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Oxford SportsBeat: Tebow Effect

Tim Tebow is squeaky clean and a great role model for young children across the country. So why is he disliked by so many people?

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In a sports world stained by scandal and self-absorbed athletes, Tim Tebow has been a heavy duty cleanser. He's rinsed away some of the slime and grime created by the likes of Tiger Woods, Michael Vick, and all the college coaches who lie and cheat to get ahead. For some area football coaches of high school programs, Tebow is a person who should be looked up to, regardless of his faith or football skills.

"He's the ultimate role model," said Rob Plasky, "Tebow has a set of values and always seems to do the right thing. He doesn't budge on those values no matter how much he's criticized."

Tebow, who was traded to the New York Jets after leading the Denver Broncos, wears his faith on his sleeve and is always quick to heap praise not only on his Lord and Savior, but his teammates, as well.

"If you see him in interviews, he never talks about himself, never, " Plasky said. "Tebow always gives credit to his teammates. In our society, you always hear people talking about themselves. Tebow's humble and never talks about himself, and that's how it should be."

Tebow, a former Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida, is one of the most polarizing figures the sports world has ever seen. To his followers, he is a cult hero, a man who gives hope to children suffering in hospitals, while playing football at the highest level. But Tebow also has a throng of detractors who don't like his open display of his faith, or simply because he's Tim Tebow.

"I don't see how people can form opinion about someone they don't even know," said John Svatik, head football coach at "People read something about Tebow or hear something negative about him and then that's what they believe, which is too bad."

With Tebow'sarrival in New York and the media capital of the world, "Tebowmania" should ascend to new heights. He is sure to become more popular than he's ever been and a bigger target than his critics have ever aimed at. There will be questions about his faith, as well as his ability to play quarterback in the NFL.

"I think he's outstanding," said Joe Madaffari, athletic director at Brien McMahon who played quarterback at Norwalk High School in 1975. "What he's done in his career is pretty amazing. But if he's trying to push his religion on people, I'm against that."

Nobody can take away what Tebow has done on the gridiron. He's a Heisman Trophy winner, two-time national champion, All-American, first-round draft pick, and been a starting NFL quarterback. People may question his faith, but nobody can doubt his drive and determination.

"He's a hard worker and people have doubted him wherever he's played," said a former All-State quarterback at  who will play at the University of Kansas in the fall. "Tebow is an inspiration to me. I know what it's like when people root for you to fail. The guy is a winner. All he does is win and that's how you're measured as a quarterback."

Added Plasky, "The sports world needs more people like Tim Tebow."

OxfordCitizen March 26, 2012 at 11:29 AM
I admire Tim's goals, values, & accomplishments. I believe the issue is that he has brought religion into sports for better or worse. Not sure what folks are seeking to accomplish by wearing their religion on their sleeves...why can't he just a good athlete with good values & morals ? No one religion has a monopoly on these things....that said it's better than reading about players being arrested for illegal drugs or steroids, drunk driving, domestic battery, etc. :)
Janis Hardy March 26, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Tim Tebow isn't trying to push his faith on anybody. He believes in God and the teachings of the Bible, and his faith, period. Why can't peple just let that be? Why has it become so 'politically correct' to not believe in a God, whose ever God that may be? Why is belief in a God so uncomfortable for some people? Personally, I think all this so-called 'controversy' says more about his detractors than it will ever say about him.

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