Tim Tebow’s Christian Fervor Annoys Me

And I totally feel guilty about it.

Tim Tebow bugs me, and I’m feeling a little guilty about it. It makes sense to be annoyed by Larry the Cable Guy or Charles Manson or Progressive Flo … but Tebow? Good-looking star athlete, hero of the Broncos overtime against Pittsburgh, and a good Christian? Ah, there it is: The sleeve-wearing, knee-bending religion that irks me and, at the same time, elicits a sense of guilt for the sentiment. How can a man who stands up and professes his faith rub so many people the wrong way? I’ve been stewing about this, I’m sure, in an attempt to validate my feelings and not feel like a jerk for disliking someone’s religious convictions. I mean, he’s not standing up and rallying people to smoke meth or not pay their taxes or anything; he’s just saying he likes Jesus.

The first thing that strikes me is how his zeal makes me feel about my own religious stance. I am a practicing Catholic and obey all the Catholic rules and regs (okay, most of them anyway), but Tebow’s in-your-face attitude feels like an attempt to diminish my own convictions, like I’m not a good person unless I write scripture across my face. And why is it noteworthy that an NFL quarterback is “saving” himself for marriage or how he feels about abortion? It’s not the fact that he has opinions about these issues—we all should—but I’m annoyed that sports writers and the general public’s interest in asking him about such things seems to carry as much weight as asking him how he feels about orchestrating the shortest overtime play in NFL history, or advancing in the playoffs. Tim Tebow and his family have made the NFL a platform for such a discussion. It’s annoying, right?

Now let’s get to the most overt display of his conviction: the “take a knee, head in hand, thank God for that win” pose. He’s not the first to bring religion into the game. I remember Reggie White joining hands for prayer before a game, and David Akers would always look up to God/Heaven/Jesus and give a nod after each kick, so why does it bug me so much when Tim Tebow does it? Maybe because it seems just plain silly to me. I can’t imagine that God has anything at all to do with the outcome of a football game; I’m kind of thinking he might have more important things on his plate like famine, disease and the erosion of morality, but maybe I’m wrong. In fact, maybe I should give it a try. Next time my pot roast comes out perfectly, maybe I should drop to the kitchen floor in a Rodin-esque pose, plop my head down onto my fist and thank the Lord that my family will be eating a winner of a dinner.