December 12, 2011

Tim Tebow & Why Faith Makes Us Nervous

If you all haven’t already happened upon it, Chuck Klosterman wrote an absolutely fascinating essay for Grantland describing the significance of Tim Tebow and why he seems to be so polarizing as a professional football player. It’s mostly about Tebow and football, except that it’s not – it’s about so much more than that:

I doubt many Christians believe that God is unfairly helping Tebow win games in the AFC West. I’m sure a few hardcores might, but not many. However, I get the impression that especially antagonistic secularists assume this assumption infiltrates every aspect of Tebow’s celebrity, and that explains why he’s so beloved by strangers they cannot relate to. Their negative belief is that penitent, conservative Americans look at Tebow and see a man being “rewarded” for his faith, which validates the idea that believing in something abstract is more important than understanding something real. And this makes them worried about the future, because they see that thinking everywhere. It seems like the thinking that ran this country into the ground.

I don’t think I’ve read such a straight-forward and correct explanation for why I get so nervous in a culture preoccupied more with feeling something than knowing anything. Also, I’m fairly convinced that some of the best writing happening today is on Grantland, the little sports website that could.


  1. matt on December 12th, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I’d nearly given up on sports writing – I mean, really, have you read most of the stuff that now wins Rick Reilly awards? – but am glad to see Grantland celebrating culture and sports and analysis that combines the two. Maybe there are more than a few of us that like both sports and good writing after all.

  2. Joel Bernstein on December 12th, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    “Equally bizarre is the way both groups perceive themselves as the oppressed minority who are fighting against dominant public opinion, although I suppose that has become the way most Americans go through life.”

  3. Deron Bauman on December 13th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I’m an atheist. I love what Tebow is doing. Or really what the team is doing because they believe in him.

  4. ju ju pongo on December 13th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    yea, verily lots of great stuff on Grantland; Great American Sports Writing anthology (first edition circa 1991) is also worth seeking out, here be linkybits re most recent edition

  5. Aaron Winslow on December 13th, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I never stop enjoying Chuck Klosterman.

    I’ve never stopped hating the Broncos.