Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
Timothy Richard "Tim" Tebow (/ˈtiːboʊ/; born August 14, 1987) is a former American football quarterback who played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets, and a very brief stint with the New England Patriots in the National Football League. In addition to his playing activities, he received considerable press attention for his public displays of religious faith, both on and off the field. He played college football for the University of Florida, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and appearing on BCS National Championship-winning teams in the 2006 and 2008 seasons. Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Tim Tebow is a descendant of Andries Tibout, who emigrated from Bruges in Flanders, Belgium to New Amsterdam (later known as New York City). Tebow's parents met while attending the University of Florida in the late 1960s. Pamela, his mother, was a freshman and his father, Robert, was a sophomore at the time. The couple married on June 12, 1971, before Pamela's graduation from the University. In 1985, the family moved to the Philippines where they served as Baptist missionaries and built a ministry. Prior to becoming pregnant with Tim, his mother contracted amoebic dysentery and fell into a coma. She discovered she was pregnant while recovering. Because of the medications used to treat her, the fetus experienced a severe placental abruption. Doctors expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion. The Tebows decided against it citing their strong faith (abortion was illegal in the Philippines in any case). On August 14, 1987, she gave birth to Tim in Manila.
Tim Tebow is the youngest of five children. He and his siblings were all homeschooled by their parents, who instilled the family's Christian beliefs. In 1996, legislation was passed in Florida allowing home-schooled students to compete in high school sporting events. The law, which later became known as the Tim Tebow law, specifies that home-schooled students may participate on the team of the local high school in the school district in which they live. Tebow took advantage of this law when he decided to attend Trinity Christian Academy, the local high school in his hometown of Jacksonville, where he played tight end. In 2003, he moved into an apartment in nearby St. Johns County, making him eligible to play for the struggling football program at Allen D. Nease High School where he could play quarterback. His performance led to a minor controversy regarding the fact that, although home-schooled, he had his choice of school for which to play.
On January 7, 2007, Tebow was featured prominently in an ESPN "Outside The Lines" feature on home-schooled athletes seeking equal access to high school athletics in other states. Because a home-schooler's access to public and private school athletic functions vary by state, Tebow and former defensive end Jason Taylor (who was allowed to play at his local high school in Pennsylvania) argued in favor of extending the right to play for local teams to more states. Upon becoming the first home-schooled athlete to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy, he remarked, "That's really cool. A lot of times people have this stereotype of home-schoolers as not very athletic – it's like, go win a spelling bee or something like that – it's an honor for me to be the first one to do that." Tebow received the 2008 Quaqua Protégé Award as outstanding home-education graduate.
On December 8, 2007, Tebow was awarded the Heisman Trophy, finishing ahead of Arkansas's Darren McFadden, Hawaii's Colt Brennan, and Missouri's Chase Daniel. He was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.
Tebow opened the 2009 season continuing a streak of throwing and running for a touchdown in blowout wins over Charleston Southern and Troy. He ran for a touchdown in the third game, a win against Tennessee, but failed to throw for a touchdown for the first time since his freshman season. In answer to an interview question, Tebow stated he was a virgin. The statement was subject to much discussion about whether the question was necessary, including criticism of the reporter who originally asked.
In 2010 a new rule for the next NCAA football season banned messages on eye paint. This rule was dubbed "The Tebow Rule" by media because it would have affected him.
During his college football career, he frequently wore references to biblical verses on his eye black. In the 2009 BCS Championship Game, he wore John 3:16 on his eye black; the verse was the highest-ranked Google search term over the next 24 hours, generating over 90 million searches. Additionally, later, when Tebow switched to another verse, there were 3.43 million searches of "Tim Tebow" and "Proverbs 3:5-6" together. Tebow stated of the searches "It just goes to show you the influence and the platform that you have as a student-athlete and as a quarterback at Florida".
Despite the media labeling it as the Tebow rule, the NCAA denies the rule was influenced by Tebow in particular, since many other notable players (Reggie Bush and Terrelle Pryor for example) wear or have worn messages on eye black. An NCAA spokesman said: "When this rule was proposed, the committee did not focus on any one team or student athlete. That measure reinforces what the intended use of eye black is, which is to shade the eyes from the sun."
The NFL already had a rule prohibiting players from wearing messages on eye black, so Tebow could not have continued the practice in the NFL.
2010Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round (25th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Broncos had acquired the pick in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens on the first night of the draft for the Broncos' second, third and fourth round picks. Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels said about drafting Tebow, "He has all the traits you look for. It's a good pick." When asked how Tebow will be used, McDaniels commented that Tebow probably wouldn't start at quarterback as a rookie, and that he'll, "Play when he's ready." The Denver Post columnist Woody Paige praised the pick, saying "Tim Tremendous may be high risk, but he will be a Mile High Reward."
Tebow wore number 15 on his jersey for the Broncos, the same number he wore in college. He set an NFL Draft record for jersey sales and continued to have the top selling jersey through the 2010 season.
2010 Super Bowl adA nationwide controversy surrounded Tebow's decision to appear in an ad funded by the socially conservative organization Focus on the Family that was broadcast February 7, 2010, during Super Bowl XLIV on CBS. There were two 30-second commercials, which included Tebow's personal story as part of a pro-life stance. The abortion issue was not specifically mentioned in the ad. Pro-choice groups criticised the ad, while pro-life groups supported Tebow.
Tebowing is a neologism for the act of kneeling on one knee in prayer specifically with one's head bowed and an arm resting on the one bent knee, when kneeling, a form of genuflecting. It is derived from Tebow's propensity for kneeling and praying. The origin of the phrase is credited to fan Jared Kleinstein, who posted a picture with friends on Facebook, in which they mimicked a pose of Tebow following the Broncos' comeback overtime victory over the Dolphins on October 23, 2011. The popularity of the picture led Kleinstein to set up a website showing pictures submitted by people depicting various interpretations of Tebowing all over the world. After two-and-a-half months, the site received 20,000 photograph submissions and 20 million page views from 2 million unique visitors. The New York Times wrote "it can be hard to tell whether [people tebowing] are celebrating or mocking [Tebow] for his virtuous ways." Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl tebowed as part of a bet with the mayor of Denver following the Broncos playoff victory over the Steelers in 2012. On October 9, 2012, Tebow was awarded the trademark to Tebowing after winning a legal battle with two fans who had expressed interest in trademarking the name.
Tebowing was recognized as a word in the English language by the Global Language Monitor, due to its level of worldwide usage, which was comparable to the word Obamamania (referencing President Barack Obama). In December 2011, the life-sized wall graphics company Fathead released a "Tebowing" sticker that became the company's best-selling product in two days.
Tebow is known for his outspoken Christian faith. In the Philippines, Tim Tebow preached the Christian Gospel to schoolchildren and entire villages and assisted in medical care. Tebow supports more than 40 national evangelists working in that nation. In the United States, he has shared his Christian faith in prisons and schools, to church and youth groups, and at meetings and conferences.
An Easter Sunday crowd of roughly 20,000 in Florida listened to Tebow on April 8, 2012. He only briefly mentioned his move from Denver to New York. "Kind of got traded. I'm on another team—excited to be a Jet," Tebow said. "Regardless of what happens, I still honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because at the end of the day, that's what's important, win or lose. ... We need to get back to one nation under God, and be role models for kids," Tebow added.
Tebow envisioned a foundation to give back to others during his college career, and he, along with other University of Florida students, created "First and 15", raising funds for Uncle Dick's Orphanage in the Philippines, founded by his father's nonprofit association, the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association. He also raised money for Shands Hospital pediatric cancer center in Gainesville and a Disney trip for disadvantaged children. Upon graduation from University of Florida, Tebow launched the Tim Tebow Foundation in January 2010. In 2013 Tebow was designated a Great Floridian by Florida Governor Rick Scott in recognition of his “major contributions to the progress and welfare" of Florida.
On December 30, 2013, Tebow was hired by ESPN as a college football analyst. He will appear mainly on the SEC Network as co-host of SEC Nation, a travelling pre-game show, and will contribute to ESPN's other platforms as well; Tebow made his debut on ESPN during the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. He has not given up on playing in the NFL, however; his contract allows him to continue to pursue opportunities as a player.