Whether you know it, you really want to like Tim Tebow.
You know you want to like him; you might just not know it yet.
Steelers fan are going to like him — once the shock of Sunday’s defeat that knocked Pittsburgh out of the playoffs. (And for the record, I’m fairly certain if the Steelers had their full complement of players and coaches, they would have won by two scores.)
But, what’s not to like about the second-year Denver Broncos quarterback?
He has all the qualities you would want in a son, a brother, a husband, a friend and a teammate.
He’s nice, he’s humble, he works hard, he keeps his nose clean, he credits his teammates for his success, he doesn’t lash out at those who doubt him, he seems to respect his opponents, he’s a man of faith.
Oh wait, there it is.
Faith: The F word.
Why does that matter with this guy? He is not the first pro football player to be a strong Christian. Reggie White, the Hall of Fame former Eagle and Packer, was the “Minister of Defense,” and he didn’t catch as much grief. Hundreds of other athletes — current and former — have strong beliefs. Their faith guides them, grounds them, helps them lead a better life. I’m OK with that.
Why does this guy freak us out so much? Why are people hitting on him for being so strong in his faith?
I watched an interview with him after the game Sunday. I can’t help but like him. I’m a believer. I can’t see why people don’t see him as the genuine article. And the football part is just an afterthought in my mind.
Remember, this is a complete outsider’s view, because I have no dogs in his fights. I thought his former coach Josh McDaniels was nuts two years ago for taking him in the first round (actually trading UP to get him in the first round) when he could have drafted him in round 2 or 3.
I still don’t think he’s going to be a great NFL quarterback but as a friend reminded me on Monday, I don’t know that for sure.
Here’s a few things I know for sure about this young man:
1) I’m not counting him out on the field or off. I’ve started reading his autobiography, and the guy has been a fighter since before he was born.
2) I would run into battle with him. Yeah, he throws funny, but so does Philip Rivers and Brett Favre. If the Broncos get some more weapons for him next year, watch out.
3) He is what I would want my son to be like when he’s older, and it has nothing to do with his football prowess (although a full ride to a D-1 school would be kinda cool).
4) The guy works hard at his craft and doesn’t take anything for granted.
5) The guy appreciates his talents and is grateful to those who have helped him achieve his success. We all could learn from that.