IMLTHO*: Tebow, a Tight End and Tweeters

I’ve placed a Tebow moratorium on myself lately.

I don’t want to talk, think about or otherwise ponder anything related to the former Broncos quarterback, whether it’s his throwing motion, mentions on TMZ or his relationship with John Elway.

But I value history, so I can’t let his Easter Sunday appearance at the Celebration Church’s Easter celebration pass — particularly his answer to one question — what needed to change culturally in America.

“First and foremost is what this country was based on: one nation under God,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

Oh, dear.

It’s appropriate that he gave the speech in Georgetown, Texas, just a sidearm pass from the state capitol building in Austin, where the seeds of historical revisionism bore its intended fruits two years ago with changes in the curriculum to be used in Texas schools and textbooks — regardless of how erroneous and incomplete the conclusions of the historical revisionists were. (Google “David Barton” and you’ll learn a lot more about their movement.)

Tim Tebow

If saving souls is the goal, sticking to the salvation part of the message is wise.

Shall we get into the fact that “One nation under God” was not added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954? That “In God we trust” was not made the official motto of the United States until two years later, in part as a response to the threat from nations under the the rule of Communism, a concept that defines itself as atheistic? That some of the key Founding Fathers had their thoughts influenced by a streak of deism relatively independent of church or denomination? That the Constitution’s first amendment prohibits the legal “establishment of religion? That the and that the unofficial national motto to come from their years had little to do with any almighty, but a powerful Latin phrase of unity for the disjointed former colonies: “E pluribus unum,” or, “out of many, one”?

Of course, the audience, estimated at 15,000 by multiple reports, lapped up Tebow’s comments. So will many others, who crow, “Right on!” It doesn’t mean they’re correct.

This perspective is the part of Tebow that I didn’t want to know about.

I’m thankful that in his press conferences as a Bronco, he didn’t traipse into matters of science and history, that he stuck steadfastly with the here and now and stayed on his general Christian sentiment regarding salvation and helping others. I’ve met few subjects who stayed more on message in his dealings with the media than Tebow, even though it often yielded a parade of milquetoast quotes that were distinguishable only in the details of those that he helped. If you were looking for the story of a humanitarian, Tebow yielded vignettes in abundance; if you wanted a dissection of why the zone-read option worked for a few weeks and then fizzled at the holidays, you were best served by talking to others. Football was — and remains — a vehicle for his true message.

As long as the message remains about general faith and good works, that’s all right. But he’s better off staying away from the hot-button issues. He already meandered there by aligning with Focus on the Family for a commercial during Super Bowl XLIV. Yes, it was a soft-sell ad, but it was still an association with a group known for, among other issues, promoting “reparative therapy” to attempt to change gay people to straight, a practice debunked by both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association.

In these polarized times, history and science have become drawn into the religious-vs.-secular tug-of-war. If Tebow values reaching more people with his overall message, the less we hear from him on those two topics, the better. Based on what his statement Sunday revealed about his historical perspective, speaking will only damage his cause.

Faith and intellectualism are not mutually exclusive properties, but in a society whose understanding of history and science continue to grow, it’s not advisable to be on the flat-earth, molding-history-to-suit-one’s-narrative side of the argument. That will only repel many of the souls he’s trying to save …

Broncos tight end Julius Thomas did the right thing by working out with Peyton Manning last month, even though he was at the brink of surgery. But the fact that a high ankle sprain suffered six months ago bothered him to he point where he needed surgery is cause for concern.

Barring long-term injuries to both Jacob Tamme and Joel Dreessen, the Broncos don’t urgently need 2012 production from Thomas His ceiling remains high — one look at the training-camp tape from last August reveals that.

But missing further practice time with Manning will damage his cause, and a six-month struggle with an injury initially diagnosed as a high ankle sprain recalls memories of Wesley Duke, the über-athletic former Mercer basketball player who scored a touchdown at Buffalo in December 2005 but whose career was derailed by multiple torn anterior cruciate ligaments.

On the whole, I don’t trust a guy with the handle “Incarcerated Bob.” Something about the name “Bob” just doesn’t scream reliability.

Nevertheless, I will take no sides in the ongoing Pro Football Talk-vs.-Incarcerated Bob feud. Off-hand, I’d be inclined to side with someone who doesn’t hide behind a ‘Net handle, but I’ll be damned if I take the side of someone who speculated in March 2008 that I was unemployed potentially because I was “deemed to have not done enough to respond to mounting criticism from beyond the organization of coach Mike Shanahan.”

I had to answer multiple questions about that little piece of yellow journalism for weeks after that. Thanks for making an awkward time in my life worse, Florio …

… Based on the current popular music my 11-year-old nieces chose to play when they visited over Easter weekend, the inventors of Auto-Tune ought to be wealthy enough to buy an NFL franchise by now …

… A good friend of mine messaged me Sunday night, writing, “If watching re-runs of MacGyver is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” Knowing he was watching them on-line, I replied, “It’s a shame Netflix no longer has Coach re-runs. I could go for the episode where Luther spills grape juice on Christine’s sofa.” Instead, my search for ignorable background noise and stained cushions led me to the Seinfeld episode “The Couch,” wherein disgraced restauranteur Poppie relieves himself on Jerry’s sofa …

I need a good sign-off for this piece, and my old blog sign-off, “vaya con Dios,” seems oddly ironic given the subject of this piece. Suggestions are welcome via Twitter @MaxBroncos or @Andrew_Mason.

* The column is otherwise known as “In My Less-Than-Humble Opinion,” because if I’m posting it here, how can it truly be humble?

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About Andrew Mason

Andrew Mason has covered the NFL since 1999, when he worked as an editor on NFL.com when the site was managed by ESPN.com. He worked six seasons (2002-07) covering the Broncos on their official website and two (2008-09) on the Panthers' site. He began MaxDenver.com in 2010 and now contributes to CBSSports.com, The Sporting News and The New York Times.
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19 Responses

  1. Bravo!!!

  2. Why is the date that “under God” was added to the Pledge relevant? You act like religion had no role in our nation’s founding when it was essentially the driving force of the Enlightenment.

    “We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights…”

    • Here’s a relevant quote from Thomas jefferson speaking in an official capacity for the government.

      “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,—as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen [Muslims],—and as the said States never entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mahometan [Muslim] nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli

      • No one is claiming that the government was founded on the Christian religion (even though the Puritans did just that). It was founded on the belief of God-endowed liberty–which had been violated by England for centuries.

      • Not another Treaty of Tripoli reference! Here is a useful link that most of you will not have the attention span to read: http://www.wallbuilders.com/LIBissuesArticles.asp?id=125

        • But JR quoted Wikipedia as his source. Case closed.

        • The web site you cited includes numerous quotations supporting their position from self-described historian, David Barton.

          Barton is, however, not a historian by training and is an author who has written books that are functionally Christian revisionism.

          Further, as Barton is an evangelical minister and arguably a dominionist, he is ideologically biased.

  3. Great article……needed to be said. I think he should keep speaking, the more who hear his “true” message and know his true motives the better. He will turn off more people than he will turn on. He is on a big stage now in NY, one misstep and it’s a long way down. He is a preacher, first and foremost. But while the footballs guys are all working, working out, etc., the one who “works harder than everyone” is preaching, going to award shows, parties, dinner with celebs, all to further his cause. Now he can get the big bucks from all the stars he is rubbing elbows with to donate to his foundation. The whole family is on a mission, he is the robot that brings in the dough. I notice since they heard the feedback about how weird it is that his brother is never more than 2 feet from him, you haven’t seen him in any pics. These people who “never pay too much attention to what other people say” pay a whole lot of attention. Trust me.

  4. Andrew,

    Your liberalism has blinded your objectivity. Do you honestly believe the concept of “One nation under God” is all about a coin? Do you honestly believe the principle of “One nation under God” did not start until 1954??? Do you honestly believe “One nation under God” means the same thing as establishing a theocracy?

    As one who loves history, like yourself, but chooses to be objective about it, unlike yourself, there is little doubt this country was founded on Christian nondenominationalism. It is enlightening that you equate this one Tebow statement into something resembling the Flat Earth Society.

    You have made two glaring errors here. First, you have not done enough opposition research. I share the same ideology as Tim Tebow and I do not believe what you assume I do. Second, you decided to talk about something other than football, and I respect this site less because of it.

    • “one nation under God” – oh dear? Stick to football, Mason and leave your belief system on the shelf, please.

  5. I guess the dislike towards Tebow wasn’t just about the throwing motion.

  6. I skipped the first 4 paragraphs im anti tebow, but he has never tried to force his faith on any1 like writing an arrival based solely on an athletes faith.

    Its annoying to me, but he’s not faking why waste ur time on it ur as bad as skip bayless, just the opposite end of the spectrum.

    AND tight ends have never been a factor in a john fox team so its not a HUGE loss no matter the potential the kid has

    Obviously Manning will run a different offense, but the 3rd string TE being hurt isn’t a huge factor

  7. Article* not arrival sorry

  8. Oh, God, another rant about nothing. Is there anyone else on this planet that people feel the need to write articles about if they say something not liked? This world is full of degenerate celebs, yet all anyone can write about is Tebow this Tebow that. This is just dumb.

  9. As always, Mr. Mason, a well-written, thoughtful article. I look forward to more of your op/ed pieces.

  10. Yes, Tebow is a Christian and at long last you’re free to let loose with the anti-Christian screed that you were probably itching to write but feared to publish while he was still a Bronco and the subject was still slightly relevant. I’m glad you got that out, man, I bet it’s a relief. Look on the bright side – you never have to pretend to be objective about Tebow again, and the equally indistinguishable, “milquetoast” quotes you’ll be hearing from the new Broncos quarterback at various pressers won’t have that distasteful Christian tinge to them. Free at last!

  11. FJ, please avoid unauthorized mentions of “God” on this website.

  12. http://forums.denverbroncos.com/archive/index.php/t-37299.html

    Hey Mason I know it is slow look up Champ or Steve Atwatter I belive it might be true cause Steve Lives in the same area as Champ .. kind of a really cool story if true…

  13. Mason,

    Interesting stuff, for sure. While I don’t agree with everything you had to say, I respect your opinion and commend your well-written article.

    I remember Duke — I was at that game in Buffalo — I had high hopes for him. I certainly hope that Thomas does not have the same fate.

    As for Bob, I don’t know what has been going on with him and Florio (haven’t noticed) but I for one don’t think he is a real source but rather somebody who reads a lot of reports and rumors and makes educated guesses. It seems that he is wrong more often than not.

    Also, I really like the new look of the site — good job!

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