Ross Douthat is very interesting on Tim Tebow in Sodom. Or Gomorrah:
Tebow in Babylon
By ROSS DOUTHAT
THE Prophet Jonah was sent to Nineveh. St. Paul was sent to Athens, Macedonia, Rome. And now Tim Tebow has been sent to New York City.
There was a moment last week when it looked as if the trade shipping Tebow from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets might somehow fall through — that Tebow might end up a Jacksonville Jaguar instead, with a guaranteed starting job, a heavily evangelical fan base, and none of the insanity involved in eclipsing Jeremy Lin as the most famous Christian athlete in Babylon-upon-the-Hudson.
O ye of little faith. Did you think that the Lord God of Hosts, having raised Tebow up as a Gideon of the gridiron, would pass up the opportunity to put his faithful servant to the test? Did you think that the angelic screenwriters responsible for scripting last year’s succession of Tebow-related improbabilities had nodded off after the Broncos were dispatched in the A.F.C. playoffs? Did you think that the archons and demiurges who preside over America’s culture war would be content to let Tebow fade into obscurity — some red-state-friendly endorsement deals, a few 6-10 finishes, and then early retirement and a lifetime of under-the-radar charity work?
And yes, this may be a storybook:
Nothing discredits religion quite like the gap that often yawns between what believers profess and how they live. With Tebow, that gap seems so narrow as to be invisible. (“There’s not an ounce of artifice or phoniness or Hollywood in this kid Tebow,” ESPN’s Rick Reilly wrote last year of the quarterback’s charitable works, “and I’ve looked everywhere for it.”) He fascinates, in part, because he behaves — at least in public, and at least for now — the way one would expect more Christians to behave if their faith were really true.
But the fascination doesn’t end there. Tebow’s religion doesn’t just promise a path to personal transformation. It claims that every human life is actually a story with an Author, and that a genuinely Christian life should make that divine Authorship manifest.
So in Tebow’s case, the link between faith and football can’t actually be broken. The more that his professional career seems like, well, a storybook — with exciting up and downs, new opportunities and unexpected twists — the more credible his faith in providence becomes.
Note that “a storybook” is not the same as “an inevitable success.” In Christian theology as in young-adult fiction, even the author’s most beloved characters can suffer pain, temptation, failure, exile. The lives of the saints often end in martyrdom. The gentle, brutalized Peeta Mellark is as much the hero of “The Hunger Games” as the indomitable Katniss Everdeen.
So even the most pious of Jets fans shouldn’t expect a Super Bowl title. But if their new quarterback’s story really has an Author, they’re in for a pretty interesting ride.
A lot of New York writers will dedicate their lives to finding Tebow's feet of clay, but Derek and Mariano have managed a career's worth of exemplary behavior without letting their fans down.