Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Challenge - Be a Man

Below is the first "Sunday Challenge" that we posted. At the time we had no idea that there would be a new one each week, and the reason we posted it remains the same. In retrospect, we do see how we didn't get that Tebow is so "polarizing." But the below remains the same, whether you like Tebow or not, there's really no reason why we all, man, woman, boy or girl, can't all behave like he does off the field.

So we challenge us all in this new year, "be a man, like Tebow."

The NY Times has a fairly pedestrian piece about the expectations of this year's Gators repeating as national champions, chock full of talent, with Tebow as their QB.

The only thing that separates this story from all the others is the revelation that Evander Holyfield wanted his picture taken with Timmy T.

Backstage at the ESPYs award show this summer, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow felt a tap on his shoulder. He turned to see one of his childhood heroes, Evander Holyfield , looming behind him.

“Hey, Timmy,” Holyfield said. “Can I get a picture?”

That snapshot, secured in Holyfield’s camera and Tebow’s cellphone, offers a high-definition portrait of Tebow and the Florida program.

But the real story is the accompanying picture. Boys, decked out in their Phil 4:13 eye black, and Gator t-shirts. In a week full of questions of who "deserves" another chance, should a coach be fired, is human life more or less valuable than a pet's, Tebow is a breath of fresh air. You want your sons, and your neighbor's sons, to be like him.

Few of us are ever going to play the game, much less like he does, but is it that hard to behave like he does off the field? Really?

Is being polite, on time, a dedicated worker, a team player, a decent guy really that hard? Is being genuine, honest, and unoffensive that difficult? Is helping someone out that hard? No, it's not.

And notice we didn't use the words "nice guy". Tebow is no Ned Flanders, and you don't have to be either. Be a man, yes, like Tebow. Be aggressive, competitive, efficient, successful, persistent. Dominate all those other guys who aren't. Just do it for the right reasons. And, yes, you know what those are.

So our challenge to every guy that reads this, is be a MAN. Not a man-boy or perpetual teen, but a MAN.

If you're older than Tebow, don't let some 20 year old out do you in the game of life. Retake the field, and conquer it. You'll make your life, and the lives of those around you, a better place for it.

And if you're younger, be more of a man than he was at 22. Be the hero in someone else's life, and they won't notice some guy on TV. It'll be you instead.

And really, it's not that hard, it just may take some practice. And you never know, you might even enjoy it as much as Tebow does.

Photo: Doug Finger/The Gainesville Sun

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