Update: Michael Sam was drafted 249th overall by the St. Louis Rams in the 2014 NFL Draft.

Missouri’s star defensive end Michael Sam, is gay. Tim Tebow is a devout Christian. While seemingly at opposite ends of the “controversy” spectrum, could the stories for these stellar athletes have similar endings? I’ve debated on publishing this piece for a few weeks now, because I didn’t want it to come off as a rant. Today, I said fuck it. Enjoy.

Earlier this week, Missouri’s defensive end, Michael Sam announced that he was/is gay. The internet spoke (props to Jon Stewart) and I sat back and took notes. I was impressed by the positive support he received from fellow athletes, the media and the public alike. I wasn’t shocked by those (Jonathan Vilma) who weren’t as supportive. However, I had seen this story before. Michael Sam’s story, in reality was no different from the story of probably one of the greatest college football players of all time: Tim Tebow.

Stats aside, we know that both players carry impressive resumes. But with Michael Sam’s recent announcement, these players now wear their respective beliefs on their sleeves for all the world to toss and turn over. In Tebow’s case, there will always be those critics who will swear that the reason Tebow hasn’t earned a starting QB job in the NFL is due to his throwing mechanics, or his sub-par stats. Luckily for you all, I spend 8 to 10 hours of my day analyzing ridiculousness, thus improving my ability to smell bullshit from a nautical mile away. I can safely confirm, that this folks…is indeed…bullshit.

But MD, look at the stats! Tebow’s numbers just aren’t up to NFL standards.

I looked back at the stats. Tebow’s time in Denver was spent leading an offence, that limited the amount of throwing he could do. Then when the game was on the line, usually with time dwindling in the 4th quarter…Tebow was summoned to work his winning magic by being allowed to throw and run freely. Coaching staffs and offensive coordinators were sure there would be no way for him to salvage the game…yet alone win. Surely, games lost with Tebow at the helm would confirm that he was not NFL Quarterback material. But something remarkable happened. Tebow won…and won….and won some more. He liked winning so much, that he dismantled a far superior Steeler’s defense during the first round of that season’s Playoffs on yet another remarkable come from behind victory (on an 80 yard passing play). Seems like he was pretty good at this passing thing. It also seemed like he was damn good at the most important statistic in any sport: winning.

That summer, Tim Tebow was traded to the New York Jets. He was promised the ability to compete for a starting job and playing time. Neither of these things happened. In fact, his time in New York was nothing short of a media circus, with weekly updates of then starting Jet’s QB Mark Sanchez, sucking it up, and Tebow sitting it up…on the bench…with no playing time. It seemed that no one was giving Tebow a fair shake. But why? The answer lies in Tebow’s conviction to his beliefs. Tebow’s devout faith has always been the real issue, not his mechanics and definitely not his uncanny ability to win. In fact, the only problem that owners and management in the NFL have with Tim Tebow, is that he does it and says it. Hell, if you do it and say it anymore than Tim Tebow, you’re either Jay Z or the Illuminati. I digress.

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Since my college days, I watched Tebow handle every pre and post game interview with the same poise, passion and professionalism with which he handled the sport of football and his Christian beliefs. His beliefs had become a part of his daily life, as displayed by his countless visits to minister those less fortunate both here in the United States and overseas. That scared people. Could this be true? Could he really be about that life? He was ridiculed and jeered, but never cracked under the pressure. Reporters asked if he was saving himself for marriage, and the internet coined and profited from the term “Tebowing” to poke fun at his one knee bow of humility, but Tebow remained true.

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In a league dominated by instant results, where one bad week on the practice field could have you cut from the team before Sunday’s game, surely having a teammate who felt so strongly about his religion in the locker room would cause tension. Surely the criticism he would receive once the videos of his ministries went viral would bring too much distraction to the team. Yup…Tim Tebow’s devotion to Christianity would definitely be more of a distraction than lets say…your star wide received shooting himself in the leg…or a highly endorsed QB running an illegal dog fighting ring. Seriously?

Come on NFL…shame on you for trying to feed us bullshit with his ” poor mechanics” and “lack of NFL caliber stats”…

Shame on every team this season, who was in desperate need of a Quarterback, but passed on Tebow for fear of the controversy his presence would bring to an organization. You all obviously prefer the controversy of a losing season (defined as not winning a Superbowl) over some guy who would potentially keep a bible in his locker. Fast forward to today, and Tebow has all but hung up his cleats for a broadcasting job…and Michael Sam awaits an NFL draft. You can probably see where I’m going with this one.

Will teams eventually come around and take a chance on a still valuable Tim Tebow? Is Michael Sam the next player to be blackballed for his beliefs…for fear of bringing too much controversy to a team? Will he get the draft rank he deserves, or will he spend his years in the NFL bouncing from team to team with limited playing time? Be sure to let us know what you think, by sharing this piece and/or commenting below.

For the NFL’s sake, they had better blackball me and this article, because if this goes viral, and I get rich enough to buy an NFL Franchise, I’ll buy the Miami Dolphins and sign both Tim Tebow and Michael Sam. Fuckers!

Closing notes: Johnathan Vilma was dropped from the Saints less than 6 hours prior to this article being published. If you watch the Jon Stewart video in this post…you’ll see the irony of that. With the Manning led Broncos being absolutely destroyed in this most recent Superbowl, it’s always interesting to wonder what that game would have looked like, had Tebow been under center. Too bad he was busy having one of the best Superbowl commercials of all time:

It still boggles my mind a bit as to why Tebow has seemingly given up on his NFL QB aspirations so easily. Either the NFL has made it clear to him that “his kind” aren’t welcomed, or he’s moved on to a place where he feels he could be more effective. Remember…for Tebow you can’t spell Quarterback without Jesus Christ.

Amen.

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Follow Tebow on Twitter: @TimTebow