Whether it was his unorthodox play, outspoken religious views or likable underdog personality, Tim Tebow attracted unprecedented attention to his every move this season, becoming a sports and pop culture phenomenon. Unfortunately for Tebow fans, the ride came to an end Saturday night with a crushing loss to the New England Patriots.
Those watching the game from home may have noticed an advertisement during the second quarter of the broadcast from Focus On The Family, that did not exactly fall in line with the usual beer and Taco Bell commercials aired inbetween game breaks.
The ad featured children reciting John 3:16, which happens to be Tim Tebow's favorite bible verse, followed by directions on how to donate $5 via text to the Evangelical Christian non-profit organization.
Focus On The Family and Tebow found themselves in the midst of political controversy in 2010, when many liberal groups protested CBS's decision to air an advertisement from the socially conservative organization featuring the quarterback and his mother during the Super Bowl.
Tebow was not mentioned or seen in Saturday's ad, but Focus On The Family Spokesman Gary Schneeberger told the Denver Post that Tebow's cultural phenomenon inspired it.
The Post reports that last year Fox Sports rejected a John 3:16-themed spot for the Super Bowl, stating it "does not accept from religious organizations for the purpose of advancing particular beliefs or practices."
The Colorado Springs based nonprofit expects that they may hear criticism from Saturday's ad, but say it's worth it.
"We will hear about shoving religion down people's throats," Schneeberger told the Post. "But if it's OK to shove Doritos down people's throats, and cars and everything else, we have the right to advertise, too."
While Tim Tebow has been ejected from the NFL playoffs, the debate he ignites at the cross-section of sports, religion and politics, goes on.
If you didn't know already, John 3:16 reads:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
(H/T: Gateway Pundit)