The New York Jets are no strangers to media attention and they must have known when they signed backup QB Tim Tebow that the media attention was going to continue. However, they may not have been aware of the fact that they were going to attract a whole different fan base when they signed the very religious QB.
With training camp set to begin at SUNY-Cortland, the traditional fans in attendance may find themselves surrounded by church groups coming to see the new star of the New York Jets. Yes, Tebow may be the backup QB, but he is definitely the media star of the team right now. Not because of how he plays the game but because of the player he is and how he lives his life.
Tebow, throughout the 2011 season with the Denver Broncos, showed the world that if you believe and have faith, anything is possible. He is very outspoken about his strong religious beliefs and many people have rallied behind him because of this.
According to a report from the New York Daily News, the Cortland County Convention and Visitors Bureau has been getting phone calls from various church groups wanting to come and see the man in action during training and they are expecting a lot.
But it isn’t just the hotels that are seeing a customer increase from church groups. Bernard’s Custom Logo and Trophy Source are offering various shirts featuring Tebow and Tebowmania. One shirt features a silhouette of a player « Tebowing, » the pose made popular by Tebow as he prayed during games. The store has already received calls from churches requesting large orders of these shirts.
In a time where church attendance is dropping in America, I can understand why many churches are embracing Tebow and trying to use him to show that believing in God is acceptable and « cool. »
I am personally a fan of Tebow’s and admire the way he lives his life. I think he is a genuine player and serves as a great role model for the next generation. While other NFL players are making headlines for illegal behavior, it is a nice change to see a player in the headlines for something positive.
While many argue that Tebow is only in the spotlight because of his religious beliefs, I believe it is much more than that. Tebow is far from the best QB in the history of the game but his positive attitude is hard to match. While all the critics tore his mechanics apart while he was with the Broncos, he managed to remain positive and, together with his teammates, continued to pull off miracle wins. I believe that Tebow should be in the spotlight for that reason. He shows that no matter what others say about you, hard work and determination can get you everywhere.
If this behavior draws in more church groups and new fans to support the team, then so be it. While you may argue that religion and football do not belong together, you can’t argue that Tebow’s positive behavior is not something we need more of.
Deborah Braconnier is a former athlete and avid football fan. She is a freelance writer and Featured Contributor for the NFL and Olympics. She has followed the Denver Broncos since she was a child and became a fan of Tim Tebow during his run as a QB for the Broncos. She looks forward to following his career with the New York Jets this season. Follow her on Twitter at @fwcdeborah.