As the Twitterverse explodes with tweets about Tim Tebow leading the Denver Broncos to an incredible playoff overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, I am stunned (as usual) to see some of the mockery of this young man. As a mother of two boys under the age of 5, I am fortunate that my husband serves as a wonderful role model for our boys, especially when there are so few positive examples highlighted in the media. It saddens me that someone like Tim Tebow can be seen as anything but a great role model. In 2011 alone, we saw story after story in the media of athletes involved in various felony acts including violence against women, weapons possession, drug possession, drinking and driving, random shootings. Not to mention the Penn State scandal with defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky being arrested on several charges of sexual abuse against young boys. You would think these folks would provide ample opportunity for criticism. Conversely, if you wanted to dig up background on Tim Tebow’s past, you shouldn't bother looking for a criminal rap sheet or risqué spring break photos from his college experience. He was too busy spending his college summers in the Philippines assisting with his father’s orphanage and performing other missionary volunteer work. You would think you would hear a lot about an athlete of such high character. Yet most of what you hear revolves around "Tebowing". I guess I struggle to see how people can find Tim Tebow’s kneeling and prayer so bothersome or worthy of mockery.
Regardless of one’s religious beliefs (or lack of them), I simply don’t understand how “Tebowing” as it is commonly called, is offensive in a sports environment chock full of unethical and illegal behavior from drug and weapons possession to dog fighting and even murder. As mothers, and especially mothers of boys, how can we not rally behind athlete role models like Tim Tebow? I don’t live anywhere near Denver and have never been a Denver fan, but since my team didn’t make the playoffs, you can bet I will be cheering for Tim Tebow’s Broncos. Regardless of what Charles Barkley may have touted in his "I am not a role model" ads, in reality young boys have always and likely will always look up to sports figures. If my boys are going to be looking up to athletes, I’m hoping for more Tim Tebow’s and fewer O.J.’s!