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January 25, 2012

Why people resent Tebow, and why Tebow doesn’t mind

Whatever else you think about Tim Tebow, he has certainly raised the bar for what it takes to be admired as an NFL player, and as a person. This sort of raising-of-the-bar happens a lot in sports, and in life. Before Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile, everyone who was fast enough to approach that record was a hero. Once the record was broken, though, all of those not-quite-fast-enough athletes became losers. Some were resentful, but a handful stepped it up and joined Bannister in this new level of success. Those who couldn’t, or wouldn’t, just faded away.

After Detroit Lions’ Stephen Tulloch sacked Tebow, he knelt down and genuflected in mockery of Tebow’s prayer stance. But Tebow turned the other cheek: “He was probably just having fun and was excited he made a good play and had a sack. And good for him.”

Daniel Foster (National Review, Dec. 31, 2011. P. 24) said,  “That’s way too much earnestness for the ironic. It’s way too much idealism for the cynical. And it’s way too much selflessness for the self-absorbed. In short, people aren’t upset at Tebow’s God talk. They’re upset that he might actually believe it.”

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