- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I don’t follow professional football much anymore, having long ago become disenchanted and frustrated with the many overpaid, overglorified players of the game, but recently I’ve taken notice of one young man: Tim Tebow (“The Tebow effect,” Comment & Analysis, Friday).

Although he’s a Denver Broncos quarterback and I’ve never been a Denver follower, I take issue with detractors of Mr. Tebow. More specifically, I take issue with the focus of his detractors: his religious upbringing and faith and how he apparently uses his belief in God to succeed where many others fail.

Despite constant slamming by individuals like former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer and other NFL “notables” over Mr. Tebow’s open display of faith and refreshing appreciation of what he has been able to accomplish in his few years on this earth, Tim keeps delivering.

I get the sense from watching some of the clips and reading some of the many stories about his on-field behavior that Mr. Tebow sincerely appreciates the opportunity to do what he does. He knows he is very blessed and is guided by the exceptional morals of his loving parents and siblings.

It appears, at least on the surface, that the rest of the NFL and the Plummeresque “tough guys” could learn a thing or two from his civility and social decorum. The game of football might have many more followers and be a much more admirable paradigm of sportsmanship if they did. That doesn’t mean they have to be devout followers of a faith; it just means they should try letting their actions and words be guided by the all-embracing golden rule by which Mr. Tebow seems to try to live his life. Who knows - it might even make the world a little kinder.

Sports writers continue to attack, dismiss and disrespect Mr. Tebow, but he keeps doing what he believes in and what he has trained for his whole life. I wonder how many of his naysayers even attempt to reach out to the less fortunate and underprivileged the way he does.

Regardless of how the Denver Broncos fare in their NFL season, Tim Tebow has my respect for trying to restore true sportsmanship to the NFL and trying to make this world a slightly better place than he found it.

RICH PAIT

Culpeper, Va.

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