Originally posted on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 12/13/11

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

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Report: 49ers could talk trade for QB at the NFL Scouting Combine

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

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 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker