|Tim Tebow while at U of F|
Scene: Sunday afternoon at a Sports Themed Restaurant just before kickoff. Ary (a preacher) is seated alone at a table as Mat (mature atheist turtle approaches accompanied by another man.)
Mat: Ary, mind if we join you?
Ary: Not at all, have a seat.
Mat (sitting): Ary, this is a fried on mine - Jeff.
Ary: Nice to meet you Jeff.
Jeff: Likewise. Game start yet?
Ary: Just flipped the coin
(Waitress brings Ary's order. He bows his head and asks a silent blessing on the food.)
Jeff: I hope we don't see them doing that at the game.
Ary: Doing what?
Jeff: Praying. I hate that. It has no place at a football game.
Ary: Why not?
Jeff: Because it makes no sense. Look, suppose there are Christians on Team A and just before the game they get together and pray; what are they going to pray for? A win right? Meanwhile, the Christians on Team B get together and pray for victory too. So which team's prayers get answered?
Ary: Well, they also pray for a safe game.
Jeff: And then they go and try to hurt each other. It's hypocritical.
Ary: But it doesn't hurt you in any way does it?
Jeff: Yes it does, for example that guy Tim Tebow at Gainesville, he really irks me. Not only is he a Christian but he's constantly shoving it in my face. Anytime he's interviewed he thanks god and he puts bible verses on his eye black.
Ary: Relax, he's graduating.
Jeff: Yes, but he's going to the NFL. (Jeff thinks for a moment) You know what? I want Tim Tebow to fail in the NFL. I want him to be drafted late, report to training camp, throw a bunch of crappy passes and be cut from the team. I want him to fail in the NFL, because a famous Tim Tebow is a dangerous Tim Tebow.
Ary: Dangerous, how on earth is Tim Tebow being famous dangerous?
Jeff: He doesn’t play football merely for the joy of the game. He plays football because he wants to spread the word of Jesus Christ. But not merely spread it. He wants me to accept it and, if I don’t embrace it, he wants me to think again about embracing it. And, if I still don’t embrace it, he wants you to think again. And again. And again. If, in the end, I'm still not sold, I will burn in hell. Christians who accept Jesus will spend an eternity in bliss. Those who don’t are doomed... Tim Tebow scares me.
Ary: (Looking at his iced tea while stirring it): Are you sure that it is Tim Tebow you are afraid of? He is just expressing his faith.
Jeff: You call it faith. I call it f***ing insanity. You think everyone has a right to believe what they want … faith is admirable … you’ve gotta respect his feelings. Well, bulls***. I do not have to respect this sort of damaging craziness, where a group of people go to foreign, oft-Third World nations and convert the so-thought-of “savages” ie: those who don’t know Christ. Tebow's family is involve with that and it makes me sick. Not just me, I have a friend Jason Fagone wrote an excellent piece on Tebow. He agrees that we need to stop embracing this dogmatic lunacy merely because it comes from the mouth of a supposed “good guy” jock. I don’t care how nice Tim Tebow is. If he’s in an ad for Focus on the Family; if he believes homosexuality is sinful and women are here to serve their men and Jews and Muslims and agnostics and the rest of us are sinful, well, to hell with him.
Ary: You are way off base. Tim Tebow isn't singling out the world for being sinful, he is singling out the lost. If you were to ask him, Tim would tell you that he is a sinner too.
Jeff: Who cares? I live a good life, and any god who can't accept me doing my best is a god I don't want any part of.
Ary: That's not what Tim stands for. Do you remember the BCS Championship game last year (2009)? Tim had John 3:16 on his eye black. That verse tell you that your acceptance by God isn't based on what you do, its based on your relationship with Jesus. How is that dangerous?
Jeff: I remember. Google says that during and after that game 94 million* people searched John 3:16. But the NCAA is going to ban messages in eyeblack from now on. People call it the "Tebow Rule".
Ary: He seems to have a lot of rules named after him. On several occasions separate and apart from the eye black issue, Tebow has caused "The Man" to change the way he conducts business as usual. For instance, The "Tim Tebow Bill" in Alabama allows home-schooled students equal access to high school sponsored sports and activities. Kentucky has a similar "Tebow Bill" pending. And, the NCAA went out of its way last year to allow Tebow and Florida boosters to raise money for a Tebow affiliated orphanage in the Philippines. I would like you to name one person who has been harmed by Tim Tebow.
(Jeff is silent)
Ary: I think you are angry at Tim Tebow because you are lo...
Jeff: (interrupting) Hush, here's the kickoff.
Jeff Pearlman is a writer for Sports Illustrated and other sports publications. The Jeff statements were adapted from http://www.jeffpearlman.com/i-want-tim-tebow-to-fail/
*Updated 10/27/11: Some skepticism has been expressed regarding the 94 million people figure cited above. The Atheist Turtle is committed to be factually accurate so that figure was double checked before the blog was posted but since then we have made additional inquiries and would like to note the following:
1) The American Humanist Association (an atheist organization) reports the 94 million figure without questioning it. Of all reports they should have found fault with it if incorrect.
2) A blog called the TimTeBlog cites the 94 million figure being off by an order of magnitude but does not identify the source of the error claim. It should be noted that even it was off by an order of magnitude, 9.4 million searches would still represent an incredible result from Tim's eye black.
"Tim Tebow Rules! (According to the NCAA) - SportsCenter.com". Espn.go.com. 2010-02-14. http://espn.go.com/blog/sportscenter/post/_/id/31088/tim-tebow-rules-according-to-the-ncaa. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
Bethany House Publishers. "NCAA Football Committee OKs Ban on 'Eye Black' Notes". Christianpost.com. http://www.christianpost.com/article/20100212/ncaa-football-committee-oks-ban-on-eye-black-notes/index.html. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
"NCAA trying to ban messages on eye black under the 'Tebow Rule'". Palmbeachpost.com. http://www.palmbeachpost.com/sports/gators/ncaa-trying-to-ban-messages-on-eye-black-232356.html. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
"Tebow draws more attention for eye-black messages – Swamp Things – Gators Blog – Orlando Sentinel". Blogs.orlandosentinel.com. http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/sports_college_uf/2009/09/tebow-draws-more-attention-for-eyeblack-messages.html. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
"NCAA bans wedge, eye black". Tulsa World. 2010-04-16.
http://www.tulsaworld.com/sportsextra/article.aspx?subjectid=231&articleid=20100416_231_B3_INDIAN106579. Retrieved 2010-05-24.
"NCAA Bans Eye Black With Messages". Huffingtonpost.com. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/16/ncaa-bans-eye-black-with_n_541201.html. Retrieved 2010-05-24.