(Photo: Reuters/Lucas Jackson)
Tim Tebow, perhaps the most popular second-string NFL quarterback ever, talked about politics and prayer in a Q & A interview with ESPN New York in which he eluded to the possibility of running for political office one day.
In the interview published on Tuesday, Rich Cimini, who covers the N.Y. Jets for ESPNNewYork.com, asks Tebow, "With your popularity, especially in Florida, would you ever consider running for political office after you're done with football?"
Tebow answers: "I haven't ruled it out. Whatever avenue I feel like I can make a difference in, I'd love to do. I haven't ruled out anything like that. It won't be anytime soon in my future, but it'll be something I'll at least look at and consider one day."
At a time when the New York sports media is having a field day on reporting on everything Tebow – from where and what he ate last night to rumors of premature trade talk – the interview with Cimini reveals even more of Tebow's strong Christian values.
Tebow was asked about what he does first in the morning and last before going to bed.
"Pray. I pray to start my day and finish it in prayer. I'm just thankful for everything, all the blessings in my life, trying to stay that way. I think that's the best way to start your day and finish your day. It keeps everything in perspective," said Tebow, who has played sparingly in the first two games for the Jets.
His proudest accomplishment he said is "probably the hospital" his charitable organization (Tim Tebow Foundation) is building in the Philippines.
"Lord willing, it'll continue to help kids long after I'm gone. That's what I want out of everything that my foundation does. I want to help kids when I'm no longer here, when I'm dead and gone. I want to help kids when I don't have the energy and the time to help them, but somehow still find a way to make a difference. This hospital is one example of that," he said, as reported by ESPNNewYork.
The Tebow Foundation also runs the W15H program, pronounced "Wish 15 program," which is an outreach that allows children with life-threatening illnesses to meet Tebow by attending either one of his games or a post-season event. The children and their families are provided with airfare, ground transportation, luxury accommodations, and the opportunity to spend time with Tebow both on and off the field.
Erik Dellenback, executive director of the Tim Tebow Foundation, recently told The Christian Post that one of Tebow's goals is to be able to help children 24 hours per day. While the W15H program primarily runs during the football season, the foundation also supports Uncle Dick's Orphanage in the Philippines, works in partnership with CURE International and works to create Timmy's Playrooms in children's hospitals around the world.
Asked by Cimini what he sees himself doing five years after retirement from football, Tebow said, "Doing something with my foundation, continuing everything we're doing now and, hopefully, expanding, building more hospitals, making a difference in people's lives. I want to do that while I'm playing football, and I want to do that after I'm done playing football. I want to do that until the day I die because I don't look at that as a profession or a career. I look at that as what I want to do with my life. I love doing it. I'm a natural for it."