Tebow, New York and Deacon Greg

I’m really glad Tim Tebow signed with the New York Jets; if he gets to play — and I bet he will — it’s the premier stage. If you can make it there, and all that. If he plays well — and I bet he will — then he shuts up all his critics.

Of course, this being New York, if he plays poorly, he’ll hear about it from everyone; the fans at the stadium; the guy in the toll booth; the meter maids, the cab drivers and possibly the children. New York, as Derek Jeter reminded President Bush in 2001, is a whole ‘nother venue. New York expects the A-game, all the time, or you’re just a bum.

But I do think the pundits suggestions that a “red state” athlete will be out of place in a “blue state” is remarkably absurd, cliched and insulting to New York, too; we may be a “blue” state, but we’re a true melting pot. And when Anthony Weiner stepped down, his very blue district wasn’t averse to a bit of red. To me, these pundits reveal a small-minded provincialism (yes, I mean that) when they can’t think beyond stereotypes and caricatures and end up saying things like this:

The Borowitz Report posted: “BREAKING: Tebow Looking Forward to Meeting First Jew.” For comic relief, nothing topped the tweet: “Tebow traded for our sins.”

More serious was Robert Schlesinger on USNews.com: “To put it in crude, political terms, Tim Tebow is a ‘red state’ phenomenon who will suddenly be in a ‘blue state’ spotlight . . . If you thought that Tebow was a nationally polarizing figure already, wait until he becomes the symbol of small town versus big city, real America versus Gomorrah, and so forth.”

So I’m really glad that Deacon Greg, when asked about that “conflict” in the New York Post, had this to say:

“New York gets a bum rap,” says Greg Kandra, a deacon in the Diocese of Brooklyn. “This city’s churches are packed with very observant people of all denominations. . . There’s a deep vein of spirituality and morality that goes through New York. There are a lot of people crowded into a small space and we have to look out for one another. It’s a city with a conscience.”

I concur! Well said, Deacon. Of course, anyone who has ever heard you preach knows you’d have the right words at the ready!

Related: The Onion imagines Tebow’s first shocking phone call with Rex Ryan

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • Mandy P.

    I don’t think it’s the town so much as the team that is not going to be a good fit for him. The Jets have a notoriously nasty locker room and the backbiting from the team has already started. Couple that with Sanchez already being sort-of a flop and his obvious lack of confidence and I see a QB controversy brewing. With that usually comes bad feelings. The coaches up there are just awful as well. I watched that HBO special with Rex Ryan and the team training camp about two years back and the language and attitude that not only Ryan had but that he encouraged from the players was atrocious. It’s no wonder they can’t get it together.

    Maybe Tebow’s attitude and stand-up nature is what they need to help settle things down with that team, but I just feel like he’s going into the belly of the beast and will be lucky to get out alive, much less with his integrity intact. That team is a cesspool.

    [All the more reason he might be precisely what they need. I mean, wouldn't THAT be a great story and great witness? -admin]

  • Mandy P.

    Yeah, it would. I’m certainly praying for that to be the case. The Tebow’s farm is not too far from my parents home and where I grew up, so he’s kind of a home town star to me. Hence, even though I don’t know the guy I feel sort-of protective of him. His family is well known in that area for being very good people and I’d hate to see him come back changed for the worse. But I know God knows what he’s doing with this young man, so like I said, I’m praying he will be a light in the darkness for that team.

  • Will

    I have never been to New York City, but the pro sports I know is not about what state you are from but about winning and losing. Tebow has a long way to go to show he is a long-term winning quarterback.

  • Andre

    I hope that he and Jeremy Lin can meet.

  • Rudy

    I live in Massachusetts, near Boston; It makes New York look conservative in contrast.

  • http://rosesintherubble.com/ Virginia

    I concur with Mandy that (hopefully) Tim Tebow’s presence will serve as a ‘lifter-upper’ to the New York team… and NYC, too! There are SO MANY people of faith (not just Catholics) who will really appreciate (& hopefully) support Tebow. The whole ‘Red’ & ‘Blue’ divisions by faith are Quite Perplexing: God is not a Democrat, nor is God a Republican. Full stop! Suggest folks read Tony Compolo’s “Red Letter Christians”…

  • BenchWarmer

    Tebow was traded to NY to
    a) Make room for Manning
    b) Get some decent draft picks
    He’s only going to be spotting the football for the kickers his whole time there. The NY crowd will chew him up and spit him out. NY is NOT a religious, much less Catholic, town; Cardinal Tim or not.

  • BrooklynMama

    I don’t really know how Tim Tebow will be received but I completely agree that New York gets a “bum rap” when it comes to religion. I moved from Texas to NYC eight years ago and I’m proud to say that I went from being a nominal Catholic in Texas to a Catholic who completely respects and practices the Magisterium of the Church. My journey was an interesting one but started with my staying at women’s residences run by nuns (Centro Maria/Hells Kitchen and St. Mary’s/Upper East Side). Both were suggested to me by non-religious people. The nuns accepted women of any religion or background. They only wanted to give them a safe place to stay while studying/working in the NYC. I was greeted daily by statues of Jesus and the Blessed Virgin Mary. After a few months of settling into a new job, I moved to my own studio apartment in the UES and once again, a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary followed me. There was a convent across the street from my place and St. Monica’s RC Church on the other side. I eventually met my husband through a friend I met at one of the women’s residences. He was also on a journey from being a nominal Catholic to a much more devout one. We found that our time in NYC had also been filled with questions, jokes, negative comments, etc. by liberal and agnostic/atheist friends and acquaintances and this only served to make us want to defend the Church and learn more about it for that reason. Despite the culture of premarital co-habitation (which for many is a cost benefit), we waited till we got married. Our marriage prep through the NY archdiocese was so amazing that we decided to use NFP. We settled in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and found an incredible parish that has given us many friends, including young couples with families. Statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph are found on our same block, one within the Dunkin Donuts garden. I think if you look around, you can find the Church’s presence throughout NYC and it can lead you back to the Church or closer to it. Oh and being pregnant with two little ones has helped me fit in with the Hassidic moms at Costco and Atlantic Center. ;-) I also suggest taking a Hassidic walking tour (www.jewishtours.com) and you’ll be inspired to practice your faith even more by a wonderful group of people who love practicing theirs to the fullest despite living in “Liberal NYC.” It’s definitely possible as my husband have found.


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