It’s no secret that Tim Tebow brought the carnival to town with his popularity as well as his proclamations of faith.
A former Florida Gator and Heisman Trophy winner, Tebow was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010. He is remembered for his heart-palpitating come backs late in the fourth quarter—especially the playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012.
He electrified Bronco country. Not only on the field, but off, too.
Tebow, an evangelical Christian, thanked his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in many interviews and prayed before, after, and during every game—sparking a worldwide phenomenon of “Tebowing.” ESPN even caught him singing praise songs during warm-up on occasion. Tebow was often criticized by the media for his bold proclamations of faith.
In Spring 2012, the Denver Broncos picked up popular Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback, Peyton Manning, trading Tebow to the New York Jets. Since then, Tebow was traded to the Patriots, cut, and recently offered a job as a college football analyst for ESPN.
Meanwhile in Denver, we’re experiencing another media firestorm around a quarterback—one that looks much different than Tebow-mania. Manning, also a Christian, has taken a very different approach to his faith.
If one is brash and bold, the other is far more quiet and reserved. While one speaks through words, the other demonstrates his love of God in action.
In his book Manning, Peyton describes his faith like this:
I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since. Some players get more vocal about it—the Reggie Whites, for example—and some point to Heaven after scoring a touchdown and praise God after games. I have no problem with that. But I don’t do it, and don’t think it makes me any less a Christian. I just want my actions to speak louder, and I don’t want to be more of a target for criticism than I already am.
As far as who will win the next game, Peyton is noted as saying:
Ah, but do I “pray for victory?” No, except as a generic thing. I pray to keep both teams injury free, and personally, that I use whatever talent I have to the best of my ability. But I don’t think God really cares about who wins football games, except as winning might influence the character of some person or group. Besides. If the Colts were playing the Cowboys and I prayed for the Colts and Troy Aikman prayed for the Cowboys, wouldn’t that make it a standoff?
Whose expression of faith do you most resonate with and why?
*Quotes from Manning by Peyton and Archie Manning (pp. 362-364), available on Amazon, here.