Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 12/13/11
Denver-broncos

He’s got folk hero status across the country.

He’s winning when everybody was betting against him.

He’s won over fans outside of football.

Could Tim Tebow one day win elections like he’s winning football games now? It’s clearly way too soon to predict, before you scoff at the notion of an athlete leveraging success on the field or court to success in politics, remember: there is a precedent, and plenty of it.

From “Timmy” Tebow to Congressman Tebow?

Tebow may win ugly, but it doesn’t look like his fans care. For them, he represents something bigger. He’s the underdog. He’s also a Christian underdog. Both types of underdog fans are pulling for him.

Conservatives love him and Christian-conservatives adore him. He can’t win the presidential nomination this go-round, obviously, but could he be a favorite in 2036? He’ll be around 50 years old by that time and potentially primed for the Republican nomination.

Jack Kemp was on the ticket with Bob Dole for Vice-President when Clinton and Gore won in 1996. Kemp played the quarterback position, too.

There are plenty of other sports figures who have made it to Congress. Coincidentally, or perhaps not so coincidentally, the positions which have the ball in their hands most often have fared the best in public office.

Hall of fame Wide receiver Steve Largent, former NFL quarterback Heath Shuler, former Oklahoma quarterback J.C. Watts, NBA star Bill Bradley, and former all-star pitcher Jim Bunning handled both their fare share of the ball and political fireworks (Shuler is still in office).

None of the former athletes-turned-politicians can claim to have worn their religious beliefs on their shirtsleeves (or tattoos on bodies) as strongly as how Tim Tebow does though; and this may be where he stands out most in the eyes of Republican voters, especially on the Christian-conservative side.

Tebow causes controversy by being as open with his religion as he is. Some people take offense to Tebow’s insistence that Jesus is responsible for his skills and work ethic and his propensity for public prayer.

Right now though, Tebow’s openness about his religious beliefs don’t seem to matter as much as they would were he a candidate for public office.

As a football player, Tebow is riding a wave, a rare wave, one that any want to compare to “a miracle.” Headlines in the sports world read as if Tebow is a savior, which he may be for the Broncos this season. He has saved, enlightened, exalted, and healed many a football fan this year. Some fans are looking for his games to watch as if they are being “born again” as football fans.

Eventually, Tebow’s stardom will fall back to earth just like everybody else’s in the sports world; but unlike everybody else, he will continue to be a darling to Christians and Republicans, and especially to those who are both.

Tebow’s future scriptures may not have “Hall of Fame” or “Super Bowl MVP” written in them, but they might just have other nominations inscribed.

What do you think?

Tebow wouldn’t be the first outspoken athlete to turn to politics after his sports career ends as a way to affect change. Do you think he fits the profile of an athlete who could (or will) succeed in the political arena? Comment below.

***********

Howard Alperin is Managing Editor of AmericanizeSoccer.com.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Buehrle drank beer during World Series game he pitched

Redick gives Clippers ‘F-minus’ grade for losing Jordan

Report: PGA pulls Grand Slam event from Trump course

Three things to watch for on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Pierre-Paul could face charges for possession of fireworks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Warriors trade David Lee to Celtics for Gerald Wallace

Rivers believes Gates' PED use was unintentional

Favre felt 'bothered' by Green Bay's decision to trade him

Ned Yost explains Alex Rodriguez’s All-Star Game snub

Donovan McNabb arrested for DUI after rear-ending car

It is progress time for the Philadelphia 76ers

Member of Pirates grounds crew swallowed by tarp

Video allegedly shows BYU RB recruit being shot

Vin Scully teaching the history of the American flag is a national treasure

Top MLS players at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

How the Pacers' new identity will look

Matt Bonner blames iPhone 6 for elbow injury, shooting woes

Evaluating Tarasenko’s eight-year, $60M contract

Tigers should accept reality and become trade deadline sellers

5 running backs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Roy Halladay snaps selfie while getting a speeding ticket

National Basketball Players Association to set up heath insurance for retirees

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top MLS players at the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup

5 RBs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Watch to watch on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Tigers should become trade deadline sellers

JPP could face criminal charges?

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.