Jul 16, 11
Read in July, 2011
Anyone part of "Gator-nation" or those with ties to the University of Florida will likely rate this book 5 stars before reading it - and wish there were 6 stars following completion of the book. My decision to read this book did not stem from being a Florida fan, or a true follower of Tim Tebow. In fact, when he played for UF I couldn't stand to watch the Gators play football. I chose to read this book because I enjoy autobiographies, especially when they are faith-based and include athletes. I guess you could say the 'Tebow-effect,' that so many describe, captured me as well..
I would recommend this book to any Christian athletes out there - age doesn't matter. It's also a great book for parents. It gives great examples of how parenting and lessons taught early can have an impact on one's life. A father-son reading it together is the ideal scenario. For the population that is seeking an example of work-ethic, competitiveness, committment, and the drive to succeed .. this book is for you too. And for those seeking to understand what the aura surrounding Tim Tebow is all about, jump on board as well.
Dislikes: This book has a strong SEC bias, not exactly ideal for a Big 12 fan. At times I wish he would have given more credit to other Christian college athletes such as Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy -- but that's just my bias. Occasionally, especially in the middle chapters, he describes the games he played in with detail. As expected, these are full of his amazing plays, his stats, and gives mention to all the players he punished for trying to tackle him head on. These sections may have the reader feeling a sense of arrogance from Tebow, but hey, it's his book. He's just providing the facts.
Likes: This book is based on Faith. It describes how one man - probably the greatest college football player of all time - has dedicated his life to live by faith in God. It gives strong support for the benefits of having a close family, and the importance of education. He speaks of his love for children, helping those less fortunate, giving back in the community, and the benefit of developing meaningful relationships. He gives the reader an insight into what has made him such an effective leader.
There was a lot I took from reading this book. I think most importantly, his book reminded me of three aspects that are important to implement as I live my life as a Christian: 1. Be a servant. 2. Use your God-given abilities to their fullest extent; anything less is wasting the gift. 3. We all have a platform and each of our platforms are unique. Your platform may be big or small, however it's meaningful. And most importantly, the purpose of your platform is to share God's love. Tim gives great examples of how he's used his platform. Here is one example of how one small thing had a HUGE ripple effect..
Tim starting painting Phil 4:13 on his eye black following a tough loss early in his Junior season (if you don't know the verse, look it up). He went on to win every game after that loss leading up to the BCS National Championship. Because Tim understood the platform that game would have, and the role he would have in the game, he decided to change the verse he wore to John 3:16 (I hope you don't have to look that one up). His coach, obviously being superstitious, said "You can't, what are you thinking!?" Tim did, because he has prayed about it. Obviously some people did have to look the verse up. Google reported that some 94 million people searched that verse during or immediately after the game. Wow. Tim likely was a bigger platform than most of us, but he understands how to embrace it.
It's funny, when I think of Tim Tebow one instance comes to mind immediately. I remember him playing in the BCS championship game against Oklahoma. Florida had the game sealed and Tebow was tackled hard by an OU player while running out the clock. I remember him getting up quickly, getting right in that player's face, and proceeding to give the "gator-chomp" as a way of mocking the losing player's efforts. Tebows describes this event as "not his finest moment" and "the only personal foul of his career." Out of all the good things Tebow did in his career, it's sad this moment is what I most recall - probably because of my emotions I felt towards that act. Just a simple reminder how one action can have a negative or positive influence on people who see you from the outside.
All in all this book was worth the read for me. You have to understand a little football to grasp it. I'll leave you with a few quotes and verses that I enjoyed.
Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. Proverbs 27:2
"What's the point in being normal? That sounds average to me, and I never felt like I was created to be average."
"Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard."