Nov 15 2011
I'm Not Quite Sure What You're Saying With That There Tebow Shirt

So you buy a Tim Tebow replica NFL jersey, but you replace the "Tebow" with "Jesus".


I think you're saying (?) that Jesus went 2 for 8 on Sunday, with a touchdown pass.  And he won, which is awesome.  Jesus is now 3-1 as a starter this year, but He got sacked a lot by the Lions.  

At this point, Jesus still needs to work on his throwing mechanics, but He ran the triple-option with efficiency.

I think you're saying that...?

Or you're saying you like Jesus more than Tim Tebow, specifically?  That's it -- you're saying you think Tim Tebow is getting WAY too much attention, when we should really focus on Jesus.  By invoking Tebow's team colors and number, you're making an artistic statement about misplaced societal priorities on sports!  You're pretty sly!  I like that.

Or, perhaps it's more nuanced.  You're saying that, while you don't personally know Tim Tebow, you *do* personally know Jesus, and Jesus is awesome, and the Broncos are awesome, and while they have several players professing Christianity, you're pretty sure that Tim Tebow is the best Christian on the team, and so by replacing his name with the name of Jesus, you feel that -- actually, I can't remember how I started this sentence so nevermind.

So maybe that's not it.  I got it!  You're really saying that Tim Tebow, whom you don't personally know, tries so hard to be Jesus that he actually succeeds in a way that other, lesser NFL Christians, never achieve. This is why you don't have a Saints jersey with a number "9" that says "Jesus".  Tim's kinda the best NFL Christian...?

But that's probably not it.  Sounds weird.  Maybe it's this: People often get custom jerseys with their OWN names.  So you mean... YOU are Jesus.  You're claiming you have returned, and upon your return, went to and got an awesome custom jersey.  And what better place to make this claim, than at Mile High Stadium, where you can feed the 80-thousand with five cheesy-pretzels and two Cokes?

...but that's silly-talk!  No way you're really saying that.  You're saying you're Jesus, as in, "I am Jesus, because I am part of His people, His body, in a very real way."  And that makes sense!  

And it's true, if you belong to Christ!  So you're wearing this now, saying, "I'm Jesus to the world."  Kind of bracing to put this on your shirt, and creates high expectations, to be sure, but certainly it's less unfair to call yourself Jesus than to saddle Tim Tebow, whom you don't even know, with that kind of pressure, right?  

Think of it!  To put that kind of pressure on a fellow sinner who has so many people watching him!  Wow, THAT would be bizarre, awkward, and strange in the weirdest way.

So I salute you for not doing that.

You're not promoting silly sports hero-worship, or identifying Christ, himself, with only one particular NFL player, whom you don't actually know.  Quite the opposite.  You're saying, "I've got to be Jesus to people.  This means good news for the poor, for the outcast, for the not-so-popular, for the world's 'losers'.  The Kingdom is near, and thank God, He's allowing ME to play a role in it, turning this world's value systems upside-down, and loving the unlovely, no matter the cost. I will no longer value the things our culture says matters. I will embrace the humble, those who are not celebrated, the most vulnerable, in a manner that will not only confound the world, but roil and anger a religious establishment which exalts public acts of piety over the very heart of God for the least of these."

Smart move. Lotta pressure, but bro, I like that statement.


Comments (15) -

11/15/2011 6:54:02 PM
Charles Hubbard United States
Charles Hubbard
We should be having a problem with the name NIKE all over the place... that is a company named after the evil pagan goddess of victory named NIKE. Leave TEBOW where it should be... and get JESUS where he should be... in your heart.
11/16/2011 5:58:59 PM
Angelique United States
Or maybe his name IS Jesus, as in the Spanish version of Joshua pronounced 'Hay-soos'. Just an idea. ^_^
11/17/2011 10:29:56 AM
Dan United States
or maybe he is saying that Tebow is only famous because he is a Christian, like "what, do people think this guy is Jesus or something? I mean they are worshipping him like Jesus." And hopefully Jesus would be the only one that could get away with playing so terribly without facing criticism for it, cause he has that 'winning attitude'. In my mind 'winning attitude' translates to 'he gets a pass because he made that anti-abortion ad.'
11/17/2011 10:40:44 AM
brant United States
Dan -- Uh, the "without facing criticism" thing?

Honestly?  Tim Tebow hasn't faced criticism for his play?  Merrill Hoge?  Boomer Esiason? Colin Cowherd?  Just for immediate starters?  He's been subject of vitriol, flat-out, for his lack of NFL-level passing skills.  "Without facing criticism"...?

He's faced loads of criticism, and, from a football perspective, that's totally fair.  I can't imagine, as a consumer of sports media, saying he doesn't face criticism, honestly.

As a football fan, I like Tebow.  Football is entertainment, and he's WAY more interesting than, say, Andy Dalton, who's a way-better passer.

Tebow has done nothing to raise the ire of people, besides exist. The "anti-abortion" ad wasn't the least bit offensive, except to those primed to be offended.  The rhetoric in the ad could even be construed as "pro-choice".  

As for aligning with Focus on the Family, other players have done that.  He's said to be someone who's constantly talking about his virginity, but he doesn't.  And he only responded, in a press conference, when asked by a reporter.  Some "bragging".  

He's not a good passer.  But he's fun to watch.  The NFL is entertainment.  Worshippers/detractors of Tebow, the person, would be well-served to bear that in mind.
11/17/2011 11:00:50 AM
Elmer Noodleman United States
Elmer Noodleman
Brant . . . shift your focus from Tebow and buy my Jesus teddy bear you love so much. I know how you just LOVE the marketing of "Jesus" products.

I think part of it is we want to cheer and root for "one of us" in ANY situation. I root for someone in a business setting that's willing to openly embrace their love of Christ. I emrace it a little more than Brant does, that's for sure!

Love you Brant!
11/17/2011 11:02:00 AM
Dan United States
"without criticism" may have been overstating my opinion. It absolutely was overstating my opinion. Yes, he is criticized by sports media folks, but he definitely has a bunch of people rooting for him. Why, I wonder? Because he is good? I guess it may be that he is entertaining. It also may be that he is "Christian" in the sense that a commodity is "Christian" like awful movies that sell millions because they are "Christian" or crappy rock bands that can make it by getting on a "Christian" label. Being "Christian" sells a product. It does. That's reality.

I don't think I said he bragged about anything, but if I did I would be wrong. I don't know the man, don't care much about him as an athlete, and have no reason to pass judgment on his character. I think the Tebow craze is more about the product that he is than the person that he is. That is fine when you are selling him on his skills or entertainment value, but it is somewhat concerning when you are selling him as a "Christian" athlete. Maybe that isn't what people are doing, but I think that "Jesus" jersey could certainly be considered evidential to my point.
11/17/2011 11:13:44 AM
Dan United States
Also, I don't think I mentioned that I found his ad offensive. I don't. That wasn't my point. If it sounded that way, I apologize for being unclear.
11/17/2011 11:28:51 AM
brant United States
Got it, Dan.  I think that's totally valid.

I think it can go deeper than that.  Maybe.  Theory: We DESPERATELY went symbols of clean morality to succeed, because we can't, morally.  And we want to believe it's possible to live that Good Moral Life.

See?  It works!  Look at Tim Tebow!

We're moralists, many of us, and still think there's "good" people and "bad".  Jesus seems to be saying there's the proud and the humble.

Truth, of course, is that Tebow's a moral mess, like the rest of us.  That anyone would bristle at that statement may just make the point.  Tebow wouldn't, which is one reason I really like the guy, what I know of him, anyway.  
11/17/2011 12:04:01 PM
Dan United States
I think that is very likely. Well said.
11/17/2011 12:53:18 PM
Deb United States
I think that we should not even bother  to discuss  what the shirt says or judge what kind of person Tebow is or the person wearing the shirt. Since we're not God and cannot see the heart of theses two people, we should focus more on our own hearts and doing what God calls each of us to do.
11/20/2011 11:17:32 PM
Bethany United States
Maybe they're saying the team is gonna win because they have God on their side??  I don't really know cuz my team is the Colts and they've been losing this year.  Anyone else a fan of Tony Dungy?  
12/4/2011 7:10:13 PM
My name is.... United States
My name is....
Ok... that was way too confusing.
12/4/2011 11:50:57 PM
worship God not the man Smileis all i have to say
3/14/2012 2:20:37 PM
Lauren United States
i love this article and i agree with every word. why would you costomize a jersey that way? I'm sorry people, but i gotta say it..... I'M NOT QUITE SURE WHAT YOU'RE SAYING WITH THAT THERE TEBOW SHIRT!!! you are not God, and you have a 99.99999% chance of knowing and/or meeting Tim Tebow at the moment. We [ i'm speaking for us all] have no clue what you are trying to say! this message was indeed slightly confusing ( in response to my name is....) but i got it. this message is kinda for u brant, but also for any person who has enough time or cares enough to read my LONG and potentially BORING comment. but i am just putting it out there.....  
3/14/2012 2:36:59 PM
Lauren United States
CONTINUED-ISH( i apologize but i tend to rant....) i also agree with Bree about worship God not the man. i was actually thinking a few days ago how all the guys were " Tebow-ing" on our feild trip to the city museum on the high climb thingy. i hope that is not worshiping Tebow... but the fact that he is Christian and has a relationship with God. i don't know him but that is my assumption.

being a girl, most other females in my grade will gossip- " so-and-so is totally this" or " this random famous person is so cool." they don't have  role models (as far as i know) like the guys have Tebow. my friend Brian looks up to Tim Tebow as a great Christian role-model. i look up to two people. i don't watch football, but i know who he is and Tim Tebow is my Christian role model. being a runner, and having a dream of running, look up to Usain Bolt because he is a strong runner. but my point is, i don't worship them. my other point is that we all need to reconsider our thoughts sometimes and think about who ( or what ) we are worshiping in our daily, possibly boring lives. i THINK i am done ranting now. if not, i will try to stop and spare everyone reading this the possible eye cramps.. ok bye
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