Tim Tebow: An Incredible Human Being


Every week, Tim Tebow picks out someone who is suffering, or who is dying, or who is injured and he flies them and their families to the Broncos game, rents them a car, puts them up in a nice hotel, buys them dinner, gets them and their families pregame passes, visits with them just before kickoff, gets them 30-yard-line tickets down low, visits with them after the game, has them walk him to his car, and sends them off with a basket of gifts.

Last week, after Tebow had stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers with an 80-yard over-time touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas in the playoffs and Twitter was exploding with 9,420 tweets about Tebow per second. When an ESPN poll was naming him the most popular athlete in America, guess where Tim was?

Talking to 16 year old Bailey Knaub about her 73 surgeries so far (Wegener’s granulomatosis has left Bailey with only one lung) and what TV shows she likes.

“Here he’d just played the game of his life,” recalls Bailey’s mother, Kathy, of Loveland, Colo., “and the first thing he does after his press conference is come find Bailey and ask, ‘Did you get anything to eat?’ He acted like what he’d just done wasn’t anything, like it was all about Bailey.”

More than that, Tebow kept corralling people into the room for Bailey to meet: Demaryius Thomas, John Elway, and  Head Coach John Fox.

“It was the best day of my life,” she emailed. “It was a bright star among very gloomy and difficult days. Tim Tebow gave me the greatest gift I could ever imagine. He gave me the strength for the future. I know now that I can face any obstacle placed in front of me. Tim taught me to never give up because at the end of the day, today might seem bleak but it can’t rain forever and tomorrow is a new day, with new promises.”

Tim Tebow With The Knaub Family

“Why me? Why should I inspire her?” he said. “I just don’t feel, I don’t know, adequate. Really, hearing her story inspires me.”

For the game at Buffalo, it was Charlottesville, Va., blue-chip high school QB Jacob Rainey, who lost his leg after a freak tackle in a scrimmage. Tebow threw three interceptions in that Buffalo game and the Broncos were crushed 40-14.

“He walked in and took a big sigh and said, ‘Well, that didn’t go as planned,'” Rainey remembers. “Where I’m from, people wonder how sincere and genuine he is. But I think he’s the most genuine person I’ve ever met.”

Immediately after Tebow shocked the Chicago Bears with a 13-10 comeback win, Tebow spent an hour with 9 year old Zac Taylor and his family. At one point, Zac, who has 10 doctors, asked Tebow whether he has a secret prayer for hospital visits. Tebow whispered it in his ear. And because Tebow still needed to be checked out by the Broncos’ team doctor, he took Zac in with him, but only after they had whispered it together.

And it’s not always kids. Tom Driscoll, a 55-year-old who is dying of brain cancer at a hospice in Denver, was Tebow’s guest for the Cincinnati game. “The doctors took some of my brain,” Driscoll says, “so my short-term memory is kind of shot. But that day I’ll never forget. Tim is such a good man.”

Tebow says. “It’s by far the best thing I do to get myself ready. Here you are, about to play a game that the world says is the most important thing in the world. Win and they praise you. Lose and they crush you. And here I have a chance to talk to the coolest, most courageous people. It puts it all into perspective. The game doesn’t really matter. I mean, I’ll give 100 percent of my heart to win it, but in the end, the thing I most want to do is not win championships or make a lot of money, it’s to invest in people’s lives, to make a difference.”

Remember the QB who lost his leg, Jacob Rainey? He got his prosthetic leg a few weeks ago, and he wants to play high school football next season. Yes, tackle football. He’d be the first to do that on an above-the-knee amputation.

“Tim told me to keep fighting, no matter what.”

Tebow and Jacob Rainey




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7 Responses to Tim Tebow: An Incredible Human Being

  1. Pingback: The game doesn’t really matter. | SOSMass

  2. Pingback: » Football: It’s More Than Just A Game Zazen Life

  3. The world of sports and the world in general need more such good examples. I applaud Mr. Tebow and you for posting this. Thank you.

  4. Pingback: Monday « The DA Blog

  5. I am one of those people who doubted Tebow’s sincerity. I think his posturing prayer is still a little much for a game. But now I know that he does this wonderful thing for these people, I feel much less cynical. Thanks for that.

    • @dieselpokers says:

      I at first thought it was a little over the top, but seeing what this man has done and the impact he has had on people’s lives who aren’t as privileged as us is flat out astonishing and incredibly humbling.

  6. @dieselpokers says:

    This gives me the chills every time I read it. This man is inspirational in every sense of the word.

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