He’s not the the first professional athlete to “give God credit” during games. From Mark Bavaro to Barry Bonds to Larry Fitzgerald, athletes in almost every sport have been very public about their faith.
But none have been vilified and mocked like Tebow. Earlier this year, two of those laugh-a-minute Detroit Lions – linebacker Stephen Tulloch and tight end Tony Scheffler – thought it fun to mock Tebow’s prayerful pose after sacking him.
As a christian myself, I wasn’t surprised. Despite the fact that America is known as a “christian” nation, religion is still a lightening rod in many circles, inspiring ridicule (fear?) among some. But I have marveled at how Tebow has handled it all, never wavering nor stooping to the level of the critics or those players who mocked him.
Moreover, he continued to improve, to handle the heat, to win. In doing so, he has demonstrated the strength of his faith more than a thousand images of him bowing on one knee could have.By contrast, we have Buffalo’s talented but stunningly immature wideout Stevie Johnson.
On Sunday, just hours before Tebow led the Broncos to yet another fourth-quarter comeback victory, over San Diego, Johnson scored against the New York Jets and proceeded to put on a display of stupid shenanigans by mocking Jets wideout Plaxico Burress.
By pretending to dance then shoot himself in the leg–an night-club accident that cost Burress two years in prison. Not funny.
What was funny was that Johnson, who professes to be a christian–remember his tweet blaming God for another dropped ball last season?–dropped three potential game-winning passes in the final minute.
Clearly, God don’t like stupid.
RSJ note: Johnson seems to have realized the massive error of his ways. He has apologized to Burress and the world.