BUT there is one bright shining light that has caught the entire nation's attention, both with sports fans and those like me who have no interest in sports. That shining light is Tim Tebow, quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Tim wears his deep belief in God proudly and will not shrink from it no matter how much ridicule and hatred comes his way. His parents were both missionaries. His mother was quite ill when she was pregnant with him, and because of strong drugs she was required to take, the doctors told her that the fetus would be irreversibly damaged and she should have an abortion. She refused, and the result we see is one of the most amazing athletes of our time.
Below is a story dated January 11, 2012, about a poll showing that Tim Tebow is now the most popular professional athlete in the United States. I think that people are unconsciously hungering for someone and something who is real, who is what he appears to be. Americans are looking for a hero, and they have found one in Tim Tebow. If Tim and the Broncos do get to the Super Bowl, which is scheduled for February 5, 2012, just two weeks after the 39th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the United States, I will be among those watching the game, and praising God for this most amazing miracle.
Poll: Tim Tebow is U.S.' favorite
How big is Tebow-mania? According to the ESPN Sports Poll, Tim Tebow is now America's favorite active pro athlete.
The poll, calculated monthly, had the Denver Broncos quarterback ranked atop the list for the month of December. In the 18 years of the ESPN Sports Poll only 11 different athletes -- a list that includes Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and LeBron James -- have been No. 1 in the monthly polling.
In December's poll, Tebow was picked by 3 percent of those surveyed as their favorite active pro athlete. That put him ahead of Kobe Bryant (2 percent), Aaron Rodgers (1.9 percent), Peyton Manning (1.8 percent) and Tom Brady (1.5 percent) in the top-five of the results.
The poll results were gathered from 1,502 interviews from a nationally representative sample of Americans ages 12 and older.
"To put this in perspective, Tim Tebow rose to the top before the end of his second pro season. It took Tiger Woods three years, LeBron James eight years and Kobe Bryant 11 years," Rich Luker, founder and director of the ESPN Sports Poll, said. "I think we may be at the front end of a new era in sports stars."
Tebow is just the sixth different athlete to finish No. 1 in the monthly rankings since 2007. The others are Brett Favre, Manning, Woods, Bryant and James.
"This is an exciting finding and one that reflects the sentiment of all sports fans, not just the online or social media world," Artie Bulgrin, senior vice president for Research and Analytics, ESPN Sales and Marketing, said.
I have copied below another article from a Florida paper, The Gainsville Sun, which gives the story of Tim Tebow and his family. This story is from 2007 when Tim won the Heisman Trophy when he was still only a sophmore in college, the first underclassman ever to win the trophy. It is an amazing story, and a loud answer to those who feel abortion is about a woman's choice, and not about killing a baby.
Tebow's family ties
|The Tebow family gathers for a picture. Top row (from left to right):|
Robby Tebow, Tim Tebow, Peter Tebow, Bob Tebow. Bottom row: Gannon Shepherd,
Katie Tebow-Shepherd, baby Abby Shepherd; Pam Tebow;
Christy Tebow-Allen, Joey Allen and baby Claire.
As a top contender for the Heisman Trophy, Tim Tebow, the sophomore quarterback who has been dubbed Florida's superhero, will have the eyes of the sports world fixed on him.
But while the Gator Nation anxiously waits to hear if he will make history as the first sophomore to receive the coveted award, the tight-knit family who knows him best says instead of focusing on a win, they are focusing on supporting the baby of their family, whom they affectionately call Timmy.
For Tim's mom, Pam Tebow, that means ensuring that her youngest son will be suitably dressed during the Heisman Trophy ceremony held Saturday at 8 p.m. in New York City.
"I'm so busy making sure Timmy has a black belt and socks to wear with his shoes . . . all those details that a mother has to remember," she said.
But, Pam says the real preparation has nothing to do with socks and shoes. Instead, it has to do with his upbringing. "You have to start young; you can't start when they're 20," she said, recalling that Tim "hated" to lose, even as a skinny kid playing T-ball.
During those seemingly insignificant losses, she and her husband, Bob, taught Tim some of his most valuable lessons, including how to deal with disappointments.
"We taught our children from a young age that in everything, you give thanks to the Lord," she said. "There's something supernatural that takes place when you trade your anxieties for God's peace."
Pam says most of Tim's life lessons began at home, on the family's 44-acre farm on the outskirts of Jacksonville, where all of the Tebow children were home-schooled.
She credits her husband with using the farm to teach the five children a strong work ethic — something that she says has allowed Tim to excel on and off the football field.
"They would mend fences, take care of the vegetable garden and the cattle," she said. "There were things that were required of them. Part of my husband's strategy was to build strong men, not just build fences."
For Pam, though, Tim's story begins years before life on the farm in Jacksonville.
In 1985, she and her husband moved to the Philippines, where they served as Christian missionaries.
Hoping to expand their family, they prayed for "Timmy" by name.
Just before she became pregnant, Pam fell into a coma after contracting amoebic dysentery, a bacteria transmitted through contaminated drinking water.
Her treatment required a series of strong medications. As a result of those medications, doctors told Pam the fetus had been irreversibly damaged, and they strongly advised her to have an abortion.
She refused because of her faith, she said.
Pam spent the last two months of her pregnancy on bed rest, and on her due date — Aug. 14, 1987 — she gave birth to a healthy baby boy, who she described as "skinny, but rather long."
Three years later, the family moved back to the U.S., while continuing to run their family ministry, the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association (btea.org), in the Philippines. Every year, the family returns with volunteers to work with the ministry, which now employs 50 people and includes an orphanage.
On Saturday, the Tebows will be worlds away from the Philippines and their little family farm where Tim learned so many lessons. But one thing remains the same: the tight-knit family will be together, and they will be by Tim's side.
Tim's oldest sister, Christy Tebow-Allen works as a missionary in Asia. And though she is the only sibling who will not be by her baby brother's side during the ceremony, she will be waiting by her phone to hear the results.
"I am not surprised that Timmy is a finalist for the Heisman," she wrote in an e-mail. "The combination of Timmy's God-given talent, hard work, character and leadership have made a mark on and off the football field."
Tim's brother, UF senior engineering student Peter Tebow, who will be at the ceremony, says that even without a win, he is impressed by what Tim has already accomplished, both as a football player, and as a person.
"It's so exciting to see the accomplishments that he has had, but more importantly, it's exciting to see the kind of person he is," he said.
Following the ceremony, the family has planned a party for Tim and the people closest to him.
"It's more of a support group because we're all going to be together, and that's the fun of it," Pam said. "You don't have to win to have a party."
"Our job is to convey to Timmy that, win or lose, we love him the same," she added. "We're not focused on winning. We're really just focused on him."