Sunday, January 29, 2012
An OpenLetter to Tim Tebow
I am writing in hopes that this actually reaches you. I was driven to make contact after the euphoria of the playoff games wore off. The fact I dislike the Steelers enough to hope they never win a game again (being a Raiders fan, it's in the bylaws...) wasn't the motivation.
It wasn't the fact you won the game in spite of all the so-called “experts” giving Denver no chance. It wasn't the fact that the “Tebow affect” has “run it's course”, said by many who think they have all the answers. It wasn't because of divine intervention because God is OBVIOUSLY a Raider fan and just has a strange sense of humor. It wasn't that, although there is a template that it seems every team except Denver uses, most of those have been sitting at home WATCHING the playoffs and not participating. It wasn't the fact that, despite reaching the highest level of play in the sport, you seem to continue to improve and actually CARE about and ENJOY the game.
It was, actually, the fact I am proud of you being a human being.
Full disclosure: I am NOT an ex-Gator fan, I DON'T know your life history, I haven't been on your Facebook page, I haven't read any books on you, I don't drop everything to see whatever is on TV that brings up your name. Being a Raiders fan since the days of Kenny Stabler, I can't honestly say I find it uplifting that their rival is still in the playoff hunt.
Despite all that, I CAN respect and admire the way you handle yourself. I know there are moments that test your resolve, push your faith to the limits, and sometimes shake your obvious love of humanity. We are NOT machines. We have a soul and (hopefully) a conscience. The way you have dealt with the constant questions of your ability, the public display of your religious beliefs, and the non-traditional way you play your position have made many of us in the real world sit up and take notice.
To see someone so young not buy into their own hype is refreshing. Too many times, people who gain notoriety YET haven't experienced life think they are the center of the universe and can do whatever they want, whenever they want, to whomever they want.
I also appreciate someone that exhibits class in the face of adversity. It is too easy to lash back out at folks who attack us, and yet, you have not (from the outside) appeared to take the bait. It is easy to be a great winner. The true test of a person's character is to measure it when they are being pummeled. You have maintained your image, I'm sure not EASILY, but you are succeeding and it makes many of us so very proud.
You show others that you CAN be compassionate, positive, and have good sportsmanship while keeping that competitive fire burning. They aren't mutually exclusive. It is so cliche to have screaming knuckleheads crying the blues or complaining how unfair things are, making excuses for the results that occurred.
You show others that you can maintain your individuality and not cave to the (huge I am sure) pressures to be what THEY want you to be. Maybe a cash-machine, maybe a “brand”, maybe something other than Tim, yet you still portray the qualities you have always had and keep being you.
You show others that helping those less fortunate isn't just a publicity stunt but a core belief that will be there, cameras or not. There are many people that devote a few minutes to a cause then disappear when the hard work begins. You are who a lot of us hope we would be if in your shoes.
I try and help on a much smaller scale but folks have told me to keep going. I write to http://tomsmiscramblings.blogspot.com/ . I don't tell the world things like what peanut butter I prefer or if I wear boxers or briefs. I write what moves me. Most of the time it is about me. Today, it is you.
I truly hope you keep the faith and keep being you. The world doesn't need another rich athlete trying to conquer it. It REALLY needs more human beings like you that care.