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The Tebow Mystique
The Faith and Fans of Football's Most Polarizing Player
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is a phenomenon unlike any other in sports today. His college and young pro career have long invited scrutiny, but since Tebow was named starting quarterback in the fall of 2011, a Tebow Mystique has descended upon the country, and it has inspired a raging, fever-pitched debate about the young man, his evangelical Christian beliefs, and his athletic performance.
The mystique has two key features—Tebow's unprecedented popularity and his uncanny on-the-field performance. Because both are charged by religious fervor, many people see the phenomenon as yet another expression of America's ongoing culture war. But Patton Dodd argues that the Tebow Mystique is not primarily about cultural conflict. It's about God. And it's about football. And it's best understood by taking a closer look at what those two phenomena–those two gods–have to do with one another.
About the Author
Patton Dodd's writing on religion and culture has appeared in a wide range of publications, including Newsweek, Slate, the Financial Times, Christianity Today, Cineaste, Books & Culture, The Shambhala Sun, and The Revealer. Patton has also taught writing, literature, and film at the United States Air Force Academy and served as senior editor for Beliefnet and contributing editor for Killing the Buddha. He is the author of MY FAITH SO FAR: A Story of Conversion and Confusion (Jossey-Bass). Patton holds a Ph.D. in religion and literature from Boston University.