Tim Tebow: Putting the Lord, and Patriots First

ABC News Blogs

NFL sensation Tim Tebow, who took the country by storm with a 2011 six-game winning streak that brought the Denver Broncos within one win of this weekend's Super Bowl, says that although his much-mimicked on-field praying has sparked controversy, he is merely "putting the Lord first."

The term "Tebowing" - the act of stopping what one's doing to kneel down on one knee and pray - became one of 2011's hottest and most-copied memes. Once Tebow's popularity truly caught fire after an October win over the Miami Dolphins, photos of people "Tebowing" across the globe - in front of Buckingham Palace, at Egypt's pyramids, and even underwater - sprung up across the Internet.

View a slideshow of people across the world "Tebowing"

"Part of taking a knee is humbling yourself, and it's a form of showing humility where you are putting someone else first," Tebow said in an interview with ESPN. "Putting the Lord first. And that's why I do it. More than anything, more than asking for wins or losses, I'm asking that I have a platform to honor him."

In 2011 Tebow became one of the world's most popular athletes, and gathered his own devout following. He completed 10 of 21 passes when the Broncos took on the Pittsburgh Steelers last month, setting a franchise record for a quarterback's rating in a playoff game, along with an NFL record for yards per completion in a playoff game.

The 25-year-old University of Florida graduate has had his share of critics since his career took off, however, primarily amongst those who are turned off by his flaunting of his religion on the football field.  Recently comedian Bill Maher, an outspoken atheist, came under fire for mocking Tebow's loss and insinuating that God was punishing him.

Tebow says he draws strength from his detractors.

"When I get down on a knee and what's become 'Tebowing,' I'm asking the Lord for strength, whether I win or whether I lose. Whether I am the hero or the goat," he says. "I am still going to be the same person.

"I'm sure my faith is part of that, I know I have a lot of supporters because of it … which I'm very thankful for and I'm very thankful for all the support I've received and the people that are praying for me that are backing me. On the other side, you're always going to have critics, I've always had them and I'll always have them. For me, I'll always use that as motivation."

Another motivation is one day making passes on Super Bowl Sunday in the big game. Until then, Tebow is only left only to make predictions - and speaking as a man with experience, he's calling it.

"I think it will be a close game," Tebow told ESPN. "But it's hard to go against Brady, as I found out twice. If I had to choose - Patriots in a close game."

View Comments (9)

Recommended for You

  • Suspect Arrested in 'Execution' of Texas Deputy

    A sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed Friday as he was filling up his patrol car at a gas station near Houston. The Harris County Sheriff's Office identified the deputy as 10-year veteran Darren Goforth. Goforth, 47, died at the gas station, where he had stopped after responding to an earlier…

    Good Morning America
  • Parade of Big Trucks Honors Toddler in Arizona

    It was a sight to see in Arizona road as a stream of big trucks took part in a funeral procession to pay tribute to a 3-year-old boy who recently died. It was all for Elijah Steffen, who died on August 21 from a rare disease.

    Good Morning America
  • Mountain Lion Captured After Jumping on Mechanic Opening up Shop

    A California mechanic got a surprise Friday morning when a mountain lion jumped on him as he was opening the shop where he worked. Hank Barkerfelt said the encounter scared him but the animal quickly took off, ABC station KABC-TV reports. It happened at LJ Automotive in Palmdale, about 60 miles…

    Good Morning America
  • 'No Escape' Movie Review

    The thriller "No Escape" is like the exact opposite of that -- 100-plus minutes of nervous, jaw-clenching tension that will leave you in need of a professional rubdown and a stiff drink. "No Escape" stars Owen Wilson and Lake Bell as Jack and Annie Dwyer, who with their two young girls are moving…

    Good Morning America
  • #1 Reason Not To Buy A New Computer

    Find out the real reason behind slow computers!

  • Owen Labrie Found Not Guilty of Felony Sexual Assault in Prep School Trial

    Owen Labrie was found not guilty of felony sexual assault, and guilty of a felony related to computer use and four misdemeanors, in a case at St. Paul's School, a prestigious New Hampshire prep school. The jury of nine men and three women delivered a not-guilty verdict on the three felony sexual…

    Good Morning America
  • Florida Braces for Tropical Storm Erika

    Tropical Storm Erika is veering towards the United States -- its sights set on Florida -- after leaving a path of death and destruction in the Caribbean. The Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency is reporting that local government officials believe that there are 31 additional people…

    Good Morning America
  • Miley Cyrus Says She's 'Pansexual' and Single

    Contrary to reports, Miley Cyrus is single, she said.The singer, who is set to host the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend, told Elle UK that she's spending time with different people, but she's not ready to settle down just yet."I'm very open about it -- I’m pansexual. But I’m not in a…

    Good Morning America
  • Facebook Milestones Leading to a Billion Users in a Single Day

    When Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room in 2004, his audience was college students. Eleven years later, the Facebook CEO celebrated a milestone: One billion people -- that's 1 in 7 people on Earth -- logged onto the site in a single day this week. This was the first time…

    Good Morning America
  • Judge Joe Brown in Jail for Contempt of Court

    Former TV judge Joe Brown turned himself in to authorities Thursday night and is now serving a five-day stint for being found in contempt of court dating back to an incident from last year, Shelby County Sheriff's Office confirmed to ABC News today. Brown, 68, surrendered himself to Memphis…

    Good Morning America
  • American Alek Skarlatos' 1st Thought During Paris-Bound Train Was 'Just Trying Not to Die'

    Recalling on “Good Morning America” today what ran though his mind when he first saw the gunman and realized his life was in danger, Skarlatos said, "I immediately recognized what was happening, and I just thought, ‘There is just no way. Skarlatos, 22, an Army National Guardsman assigned to an…

    Good Morning America
  • Family Fights to Save $16K, 3-Story Tree House Built in Memory of Late Father

    A family from Rossmoor, California, is fighting to save a three-story tree house they built in front of their home in memory of their dad, who recently passed away in a surfing accident. Joni Doherty told ABC News that the tree house, which cost over $16,000 to build, was completed in 2014, about…

    Good Morning America
  • Celine Dion Returns to the Las Vegas Stage

    After putting her career on hold last year to care for her husband, Rene Angelil, who is battling cancer, Celine Dion returned to her residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas Thursday night. At a pre-show press conference, Dion explained despite her husband’s continuing battle, she went back to…

    Good Morning America
  • Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer Dance on Billy Joel's Piano During Chicago Concert

    Newly-minted BFFs Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer popped up in an unusual place on Thursday -- dancing on Billy Joel's piano during his concert at Chicago's Wrigley Field. While Joel sang "Uptown Girl," Lawrence, 25, and Schumer, 34, danced barefoot on the piano, and Lawrence even kissed…

    Good Morning America
  • Inside On-Air Shooter Vester Flanagan's Sparse Apartment

    Photos from inside the apartment of alleged on-air killer Vester Flanagan show his spare living space.The only hanging decorations were a series of photos from what appeared to be his earlier careers in modeling and television.Virginia On-Air Shooting: Survivor's Harrowing Tale of Facing Down…

    Good Morning America
  • Matt Damon Says New 'Bourne' Inspired by Edward Snowden

    Matt Damon says the reason he hasn't done a "Bourne" movie since 2007 is that he and director Paul Greengrass were waiting for a big enough change in the world. So, after Snowden's privacy revelations in recent years, Damon said, “Without giving too much of it away, it’s Bourne through an…

    Good Morning America
  • High School Goes 'Big' to Get Tom Hanks to Attend Homecoming

    One high school is rolling out the red carpet with a “Big” social media campaign in hopes of getting Hollywood A-lister, Tom Hanks, to attend their homecoming on October 9. “Our homecoming is huge. It’s a small town, about 14,000 people,” Margaret Nichols, the assistant principal at Kerman High…

    Good Morning America
  • Surviving National Zoo Panda Cub Is Male

    The Washington National Zoo revealed the gender of Mei Xiang’s baby panda cub, and it’s a boy. Genetic testing also revealed the father of the baby panda. Tian Tian, the National Zoo’s male panda, sired the newborn.

    Good Morning America