The Tebow Twitter And Our Desire for Heroes

Being in Australia which is sixteen hours ahead of the US creates some interesting television viewing habits, for instance my Monday afternoon lunch is religiously done watching Sunday Night football. So of course yesterday morning my eyes along with those of thousands of other people were glued to the Bronco’s Steelers playoff game. Towards the beginning of the fourth quarter I left to meet with a young man from the Church for a discipleship session. Instead of watching the game once there I just placed my phone on vibrate and waited to find out how the game ended.

Ten minutes after we started it began vibrating and kept doing so every ten or fifteen minutes for the next hour and a half as a flood of tweets about Tim Tebow filled up my twitter feed. According to twitter it set an all time record with 9,420 tweets per second about Tebow or that football game. There were messages ranging from disappointment to hailing him as the greatest NFL player of all time, my personal favourite was from @staneverret saying “Tim Tebow has officially become a movie now.”

Later while scrolling through those messages I couldn’t help but wonder why so many people sent tweets about the end of that football game. It was definitely exciting and ended incredibly with the longest touchdown in overtime history (80 yards) but what led so many people to jump off their couch and immediately think “I need to tweet about this!” The game wasn’t a historical event and I doubt in thirty years none of us will sit around talking about where we were when Tim Tebow beat the Steelers in overtime.

The Tebow twitter deluge came from something deeper than just a football game in my opinion. It’s because in our hearts we are all looking for heroes, the ones who in the face of adversity and insurmountable odds will rise up and win. The kind who after throwing four interceptions against Buffalo, playing terribly while losing at Kansas City, and only getting into the playoffs because another team lost would rise up and defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers. The kind who starting the year as a teams third string quarterback would lead them to their first playoff victory in five years.

Deep down inside each one of us wants to be that hero, the one who throws the winning touchdown in front of the hometown crowd in overtime and sets a record for the most tweets per second. But of course most of us won’t be able to do something that heroic or tweetable. Nobody is going to send a 140 character message about your going to work even when you don’t feel like it, or come up with a creative way of sharing your staying within a budget with hundreds of people. Taking care of children will not be something worth retweeting and having integrity will probably never be trending. Maybe that’s why so many people sent messages following the game, in a way we were participating in the Bronco’s heroic victory even if it was only using our mobile phones.

Not just our hearts but society itself longs for heroes who will continue fighting no matter what the circumstances. That’s why when we hear a story about that heroism (whether its Tim Tebow or any other form of bravery) its tweeted, talked about, shown prominently on the news, and shared on all forms of Social Media. Yesterdays Tebow tweets taught me that we are all starving for heroes, and that fact should challenge all of us to go out and do something heroic today.

Not the kind that blows up twitter but the kind that will probably go unnoticed…be honest about a situation even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, show discipline in every area of your life, find God’s Will and pursue it with all your heart. Will you always win and get 9000 tweets a second? No, but in that moment you will become that hero that we all desire to be in our hearts, and that’s worth more than all the tweets in the world.

Published by

John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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