With all due respect for the Almighty, this query is for her/him: Why hast thou forsaken Tim Tebow?
Why could you not at least have allowed Tim to beat the spread, which is what most NFL fans are interested in anyway? Just when TT’s fans convinced us that something divine was happening, an 18-point homefield loss last Sunday to the Pats (no Doubting Thomas Bradys there!)
Tim of the bended knee, of the heaven-pointed finger, of the Rodin-like pose, had weeks ago touched off this little debate on whether his Lord and Savior had intervened and was helping him to an improbable six straight wins and four straight fourth-quarter comebacks, improbable due to his lack of throwing technique.
But no such debate among true sports fans: they know darned well that God can determine the outcome of just about any sporting event he wants to and often does. I mean, why do baseball players almost always bless themselves when they come to the plate? They know that for those who do bless themselves, God blesses them with a hit approximately .276 percent of the time. With men on base, God ups that percentage by about 20 points for true believers!
Among footballers, can there be any doubt that God likes it a heck of a lot better when the touchdown-scoring player conducts himself in a gentlemanly manner in the end zone, perhaps pointing the index digit skyward like Tim, never spiking the ball and never ever performing a victory dance? God can cause a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff for those who insist on dancing.
Sure there are the naysayers, those who claim that with the economy in the dumpster, the Kardashians having marital difficulties and the like, it’s difficult to believe that God would pay so much attention to a rookie NFL quarterback whose throwing skills are suspect. I guess it seems more plausible that God would choose to work with somebody more skilled like Cam Newton. But who knows, maybe he just likes the challenge of Tebow.
St. Timothy is not the first professional athlete to invoke God’s name, but he seems to be the one most certain that he is divinely inspired. Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard told a sportswriter, “Tebow came to me and said ‘Don’t worry about a thing’ because God has spoken to him.” So “Saturday Night Live” makes fun of that certainty, a character dressed as Jesus telling Tebow after the Broncos’ amazing win against the Bears that he might try reading the Bible less and the playbook more so Jesus does not have to intervene in the fourth quarter so often. The “SNL” sketch caused televangelist Pat Robertson to describe it as “anti-Christian bigotry that is just disgusting.” Yeah, but aside from that, Pat, how’d you like it?
Was it not Nietzsche who said “God is dead”? I might be more inclined to believe that if Ray Nitschke, Green Bay hall-of-famer, had said it. Remember, they do not call it the “Hail Mary” pass for nothing.
So what the heck happened to Tebow last Sunday? Look, it’s well known that Jesus does not do these miracles willy-nilly. Remember Cana when his own mother wanted him to do the water-to-wine thing and he seemed just a little bit irritated even with her: “Woman, how does this concern of yours affect me? My hour has not yet come.” He did it but seemed just a tiny bit miffed the whole while. Maybe Tim’s Lord simply decided that 7 and 2 was good enough for the time being and his help was needed more in Kansas City, where the Chiefs
were doing what is known as “The Miracle” on the Packers, or in Indianapolis, where the Colts were praying for their first win. Tim would run it in from the two with 8:41 left, pulling the Broncos to a 34-23 deficit and causing the Denver crowd of true believers to truly believe. He Tebowed twice, and each time I was sure that he was discussing with Jesus an option play, maybe even a flea-flicker. Apparently not.
Tomorrow, Christmas Eve, the Broncos play the Bills in Buffalo. With the Bills having demonstrated great consistency, losing the last seven in a row, God might want to think about staying home for this one and taking a bye week.
One final query: Can you imagine what might have happened had God been a Penn State fan?