need a lot of other positions to be wasting a 4th round pick on tebow
Well that's kinda weird; it seems to me that as a Jets fan, you would want him to have success now that he's a member of the team...
"Beat the god out of him"?... sheesh lol
It means the Jets still dont have a good QB...