In Tim Tebow’s new book, Shaken, he shares the powerful story of turning down a one million dollar endorsement, at the advice of his New England Patriots Coach, Bill Belichick. Then just two months later, he was cut from the team.
Sounds like a few heavy blows. And it may have made many of us second guess a decision to stay true to a team that ended up not being true to him. Yet Tebow’s thoughts and words through his book go much deeper than just talk about money, deals, and living out dreams. He shares his thoughts of trying hard to fit with the team and please those he respected, and what kept him strong during the difficult days when he felt discouraged, ashamed, and like he’d somehow failed.
Tebow writes, “I remembered when I had signed with the team in June. Then I’d had an offer on the table to make a one-day appearance endorsing a product for a million-dollar paycheck. I’m sure you’d agree that a million bucks is a lot to make in just twenty-four hours. But I wasn’t quick to say yes.
When I came on the team, Coach and I had a long and deep talk. "I want to make you one of the guys," he told me. "This is not going to be a media circus. I'll control it if you do your part. You're part of a team, Timmy. We're in this together.
So when the offer for the one-day commercial turned up, I was sure to discuss the opportunity with him. “I want to know what you think, Coach,” I said. “I respect you and I want to fit in. I want to be one of the guys. Should I do it?”
He thought for a moment and then shook his head. “Timmy, I would really appreciate it if you didn’t.”
Highly respecting the man, I turned down the deal. I didn’t even think twice about it. I wanted the chance to impress Coach Belichick more than I wanted the money. I’ll say that if I were on any other team, I would have probably said yes to the offer. But the thoughts he offered in our initial conversation mattered to me — even more than a million dollars.”
And Tebow honored his coach, and his words.
Then just two months later, he found himself sitting with Belichick in a difficult, somber meeting. It was there his thoughts raced back to that offer he’d said “no” to.
“I thought of the endorsement deal I had turned down two months earlier, questioning and maybe even regretting my decision. Was it the wrong choice? If I had said yes, would that have put me in a better situation than where I am right now—sitting in front of two coaches who are firing me without telling me exactly why? Then, the meeting was over.
But Tebow says that even today, several years later, he still doesn’t regret his decision. In a recent interview with Fox & Friends, he shares, “That’s not something that I look back and regret at all. It was me trying to honor the team, and if I could do it again, I would’ve done the same thing.”
Currently, in addition to pursuing a career in baseball, Tebow is using his time and energy for other things.
On Tuesday of this week, he visited the New York City Police Department's 105 Precinct.
While there, this New York Mets prospect, former NFL quarterback, and Heisman Trophy winner, donated a jersey in honor of officer Brian Moore, who died on May 4, 2015 just two days after he was shot in the face while on duty.
Money, success, or “million dollar offers,” may come and go in this life. Jobs and positions may change over the years.
But some things last forever: honor, respect, love for others, strength through God. May we all find what matters most.
Photo courtesy: Foxsports.com
Publication date: November 30, 2016