The Tattler | Jacob Hainline
DENVER, Col. — Following an embarrassing 41-23 loss to the New England Patriots, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow renounced his Christian faith and proclaimed himself an atheist.
Tebow, who until now had been the NFL’s most high-profile evangelical Christian, told reporters during Sunday’s post-game press conference that Denver’s humbling 18-point defeat, which snapped a six-game winning streak, is a clear sign that God does not exist.
“I’ve spent my whole life praying and serving the Lord, but after today I think it’s pretty clear I was living a lie,” said Tebow as he clutched a cross torn from his neck moments earlier.
After becoming the Broncos’ starting quarterback in October, Tebow led the team to a series of dramatic victories with heroic late-game efforts despite poor throwing mechanics and inaccurate passing. Many of the wins seemed so unlikely and improbable that it prompted some fans and pundits to wonder if the Broncos had been prevailing through divine intervention, including Tebow himself.
“We just kept winning and it didn’t make sense,” said Tebow, “‘cause I’m not a very good football player. I just figured Jesus was helping us since I prayed to him so much. “
Losing to the Patriots, said Tebow has caused him to reassess things.
“Looks like I was wrong,” he said. “I guess we were just lucky. I can clearly see now that the universe is random and indifferent. Christopher Hitchens was so right.”
The loss itself was enough to shake his faith, but even worse, said Tebow, was the fact that the Broncos were bested by, of all people, Tom Brady and the Patriots. Brady, with his playboy reputation, has an out-of-wedlock child and a super model girlfriend. If that weren’t enough, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is considered by many a dark and sinister character, pro football’s answer to Beelzebub.
“If there were a God,” asked Tebow, “do you think he would allow me to lose to that godless fornicator and his satanic coach?”
Teammates and coaches were stunned by Tebow’s announcement, but few could question the validity of his words.
“I can accept the presence of evil and suffering in the world,” Broncos coach John Fox said, “but if God won’t help Tim Tebow win a football game, then I have no alternative but to conclude that He does not exist.”
Others still clung to what remained of their faith. Wide receiver Eric Decker tried to account for the loss in terms of his own personal failings.
“In the third quarter I caught a glance of one of the cheerleaders, and I had an impure thought,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that’s why Jesus made us lose.”
The controversy over God’s role in the outcome of Tebow’s games was stoked last week after Tebow’s now former pastor Wayne Hanson of Colorado’s Summit Church was quoted as saying, “Luck isn’t winning six games in a row. It’s favor. God’s favor.”
Hanson was not on hand for Sunday’s defeat. He did not return several phone calls that were made for this story, though he did respond via text message, saying: “dude! i wuz so wrong 🙁 my bad. LOL”
For his part, Tebow said he is looking forward to a new secular life. He said he is not sure what the future holds for his football career, but is happy to be free from what he called the “prison of theistic superstition.”
“I believe it was Nietzsche who said, ‘God is a thought who makes crooked all that is straight,’” said Tebow. “I now see the truth contained in those words.”