(Photo: Reuters / Rick Wilking)
Tim Tebow’s team the Denver Broncos lost Sunday to the New England Patriots, but the evangelical starting quarterback still thanked Jesus and said it was an opportunity for a “new step up” and to make something “even bigger and better.”
After his team’s 41-23 loss, Tebow was on one knee in the center of the Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo. And, as usual, he thanked God at a press conference that followed.
“Well, first and foremost I have to thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ first,” Tebow told reporters, also thanking his teammates for “the effort that they played with all day, and the coaches coached extremely hard and we kept fighting for the entire day.”
Tebow, who has faced severe criticism for expressing his Christian faith on the field, saw the defeat as a stepping stone. “I think that every time there is a setback, it’s just more of an opportunity for a new step up and to make something even bigger and better,” he said, as transcribed by Denver Post. He said he was excited about going to New York against the Buffalo Bills this week and his team was looking forward to a good week at practice.
Tebow added that things were going “pretty well” early as the Broncos scored on their first three possessions and “felt like we were moving the ball well and then we put it on the ground.”
“That’s something you can’t do versus a great team and Bill Belichick,” he said.
The Broncos quarterback said “there’s a lot of great things we can take out of this game, and try to improve and get better.” He said his team shared his optimism. “Everybody’s very positive and encouraging each other, and we’ll go out here in a few days and get ready for Buffalo.”
Some saw Sunday’s game as between the two quarterbacks, Tim Tebow and Tom Brady. On Sunday morning, a television headline projected it as “The Playboy vs. The Preacher.” However, Tebow said he didn’t pay too much attention to it. “I just knew the New England Patriots were coming to play the Denver Broncos, and it was two teams going head to head.”
Brady, Tebow added, was “very complimentary” and “very nice” to him after the game. “What a great quarterback and class act he is. For a lot of young quarterbacks he does a lot of great things to look up to and try to emulate.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick praised Tebow’s game. “Tim’s a tough guy to get to,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s not easy with him, but we were able to get him a few times. He’s a good football player, and it was a good battle against our pass rush.”
Last week, Tebow guided his team to a last-minute victory against the Chicago Bears.
Meanwhile, attacks on Tebow’s faith continued. Last Wednesday, a rabbi, Joshua Hammerman, said that should the Broncos win the Super Bowl, it would embolden Christians to do “insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants.” In his article on The Jewish Week website, which was later removed, the rabbi predicted resurgence of “fanaticism” if Tebow were to lead his team to victory.
But Tebow is used to criticism, and his Facebook and Twitter do not respond to attacks. His last tweet at press time read: “Matthew 1:21-23.”
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.’”