The Real Reason Tim Tebow Is With the New England Patriots Has Nothing To Do With Football

By M. Shannon Smallwood
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports — Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

So as the world wakes up this morning still trying to process the New England Patriots‘ decision to bring Tim Tebow aboard, the rumors are swirling.

Most folks think it’s a favor called in by Urban Meyer to Bill Belichick. Tebow was hanging around with Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes last week around the same time Belichick released a statement about him never saying the derogatory things about Tebow that was reported by the media.

Others feel it is just a stunt to get the proud Tebow to succumb to the “Patriots Way”. And then there are those who are nauseous that Tebow is back in the news and getting top billing because he hasn’t accomplished one thing in his life.

Well, only Tebow and the Patriots know the events that led to his invite to Foxboro. But this guy can, without a doubt, put everything he knows and believes into why Tebow is with the Patriots. And, it has nothing to do with football.

“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” — 1 Corninthians 1:26-31 NIV

Tebow being with the Patriots has nothing to do with the NFL. Football is just a game. The game of our eternal life is the most importing event we all participate in daily. Whether Tebow carries a clipboard the whole season or whether he becomes a vital piece in a Super Bowl run, God has him there for a reason.

There is someone in that organization who needs faith and hope. Someone who needs to hear the Good News. There is even someone there who will forever change Tebow’s life as well and give his journey some added grace.

You see, the Bible is very clear that God uses who He thinks is the best person to get the job done His way. It is full of stories of drunks and womanizers and all sorts of folks who the world deemed unfit to carry the torch of God. Even those people who God chose were like, “um… you are mistaken… you have the wrong person.” There is no doubt Tebow has this feeling despite his honor and passion for his faith. We all struggle with this.

The one thing that connects us all as believers or not is our doubts, fears and the void we search to fill in our hearts. God knows this and has everything already figured out for us. As a baby in his mother’s womb, the doctors wanted Tebow’s parents to abort because they saw “life-threatening complications.” Obviously, God had a greater plan for him than sports. But you also cannot deny that He placed him with the Florida Gators and gave him enough talent and desire to get him to the NFL. The time he spent with the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets were calculated events for Tebow’s personal journey and all those who called him a friend and a teammate.

Is Tebow Jesus? Absolutely not. He was one of a kind. But could Tebow be a modern day Paul or David? Maybe? Only God knows his plans for Tebow and us all.

So, as the media continues to rip the fact Tebow doesn’t deserve to play in the NFL and that his ability doesn’t warrant another shot, remember this journey is not about football. It’s about a much more important game. One that pales in comparison to anything you or Tebow will ever accomplish in the world’s eyes.


M Shannon Smallwood is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.

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