Leaves game with brain tumor survivor
By Mark Ellis
It was billed as a showdown between two polar opposites in the sports world — one called a “playboy” and the other dubbed a “preacher.” The former playboy came out on top, but Denver quarterback Tim Tebow left the stadium with his faith intact.
“We kept fighting for the entire day,” Tebow told reporters after the 41-23 loss to the New England Patriots. That’s something I’m extremely proud of.”
Tebow led his team’s march down the field for an early score, and seemed sharp in his passing performance, but three turnovers in the second quarter proved to be an insurmountable obstacle to another win.
“We scored on our first three possessions and felt like we were moving the ball pretty good, but then we put it on the ground and that’s something you can’t do against a great team,” he said.
Tebow, the son of missionaries in thePhilippines, went up against three-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, who often receives as much notice in the tabloids as the sports pages.
Quarterback Brady confirmed to People Magazine in 2007 that he fathered a child out-of-wedlock with actress Bridget Moynahan. They broke up while she was pregnant, and he ultimately married Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen in 2009.
While Brady is infamous for his foul mouth on and off the field, Tebow is known for dropping a knee and praying on the sidelines, and barely utters more than “gosh” when he’s angry.
After the game, NFL.com’s Jeff Darlington caught up with Tebow as he was leaving the locker room. Darlington asked if Tebow’s faith was impacted by the loss.
“It puts things in perspective,” Tebow replied. “God is still God. I still have a relationship with Christ, and a loss doesn’t change anything. Win or lose, everything is still the same. What matters is the girl I’m about to see, Kelly Faughnan. If I can inspire hope in someone, then it’s still a good day.”
Tebow met up with Faughnan as he left the locker room. They embraced and left together arm-in-arm, according to Darlington.
Faughnan had surgery to remove a brain tumor before Christmas in 2009, but still deals with hearing loss suffered at birth and a tremor that started when she was 12. She was a big Tebow fan when she happened to meet him at Disney World. After they spent 45 minutes talking, he invited her to be his date at the 2009 College Football Awards.
Kelly Faughnan’s father told Darlington that Tebow has made a wonderful difference in his daughter’s life:
“I can’t begin to tell you the impact he’s had on my daughter. She’s very positive, and she tries so hard, but she’s had a struggle. Tim Tebow has built her self-confidence up so much — taught her to believe in herself — that when I see people criticize him, I’m just dumbfounded. I don’t get it. It’s almost incomprehensible to me. I don’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to see an athlete use his position and platform to do good for people.”