Initial estimates put the crowd for Tim Tebow’s Easter sermon at 30,000. To the extent that a loaves-and-fishes-style miracle was required to feed everyone who attended the open-air “Easter on the Hill” event, they needed half of what they anticipated.
According to the Associated Press, only 15,000 actually showed up to hear Tebow speak.
Tebow said he embraces the attention that comes from his open display of religious beliefs, including his “Tebowing” prayer stance.
“It’s being talked about,” Tebow said. ”It’s exciting.” (There’s that word again.)
Tebow added that it’s “OK to be outspoken about your faith,” and he chastised athletes who claim they aren’t role models. ”Yes you are. You’re just not a good one,” Tebow said. (That’s possibly the most controversial thing he ever has said.)
Personally, I still have a hard time reconciling the whole “be outspoken about your faith” routine with Matthew 6: 5-8, especially when dropping to a knee in prayer, in the presence of TV cameras. (It would have been ironic, to say the least, if that citation had been transcribed onto any of Tebow’s eye strips during college.)
The fact remains that Tebow is a force of nature, whether 15,000 or 30,000 or 300,000 come to hear him speak in person. Though a little subtlety and nuance could actually enhance his impact, the open display of his beliefs and his youthful, cheerful, arguably naive disposition will keep him among the most popular players in the NFL, regardless of the extent to which he actually plays (or plays well) in NFL games.