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Tim Tebow Draws More Than 20,000 for Father's Day Church Event

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"Encouraging men to live, love & lead”

Tim Tebow drew an enormous crowd to San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium Sunday, where he spoke as part of Shadow Mountain Community Church's sermon on “encouraging men to live, love & lead.”

“If there’s anybody in our country today who illustrates what it means to live with passion and break the mold, and to rise above what everybody says are your limitations, it’s Tim Tebow,” Shadow Mountain spokesman David St. John told the North County Times.

“He did that as a quarterback in Florida, he did that in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, and I certainly wouldn’t want to be in the camp that bets against him as he continues his career with the Jets. There are a lot of folks who will be sitting in the bleachers on Sunday who have been given the same kind of message — either, ‘You’re not talented enough’ or ‘You’re not capable of leading.’”

NBC Sports has more details:

The Jets backup quarterback drew a crowd of 26,000 to Qualcomm Stadium, and told the Father’s Day crowd he wanted to be viewed as more than an athlete.

“One of the most frustrating things – and last time I said it, I got a lot of flak for it, but it doesn’t bother me too much. There are a lot of role models. There just aren’t a lot of good ones,” Tebow said, according to U-T San Diego. “If we would come together and be great role models, it would be amazing to see how the next generation turns out.”

Tebow spoke for 35 minutes with the pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, talking about role models and whether Christians can also be “real men.”

He’s never backed away from that side of the equation, speaking openly about his responsibilities as a public figure.

And whether Tedy Bruschi likes it or not, or whether you agree with his public pronouncements of faith, arguing in favor of setting a good example for young people is admirable. And it’s also part of what makes Tebow so popular with a large swath of America that doesn’t care a thing about his passer rating.

Here is amateur video of the speech via YouTube:

Pastor David Jeremiah said of Tebow: "Tim is the kinda guy who not only says what he means but he lives what he means...We spent a little time last night with my grandson and to have a hero like that in this day in age is pretty rare."

Some fans say they got up at 4 o'clock in the morning to see the sermon, while others talked about the man's football career.  "I did pray for him when I heard he was going to the Jets.  I set football aside for that," Chargers fan Edward Walker said.

Another told NFL Network: "I haven't gone to church in a while. So this brought me back."

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