By Katie Kieffer
Everyone wants a piece of 24-year-old Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow. Most people settle for a high-five or an autograph. Others ask him to surrender his values, like the young women who beg him for fan photos and then start stripping off their shirts—sending Tebow darting away.
Tebow has All-American character. He espouses capitalistic values that are foundational to America: Competitiveness, ownership, responsibility, hard work, optimism, faith and persistence.
As a football celebrity, Tebow effectively glamorizes a rational lifestyle. Sure, he celebrates after touchdowns by pointing to heaven and shouting: “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! … Victory!” But he is not expressive in an irrational way.
Tebow once told ESPN: “When people ask, I let ‘em know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ and I’m not ashamed of that and I never will be.” The three key words in that sentence are: “When people ask.”
Tebow’s faith is public without becoming irrational or aggressive. Case in point: When asked by the press whether he’s “saving himself for marriage,” he confidently answers: “Yes, I am.” There is neither hesitation nor conceit in his face when he answers; there is merely self-assurance.
Even “Tebowing,” Tebow’s trademark pose, is pensive. Unlike President Obama’s perpetual “I’ve-got-my-nose-in-the-air-and-I-don’t-care” stance which conveys prideful philistinism—Tebowing is purposeful and humble. In fact, TIME Magazine compares it to the philosophic pose of Auguste Rodin’s Thinker sculpture.
Tebow’s mere existence sets irrational people on edge. Just as Occupy Wall Streeters claim that entrepreneurial risk-takers like Steve Jobs got rich through “luck,” Tebow’s critics claim that he wins football games through luck—not hard work and raw talent. Dolphins linebacker Kevin Burnett told Sports Illustrated that Tebow is “a football player who just happens to be a quarterback.”
Luck plays little role in Tebow’s career. Tebow has worked hard, developing his natural abilities to become a pro and outwit his opponents.
Tebow is fast for his size. His on-field intuition is accurate. His touchdown-to-interception ratio in college was an incredible 88-16. He helped bring the Florida Gators the 2006 NCAA National Championship trophy as a 19-year-old freshman, scored the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore (becoming the first underclassman to win the award), won a second national championship as a junior and missed winning a third national championship as a senior by a single game.
Tebow’s ultimate strength is his character. The year after Tebow won the Heisman, the Gators came short of having an undefeated season because they lost to Ole Miss midway through the season. He gave an immortalizing press conference where he put the blame on himself for missing his personal goal of achieving an undefeated season:
“I’m sorry, extremely sorry … I promise you one thing: A lot of good will come out of this. You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of this season and you’ll never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of this season and you’ll never see a team play harder than we will the rest of this season. God bless.”
Tebow fulfilled his promise to his fans; the Gators won 22 games in a row after Tebow gave this press conference and they ended the season by winning the national title.
In a capitalist society, leaders—whether they are the President of the United States, the CEO of a corporation or the quarterback for a football team—take responsibility. They don’t blame Congress, their shareholders or their fans. They focus on improving themselves and working harder to compete for a winning result.
On the other hand, leaders who embrace socialism shun responsibility. This month, President Obama blamed capitalism—the foundation of this country—for our poor economy. He said capitalism: “doesn’t work. It has never worked.” The President’s statement is akin to Tebow blaming the football turf for his losses.
Also this month, WVEC-TV asked President Obama: “… do you take any personal responsibility for your administration creating that condition [a poor economy]?” The President replied: “Well, we didn’t create the condition. We haven’t, uh, we haven’t solved it fully yet.”
Unlike Tebow, President Obama refuses to accept responsibility for the economic destruction he has unleashed via socialist policies like ObamaCare, bailouts, net neutrality regulations and by blocking oil production.
Football is competitive. There are winners and losers. Talent and hard work win; incompetence and laziness lose. Football rewards innovative risk-takers and analytical thinkers, not sentimental whiners. By instilling capitalistic principles, football builds leaders. In contrast, by discouraging competition, socialist principles encourage people to do the bare minimum, shirk responsibility and reject leadership.
Tebow lives his life in a way that embraces capitalistic principles and he is a leader because of his strong character.
After Tebow crushed the Chicago Bears in overtime this month, Charlotte Bobcats guard Kemba Walker tweeted: “Man do I respect Tim Tebow. True Leader. Not a bad person to model yourself after.”