How Broncos quarterback has polarised the sporting world
Where there’s a Wills
THE Nats of old used to say that sport and politics shouldn’t mix. That was twaddle then and it is now.
In the real world, our elected representatives will put their oar into everything where there’s money, the nation’s good name and free tickets involved.
But what of religion and sport?
The Nats of old were happy for teams of their choosing to pray on the field and there are plenty in the new South Africa who overtly align their faith and the scoreline.
Many are the post- match interviews which include a reference to the almighty’s role in proceedings, and overt thanks to heaven are often proffered on the field for a try, a goal or a wicket. Some also give praise for a birdie putt.
Here this stuff goes largely uncommented on.
Few seemed to even find it bizarre and unhealthy when Hansie Cronje inspanned Ray Mccauley as the Proteas’ team pastor.
We accept much of this as routine and so, I thought, did the Americans who lead the world in “Shout It Loud And Proud Religion” and where God has a public hand in every Oscar, Grammy and presidential election.
That was until Tim Tebow came along.
Tebow’s the star quarterback for the Denver Broncos who, as the sports cliché goes, has taken his public belief “to the next level” and polarised the nation in the process.
Tim, the home-schooled son of a pastor, praises the lord incessantly and his onfield prayer routine is now called “Tebowing”.
He marks scriptures in his anti- glare eyeshadow. He appeared in a half-time commercial at the Superbowl – nothing unusual in that except it was for the anti-abortion Pro-life group.
Even for some with faith he has gone too far and Tebow has become a divisive figure criticised for doing too much of a good thing.
His retort: “If you’re married, and you have a wife, and you really love your wife, is it good enough to only tell your wife that you love her on the day you get married? Or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and have the opportunity? That’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Ah yes, goes the riposte, but if you told everyone every day that you loved your wife you would be a right pain in the backside and then they quote scriptures about god’s need for undemonstrative prayer ... and then the Tebow camp fire back something from Proverbs and around it all goes again.
This will never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction but maybe along the road more tolerance and humility will emerge on all sides in this thorny issue about which Bob Skinstad tells a wonderful story of his first game for Stellenbosch.
As captain Bob was suddenly informed that he must lead the side in a pre-match prayer.
He then blurted out the only holy text which came to his unprepared mind; “For what we are about to receive may the lord make us truly thankful.”