Orel Hershiser probably took the most famous thanks-be-to-God knee in Dodger history, and in the aftermath of the 1988 season, religion became a small component of the Hershiser story. It did not bother me, though I could not relate to it at all.
On Tim Tebow, I have no opinion of significance. I’ve seen him play most infrequently, though I did catch a glimpse of his game-winning throw Sunday against Pittsburgh, a play of beauty. I gather that is more talented than your average bear but filled with heaps of inconsistency. I also gather he is pious and sincerely so, though perhaps at times holier-than-thou. His politics might not be my politics, something that’s probably true of many athletes. He’s so far off my radar that I’ve never actually seen him perform the act of Tebowing.
Someone I do have an opinion of is Clayton Kershaw, whom I would say is supremely talented, remarkably consistent and whom I’m led to believe is similarly devoted to his religious life as Tebow. In 2011, Kershaw earned his greatest national accolades with a Cy Young-winning season, yet relative to Tebow, I imagine Kershaw is still a largely undiscovered property. Tebow is a national phenomenon; while Kershaw is merely a superstar. There’s no catchphrase known as Kershawing.
It’s funny to be in the position of wondering whether I would be bothered or enthralled by Tebow if I were only paying more attention, instead of simply regarding him as a far-off curiosity. All I do know is that, as a person whose religious fervor is confined to the Great Dodger in the sky, I feel blessed to have the guy we have.
Update: As it happens, about an hour after I drafted this post, the Dodgers announced that Kershaw and his wife Ellen will meet with the media at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday “to discuss their new book, titled ‘Arise: Live Out Your Faith and Dreams on Whatever Field You Find Yourself,’ their latest trip to Africa and the upcoming 2012 Dodger season.”