Tim Tebow is heading back to his primary sport, returning once again to the days of being a professional player in the NFL, after a stint on another field.
Back in the day when his NFL career appeared to be over, rather than leave professional sports behind, the versatile Tebow turned to the game of baseball. In 2016 he signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets, handling the positions of left field and designated hitter until retiring in February of 2021.
Now the Jacksonville Jaguars have signed the former Heisman Trophy winner to a one-year contract, with the understanding that he will switch positions from quarterback to tight end. The same day the Jaguars made the announcement, Tebow was spotted on the practice field wearing a No. 85 Jacksonville jersey, a truly unexpected sight for a whole lot of folks.
The sports star had plenty of detractors in the past, and unfortunately the menacing trend continues to this day. As a bona fide celebrity phenom, his solid beliefs on religious, cultural, and moral issues have resulted in him becoming a target for those with opposing viewpoints.
Acknowledged for being outspoken regarding his Christian faith, Tebow has publicly expressed strong pro-life convictions and has also openly advocated for faith-based abstinence.
He has been fearless in stating that he has lived his life in a way that is almost unheard of in today’s celebrity vortex, exercising restraint and maintaining self-control when it comes to the ways of the world.
It turns out he became very well known for engaging in a unique prayer practice, which routinely takes place right out on the playing field. Kneeling on one knee, he bows his head and rests his arm on one bent leg. The form of prayer expression ultimately reached fame status as “Tebowing” and was even included as a feature in a Madden NFL video game.
In terms of prior regular NFL seasons, Tebow spent his first two with the Denver Broncos and additionally made two starts for the New York Jets. He primarily played one position, that being quarterback, during his entire professional football career.
As Tebow’s detractors like to point out, he hasn’t played a down of professional football since the 2015 pre-season with the Philadelphia Eagles.
In relation to his current newfound position, he already has a relationship with Jacksonville head coach Urban Meyer, who was his coach at the University of Florida, where he was the first college sophomore ever to win the Heisman.
Friends of Tebow say that he is enthusiastic about attempting to make it back on the field in a new position at the highest level of play for any football player. He said in a statement via a team release, “I want to thank the Jaguars for the opportunity to compete and earn the chance to be part of this team. I know it will be a challenge, but it is a challenge I embrace.”
So how can a guy who has not played in a regular season NFL game since 2012, had only one snap as a receiver, and is about to turn a relatively mature 34, still have the confidence to embrace the challenge in an NFL comeback as a tight end?
The answer is in Tebow’s heart. He appears to have a type of celestial advantage when it comes to his athletic pursuits, which is most likely attributed to his ironclad faith-based attitude and irrepressible work ethic.
Fans in Denver remember that back in 2011, when he became the Bronco’s full-time starting quarterback, an amazing metamorphosis of the team seemed to miraculously take place. Tebow was able to transform a 1-4 Broncos team into a genuine contender, with seven wins in eight starts.
Sports journalists were awed by the then-quarterback’s unexpected late-game turnarounds, where the Tebow-led team often came from behind late in the fourth quarter. The Broncos, with Tebow as the QB starter, won their first playoff game in years and managed to snag the AFC West title as well.
Tebow has always had a knack for leadership, inspiring his teammates to work together to achieve. He also consistently remembers at post game interviews to thank his “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” never seeming to flinch as the harsh backlash inevitably follows.
He continues to be a voice of encouragement for people of faith everywhere. One sterling example is a sort of mini-sermon that Tebow delivered in April of 2020, in which he used his Instagram account to touch upon the subject of player trades and compare the practice to what he referred to as “the greatest trade in the history of the world.”
What is the trade? The old you for the new.
And why does he consider the trade to be the ultimate one? He says it in a way that only a Christian who is running the race can.
Tebow muses aloud, “Why is this the greatest trade? You need to understand this, so you can understand the old versus the new. Do you know what the old is? Sin, dead, darkness, bondage, separation, lost, baggage. Do you know what the new is? Righteousness, alive, light, freedom, united in Christ, found, child of God, purpose, son, daughter, home in heaven, paid for. That’s what the new is.”
A trade worthy of anyone’s consideration.