I was at a rest area in South Carolina, and stopped short on the way inside. The newspaper machines were lined up along the walk, each with their large graphic photo touting the main headline. The photo on USA Today’s front page was a man holding a football in front of three crosses.
A shining star, or a flop in the making?
By Jon Saraceno, USA TODAY
NASHVILLE — Thursday is the day every NFL team tries to find a gridiron savior. And in this NFL draft, the most intriguing question is this: Is legendary Florida quarterback Tim Tebow a potential pro football miracle worker — or another college football golden boy who will flop? He plans to convince non-believers. “I believe I’ll be drafted as a quarterback and used as a quarterback,” he says in an interview with USA TODAY, responding to doubts about whether he has the skills to make the transition to the NFL. “My dream is to be a quarterback.” The Christian missionary has spent a lot of time turning the other cheek the last few months while preparing for Thursday’s first round of the three-day draft extravaganza in New York (ESPN, NFL Network, 7:30 p.m. ET). Despite the urgings of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Tebow will not attend the festivities at Radio City Music Hall, as many top draft prospects do. His stock has risen because of the promise he has shown in recent workouts — he is projected as probably a second-round selection — but skeptics abound. Most recently, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones was secretly recorded in a bar, disparaging Tebow. “It’s very hard to wrap your brain around him; I just don’t see how anybody can think he’s anything but a long-term project,” says Trent Dilfer, the Super-Bowl winning quarterback-turned-ESPN analyst. “But you don’t pick players in the first or second rounds who are projects. You pick starters.” Chief among Tebow non-believers is ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr., who says, “I never thought Tim Tebow was an NFL quarterback.” He suggests sturdy 6-3, 235-pound Tebow could convert to the hybrid fullback-tight end position of H-back. “When I hear that, I take it to heart. It motivates and pushes me,” Tebow says. “I am very passionate, very emotional. Whatever I do, I give everything.”
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There are several things to consider here. First is the unusual and rare circumstance of having the cross represented on the front page of a nationally distributed newspaper. It is indeed a rare thing, and rarer in the end times. Paul told Timothy that at the last days men would be haters of the good. Presenting the cross to a nation of unbelievers is a daring and wonderful thing. I’m sure it’s only Tebow’s popularity and skill as a football player that dared the newspaper to put the cross on the front page. This nation worships football and youth, and since with Tebow the cross is part of the package, the newspaper had little choice.
However, you see from the headline and the first line that immediately there must be a disparaging toward the notion of the cross. Using the word “flop” in the headline probably made the headline writer feel better but is par for the course in any time, but especially the end time. Peter said there will be “mockers and scoffers.” Interestingly, I notice that USA Today later changed the headline to the following: “Is he a miracle worker, or just an average QB?” which is also a shift in emphasis from flop to miracle worker.
Throughout the article it’s evident that the writer is not a believer and likely in thinking that using “Christian-type” words will satisfy the Christian reader. Likely, the word ‘flop’ was deleted not because someone is sensitive to Christianity but because someone didn’t like the word flop associated with a football star at the outset of his career. In any case, I wanted you to be aware that we ARE in a spiritual war and that one example of it, in a minor way, was presented to the United States through the battle of the headlines yesterday and today.