Tuesday, January 19, 2010

More Details and Reaction to the Tebow Super Bowl Ad

Jeremy Fowler has more details on the making of the ad, and they are interesting:

Former Florida QB Tim Tebow last week filmed his Super Bowl ad with his mother Pam atWinter Park’s Full Sail University, which is co-owned by Gators booster and Tebow family friend Bill Heavener.

The Tebows are planning to convey a Christian-inspired message during the Super Bowl’s Feb. 7 telecast in conjunction with Focus on the Family, the non-profit Christian group based out of Colorado. The story will likely detail a pro-life message surrounding Tebow’s birth on Aug. 14, 1987.

The financial support for the ad — running at approximately $3 million for most 30-second Super Bowl spots — came entirely from a group of about a dozen investors. Those are some serious friends right there.

Spokesman Gary Schneeberger said there are no gimmicks involved in this commercial.

“(Tebow) is not going to be in a Chicken suit,” Schneeberger said. “They have lots of personal stories to tell from their experiences.”

Schneeberger said the Tebows were receptive from the beginning when approached about the ad. Focus on the Family thought of Tebow thanks to an executive from the organization’s film department who is a big Gators fan.

Alligator Army give their reaction to news of the ad, and like alot of Gator fans, are cautious.

Five years ago, I wrote an article that attempted to explore the relationship between religion and sports for The Alligator. I interviewed a Catholic priest, a Rabbi, and the then presidents of UF's Atheist and Islam on Campus groups. Since this was pre-Tebow, the athletic examples were former UF tennis player Jennifer Magley (who was Tebowesque in terms of faith and charity work) and Muhammad Ali. While implying that sports was our secular religion (where else do you chant, sing and gather with like minded people?), the article endorsed athletes expressing their faith. That's why I don't have a problem with Tebow encouraging people to be Christians, advocating abstinence, or saying a prayer when he gets to the end zone.

I do have a problem with Tebow becoming the face of a fringe political group and doing it during the Super Bowl, two months before Draft Day. If Tebow thinks he will be a successful pro, he will have plenty of time and money to promote his values. And he can do it on his own, not as a front for a political organization.

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