This week, TIME magazine released its annual 100 most influential people in the world list. Included in the impressive list this year, were six professional athletes including New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.
My first reaction was yes, Tebow is controversial and polarizing but really, influential?
TIME wrote the following about its athletes’ section:
“If an athlete makes you cheer, he or she is influencing your life. If an athlete offers an escape, that escape is indeed influential in your life. If an athletes inspires – well, that’s the definition of influence, right? World-class athletes, by nature, are influential, especially in today’s media-saturated world. They are objects of our intrigue, on a 24-7 basis.”
Ok, so as I looked at Tebow, I thought to myself, does he make me cheer? Nope.
Does he offer an escape? Nope, not to me. But if he endured a broken heart, showed anger in the heat of the moment or played an off-the-charts NFL game then we might talk escape.
And no, his fourth quarter miracles don’t count.
Does he inspire me? Well, not so much. I believe he’s a mediocre quarterback at best. I think his statistics paint this picture.
Then he has his charitable efforts under the umbrella of his Tebow Foundation. They’re admirable but I wouldn’t say they are influential.
What is the Tebow Foundation? According to the website, “The Foundation utilizes the public platform that God has blessed Tim Tebow with to inspire and make a difference in peoples lives throughout the world.”
I don’t know about you, but I am not really sure what that means.
So, the question may now be if I don’t think Tebow is influential, then who I do I think should be on this list? Here’s one thought: Jamie Moyer.
The 49-year-old (plus 150 days) MLB player now sits in the history books as the oldest pitcher to win a ball game. The Colorado Rockies lefty pitcher achieved this on April 17, surpassing the previous record set in 1932.
Does this make me cheer? Yep. This is impressive on so many levels including Moyer’s passion to keep playing, his mental and physical state and his humbleness.
Does this offer an escape? Yep.
Does he inspire me? Yep. But the answer really comes from recent Sunday morning news story about The Moyer Foundation.
What is this foundation about? The website notes, “The mission of The Moyer Foundation is to empower children in distress by providing education and support – helping them to live healthy and inspired lives.”
It further explains, “ The Moyer Foundation supports programs that directly serve critical needs of children in severe distress. Since its inception, The Moyer Foundation has raised millions of dollars to help support hundreds of different programs that help children in distress in a variety of ways.”
After watching the grieving children who have lost siblings and parents was heartbreaking. To have a camp as an outlet for kids all suffering from this similar tragedy was influential to me in this so-called “media-saturated world.”