…Inside The Black Man's World


December 6, 2011

Tebow and Tyler: Can I Get a Witness?

Tyler Perry











For a sports world that loves comparisons, finding a parallel NFL player to compare Tim Tebow to has been quite a task. Perhaps the reason why is that the best parallel to Tebow at this point in his career is Tyler Perry. Yes, that Tyler Perry!

Denver Bronco

Both men have defied the odds several times over. Tebow’s mother was told he would be stillborn and that she should have an abortion. Perry experienced both physical and sexual abuse at the hands of those close to him, including his own father. The homeschooled Tebow had to move out of his family’s home to find a high school that gave him a chance to play quarterback. Perry spent part of his early adulthood living in his car.

Tebow and Tyler also developed cult followings by doing things their way, as unconventional as they may be. Tebow burst on to the national scene as human cannonball, diving across the goalines all over the SEC, helping Florida win a national title as a freshman. Most of the world came to know Tyler Perry as the man who played “Madea,” a gun-toting, foul mouthed elderly lady whom Perry says he modeled after his own grandmother. Tebow won the Heisman as a sophomore and quarterbacked the team to another national championship as a junior. Perry transitioned from plays to films with the release of 2005’s Diary of A Mad Black Woman, an unexpected box office smash. He also spurned Hollywood, building his own production studios in his adopted hometown of Atlanta.

Both men are very outspoken about their spirituality, and have no problem using their celebrity status as a platform for promoting those beliefs. Not only did Tebow wore eyepaint with references to scriptures, he invented the phenomenon known as “Tebowing” and even recorded anti-abortion advertisements. Perry’s plays are littered with spiritual themes and family values. And perhaps it is their outspoken brand of spirituality in this time of religious neutrality that seems to have given them an almost spiritual connection with their supporters.

Of course, neither man is without his detractors. In fact, it seems people either love or hate Tebow and Perry. Many in the Black Community have criticized Perry for what they feel is a perpetuating of negative stereotypes about African-Americans. Fellow director Spike Lee used terms such as “coonery” and “buffoonery” when critiquing some of Perry’s work. Many NFL scouts and announcers blasted the Denver Broncos for selecting Tebow in the first round of the 2010 draft. Earlier this fall, ESPN NFL Analyst Merril Hodge tweeted that it was “embarrassing to think the broncos could win with Tebow.”

But the biggest thing that Perry and Tebow have in common is that despite their unconventional approaches to their craft, they both keep winning. Earlier this year Perry was named the “Highest Paid Man In Entertainment. Forbes Magazine estimates he made over $130 million dollars between May 2010 and May 2011. And after being relegated to third string quarterback earlier this season, Tebow has taken over as starting quarterback for Denver, leading the Broncos to five straight wins in the process.

The bottom line is whether or not you admire the way Tebow and Tyler perform, you have to respect the results. As long as Perry continues to make people laugh, cry and think, his fans will continue to flock to his films in droves. And as long as Tebow keeps finding away to win games, Denver has no choice but to keep their faith in him. And the church said: Amen!

About the Author

Award-winning college journalist. Serial Blogger. Old School R&B fanatic. Stonecold Gentleman.




  1. Chari Staples

    When I first starting reading this, I thought “these two have nothing in common.” But now I get your drift. They both have that love/hate thing going on. Interesting article!

    Here’s my two cents about Tyler: He is a businessman, so his first goal is to make money — mission accomplished. I think that many people (including myself sometimes) “hate” him though because the number of black filmmakers is so disproportionate, and there isn’t balance. If there were a ton of black filmmakers who made movies of a different genre or theme, then Tyler would be more welcomed.

    In terms of Tebow, I could care less about his political/religious beliefs. In the game of football, it’s only about winning. If I was a Bronco fan…I’d love him! #GoSteelers

    • CEO

      Great comment! #GoPackers

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