Reggie White, Tim Tebow before Tim Tebow

 

Reggie White was known by all as the Minister of Defense, a nickname he achieved his senior year at The University of Tennessee. White told his mother at the age of 12 that his dream was to be a minster, and a football player; White achieved both. He became an ordained minister at the age of 17, but that was not the only reason for his nickname. White's football career was something Tebow would love to have, and the other reason for the nickname. White was an All American at Tennessee, and was the only person elected as a team captain his senior year. He went on to have a hugely impactful professional career in both the USFL and the NFL, and was instrumental in establishing NFL free agency in 1993 when he signed with the Packers. It would take all day to go over his accomplishments, so to keep it short he was undoubtedly worthy of his 2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. But White never wanted anyone to consider his football success as the most important aspect of his life. He once said, "People consider me a success because I'm a good football player and make lots of money. But if my heart's not right, if I'm not living a life pleasing to God, I'm a failure."  

Reggie White was a success on and off the field and had his number 92 not only retried from his alma mater The University of Tennessee, but also two NFL franchises, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Green Bay Packers. Reggie was one of the most feared defensive players of all time, and one of the most open about his faith. Reggie used his success between the lines as a platform for a greater calling to reach people spiritually. He was known for getting on the line of scrimmage and reciting bible versus to the opposing player. He would knock his opposition down just to help him back up and say "God bless you." When you hear people discuss his name three words come to every ones lips: faith, conviction, and commitment.  

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Maybe similar to a one Tim Tebow? White wore his faith on his sleeve much like Tebow does now. It seems that Reggie White led the path for Tim Tebow as not only a great football player but alsUo as a devout Christian who feels strongly about proclaiming his faith. White’s beliefs were simply just not as widely publicized, as it was before social media took over and ESPN was not as big of a player in the media.  

So before I continued to criticize the way Tim Tebow plays the game and makes no apologies for his faith, I decided to ask myself, did you dare criticize the late great Minister of Defense? Obviously the answer is no, I would never question Reggie White, but for some reason I love to hate Tim Tebow. The way he openly shows his faith was part of that, and the other of course was because he was a Florida Gator. So I had to step back and think. Reggie White made sure every one knew about his love for God before Tebow was even born. I would never criticize Reggie; he was a Vol and one of the greatest NFL players of all time. So before you keep criticizing Tim Tebow, ask yourself would you criticize Reggie White? My answer was no.