Tebow Time: Don’t hate the former Heisman winner for chasing his baseball dream

Former Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow left football to pursue a baseball career in 2016. He is currently playing with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate. (Courtesy: flickr)

Since taking his last NFL snap in the 2015 preseason, Tim Tebow has remained busy, most notably in his pursuit of an unexpected MLB career with the New York Mets, which began in 2016.

This year, he will likely start the season playing Triple-A ball, and might even have an opportunity to earn a call-up to the major league squad.

Yet, despite his impressive progress, it has become common practice for the media and public alike to criticize the athlete at seemingly every opportunity they get.

Many believe Tebow’s rise in baseball to be more of a marketing ploy by the Mets than a legitimate reward for his talent. Critics argue that if it weren’t for his mega-popularity — due largely to his college football career and outspoken faith — Tebow wouldn’t be anywhere near the baseball field.

While it remains to be seen whether Tebow will ever actually play in a regular-season MLB game, it’s time people stop judging the player for his athletic dreams and start looking at him for what he really is: a great role model.

He certainly doesn’t care what others have to say about him, and you shouldn’t either.

“It’s really about keeping perspective and not letting other people define you because they sure want to,” Tebow told Yahoo Sports reporter Mike Oz when asked about his public perception. “Shoot, I try to encourage young people all the time to not let the world or outside sources define you because you are always going to have critics and naysayers and people that are going to tell you that you won’t, that you can’t, that you shouldn’t. Most of those people are the people that didn’t, that wouldn’t, that couldn’t.”

How could you criticize a response like that?

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Tebow has pretty much every reason not to be playing baseball. For starters, before trading in his broadcasting headset for a baseball cap when he signed with the Mets in 2016, he had not played baseball full-time in 11 years, with the last time being his junior year of high school in 2005. Additionally, in the year between the NFL and the MLB, he had become a welcoming face in sports broadcasting with ESPN and the SEC Network.

Regardless, he decided to pursue his new dream in baseball. That decision should be applauded, not ridiculed.

Sure, Tebow was no Tom Brady in football, and he’s certainly not Mike Trout in baseball, but his personality and attitude are second to none. He has never allowed others to influence the pursuit of his dreams, and that’s something everyone can believe in.

Beyond his sports careers and accomplishments, and behind his uniform, it’s also clear that Tebow is a guy with a really big heart for others.

Probably his most notable community service act of many is his foundation’s Night to Shine prom events. Each year for the past five years, the Tim Tebow Foundation has provided a prom experience for those with special needs all around the world. Remarkably, this February’s Night to Shine served 100,000 guests with the help of more than 650 churches.

Regardless of whether his baseball career pans out, Tebow has put his sports-based fame to good use, and he can’t be faulted for that.

He will keep on dreaming, and in a world where it has become so easy to get caught up in other people’s opinions, that’s refreshing to hear.

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