In a lengthy new profile, Sports Illustrated writer Tim Rohan explores the baseball aspirations of Tim Tebow.
Tebow, the former Heisman-winning quarterback announced last spring he would pursue a professional baseball career. He signed with the Mets in September and is now playing for the franchise’s Class-A affiliate, the Columbia Fireflies. His play has been impressive enough that the Mets are thinking of promoting him. He is batting .250 with two home runs and a .370 slugging percentage in 28 games.
According to Rohan, Tebow, an outspoken Christian and former NFL quarterback, divided people into there groups: haters, skeptics, and realists:
There always seems to be this divide with Tebow, a divide that began back in his college days, when he rose to fame for playing football and professing his faith. It’s the divide between the way Tebow views himself and the way the rest of the world does. On one side we have Tebow, the dreamer, the ultimate believer, and his band of disciples. And on the other side, we have … well, it’s more complicated.
There are the cynics and critics, of course—people who just can’t stand Tebow. But there are also the Realists—smart, rational people who see Tebow’s actions sometimes and can’t exactly square them. The Realist is probably the person whom most of us identify with. The Realist is the observer asking questions with a healthy dose of skepticism. The Realist is the one who left the park that night, wondering, Why is Tim Tebow playing baseball?
Tebow, 29, has a response for this: “Why not? Why does everything start out with a negative connotation? Unfortunately sometimes we look at things in a negative way, rather than striving for what we want to do, and what we believe in, and lifting each other up, and building each other up.”
Seems pretty straightforward. Of course, Rohan sees something more cynical. After seeing Tebow give a talk about persistence and faith, Rohan offers this:
Maybe that’s how Tebow will come to derive some sort of meaning from his baseball career. Once he’s done, he’ll have a fresh batch of stories for another round of books and speeches. He’ll travel around, telling people about the Showcase, the oblique and all of those home runs. He’ll cast himself as a role model, as someone who ignored the cynics and critics and chased his dream.
Or maybe, Tim Tebow loves God, and loves sports, and loves people.
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