Tim Tebow has truly become a phenomenon as the popular, but unconventional, NFL quarterback continues to find himself at the center of discussions about sports, religion and politics. Tebow’s play for the Denver Broncos has drawn polarizing opinions from football analysts. Additionally, there has also been a great deal of criticism over Tebow’s Christian views.
ESPN analyst Skip Bayless, an equally polarizing figure among football fans, often supports Tebow and spoke with him on ESPN Tuesday. As the phone interview progressed, Bayless asked Tebow if he was aware of recent comments made by former Bronco quaterback Jake Plummer.
Plummer told a Phoenix radio station yesterday that he respects Tebow’s play, but said of the young quarterback’s religious beliefs:
“I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ, then I think I’ll like him a little better. I don’t hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every single time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff.”
When asked by Bayless Tuesday what he would say about those comments if he had the opportunity to speak with Plummer, Tebow responded:
“Well, first I’d say, thank you for the compliment of calling me a winner and then I’d also say if you’re married and you’re a [husband] is it good enough to only say you love her on the day you get married or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and have an opportunity?
And that’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ. It is the most important thing in my life so anytime I get an opportunity to tell Him that I love Him or give Him an opportunity to shout Him out on national TV, I’m gonna take that opportunity. So I look at that as a relationship that I have with Him that I want to give Him honor and glory anytime I have the opportunity and then right after I give Him honor and glory, then I want to try and give my teammates honor and glory and that’s how it works because Christ comes first in my life. Then my family, and then my teammates.
So I respect Jake’s opinion and I really appreciate his compliment of calling me a winner but I feel like anytime I get the opportunity to give the Lord some praise, He is due for it because of what He did for me and what he did for us on the cross for all of us. “
Tebow went on to say that his relationship with God not only influences his play on the field, but makes him who he is as a person:
“I want to be a great role model and be what Danny Wuerffel was to me and I want to be someone who makes difference. Because at the end of the day if all we’re doing is winning and losing football games and scoring touchdowns, then we really haven’t done a lot in our lives.
But if we’re in the business of encouraging people, bring faith, hope and love to those on their darkest hour of need as the mission statement of my foundation reads, then we’re really doing something successful with our lives. So I’m going to take the platform that football has given me and try to give back, make a difference and make this world a better place.”
While his character is undeniable, many are not yet sold on Tebow’s abilities as an NFL quarterback — even in light of his 4-1 record this year as a starter. Tebow is arguably one the greatest college football players of all time, having won two National Championships and the Heisman Trophy at the University of Florida.