Tim Tebow provides NFL with a special need

 
Matt Rourke,The Associated Press
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Tim Tebow signs autographs after practice.
People always ask me why I root so hard for Tim Tebow to make it in the NFL.

Is it because he loves the game so much; plays with such passion; is so fun to watch; or that he’s just so much different than the typical cookie-cutter pro quarterback?

It’s all of those things, but mainly it’s because every time I’ve ever seen him at a public appearance, he scans the crowd in search of kids with special needs and then immediately makes a mad dash toward those kids as if they are a touchdown pylon.

So many times these kids with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and afflictions we can’t even pronounce — let alone imagine — look up from their wheelchairs and see people avoid them and recoil at the very sight of them. Tebow is drawn to them and makes a beeline toward them, looks them in the eye, hugs them, talks to them, touches them.

“It’s just a lot easier to turn the other way and ignore those with special needs,” Mike Barr said. “Tim is the complete opposite. He doesn’t see these kids as a burden; he sees them as a blessing.”

Barr has three special-needs children he adopted with the help of Tebow and the Tim Tebow Foundation. Essentially, Tebow and his charity financially subsidize families who adopt the kids nobody else wants. Tebow uses the term Jesus used in the Bible —”The least of these” — when I asked him once about why he cares so much about special-needs children.

I’m no Biblical scholar, but “the least of these” can be defined as those who need our love and help the most. Perhaps this is why the official mission of Tebow’s foundation is “To bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.”

“I want to have a life of significance,” Tebow said, “and caring for the least of these is what really matters. … I believe we can inspire and be a light to people who have been abandoned or thrown away or neglected. That is where my heart is.”

One of life’s great mysteries is where is the heart of so many football fans — so many critics and haters who actually root for Tebow to fail?

Why?

Why in the world?

It makes no sense.

The more visibility he has, the more good he can do; the more hope he can provide, the more smiles he can create.

Like the Tebow Foundation orphan care for more than 2,000 kids in four different countries who have been left homeless and abandoned.

Like the financial aid for those parents who have adopted special-needs children in 53 different countries.

Like the new Tebow Cure Hospital that was recently built in the Philippines, where health care is provided to kids whose families are dirt poor.

Like the nationwide prom Tebow’s foundation held earlier this year for more than 7,000 special-needs kids in 26 different states and two countries. Each prom included a red-carpet entrance with paparazzi, limousine rides, hair and makeup beauty stations, shoeshines, dinner and dancing.

“In South Carolina, I got a chance to spend some time with one young lady at one of the proms,” Tebow told me at his charity golf tournament a few months ago. “As I was starting to leave, her mom came up to me crying and said, ‘My daughter is never going to get married and she’s never going to have kids, but tonight she felt like a princess.’ That made it all worth it. That’s our ultimate goal — to make these kids feel like kings and queens.”

Patti Brown tells the story of when her son Dylan, who has cerebral palsy, met Tebow as part of the “Wish 15” program in which Tebow essentially provides an all-expenses-paid vacation for those with special needs and their families to come spend some quality time with him at NFL games, awards shows, Disney World or wherever he may be.

“I took this amazing picture of Tim and Dylan,” Patti says. “They’re looking at each other and they both have these big, beautiful smiles on their faces. That picture shows me that Tim sees things others don’t. He sees the pure love and joy in people who are going through hardships.”

Making the most of the least of these.

I guess you could say this is why I root so hard for Tim Tebow to succeed in the NFL.

He’s not just good for the league.

He’s good for the world.

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12 Responses to “Tim Tebow provides NFL with a special need”

  1. lex says:

    Beautifully written. Matthew Rourke is quite special,as well, in the rough and tumble world of sports journalism.

    Thanks, Buzzy. Seeing this article made my day.

  2. Andrea says:

    Great Stuff !!!!

  3. Cartman says:

    I think Tebow is a great player who’s gotten a raw deal. But I would spend a lot more time watching and following football if the league were filled with men like this. Even if the quality of play were reduced. I don’t root for or follow scoundrels no matter how talented or entertaining.

    • ck says:

      Cartman: Happen to agree w/u and just b/c he is playing went ahead and bought NFL Channel; otherwise, would not have considered due to the reasons you stated above +++!

  4. Pamelot says:

    Amen. 🙂

  5. David Oliver says:

    Buzzy, et All – short update video on Tim Tebow:

    Eagle in Focus: Tim Tebow
    by Alex Smith

    http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/videos/videos/Eagle-In-Focus-Tim-Tebow/059a49c2-6151-43de-a509-f17445189c4d

  6. David Oliver says:

    Unique “eval” of Chip Kelly Eagle.. “Results”

    GM or not, Chip Kelly has built a good Eagles team – by Mark Eckle:

    http://www.nj.com/eagles/index.ssf/2015/08/eagles_head_coach_chip_kelly_is_a_good_personnel_m.html#incart_river

    • ck says:

      David O.: Believe Matt Eckle is one reporter who is a credit to his profession and gets it right for the most part…like him better than ESP.
      Thanks for the post.

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