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Jeremy Lin & Tim Tebow Are Great Idols for Kids

Jeremy Lin & Tim Tebow Are Great Idols for Kids

We’re blessed to have two fabulous – dare I say historic – idols for kids in professional sports right now.

Jeremy Lin and Tim Tebow are gifts.

For me, as a kid growing up in Pittsburgh in the late 60s and 70s, it was Roberto Clemente.† He played his heart out, he had his many unconventional habits (e.g. neck-twitching before each at-bat), he was the first Latino superstar in baseball, and he was extremely generous to the place of his impoverished upbringing – Puerto Rico.

Many adults scoff at idolization by children, but I can say that focusing on such a great man helped build my character.† I committed myself to always bust my butt like Roberto in all the sports I played, and later, I carried this over to other activities.† I liked, and still like, being unconventional.† I have my quirks (I never wear a tie), and like Roberto, I display them proudly.

The problem isn’t idolization of athletes.† It’s in our supply of potential “idols.”† Let’s face it – most great athletes don’t have exemplary characters.

Lin and Tebow are different.† They’re unselfish.† They’re modest.† They play very, very hard, but they play fair.† They don’t criticize the many who have criticized them.

So, I say, talk up Lin and Tebow to your kids.† Buy your kids books about those guys (the first chapter book I read was about Roberto).† Watch them on TV.† Revel together in their miraculous success.† Lin’s last-second three-pointer to win the Knicks’ game last night was one of those unique moments of pure unadulterated sports joy, and his interview after the game is a huge lesson in character.

And Tebow last fall??? Sheesh, I didnít even feel too bad when he beat my Pittsburgh Steelers in dramatic fashion in the playoffs a month ago.

Our kids are blessed to be growing up with Tebowmania and Linsanity in their midst. Let’s use them.

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Mike Lanza

Mike Lanza, MA Ed and MBA (Stanford), is a blogger at Playborhood.com and soon-to-be-published book author on the subject of kids' play in neighborhoods. He's worked hard to create a very rich neighborhood play life for his three boys - ages 7, 4, and 2 - in Menlo Park, California. He's also discovered and written about dozens of neighborhoods throughout North America that are doing innovative things to make a vibrant life for kids. Prior to his writing career, Mike was a five-time software and Internet entrepreneur in Silicon Valley.

30 comments

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8:10AM PDT on May 9, 2013

TIM: IT'S NOT YOU! IGNORE HATERS & SAVE U.S.A.
N.J.-N.Y. AMERICANS ARE LOSING THEIR MINDS.
N.J.-N.Y. NEED SOULS SAVED MORE THEN A "QB SAVIOR".
WORLD IN MIDST OF A WAR BETWEEN GOOD & EVIL.
I SURVIVED AND REPORTED N.J. "BIOCHIP TERRORISM".
SADLY MANY IN U.S.A. HAVE BEEN "BRAINWASHED"!

MY MISSION: SAVE U.S.A. FROM BIOCHIP TERRORISM.
I ASKED QB TIM TEBOW FOR HIS HELP TO SAVE U.S.A.

SAVE U.S.A. ***WARNING TO U.S.A.***
http://www.Pinterest.com/SAVEUSA

SAVE WORLD! BIOCHIP TERRORISM
http://www.Pinterest.com/SAVEWORLD

@MILLSSAVEUSA RICHARD MILLS
http://www.Twitter.com/MILLSSAVEUSA

8:10AM PDT on May 9, 2013

TIM: IT'S NOT YOU! IGNORE HATERS & SAVE U.S.A.
N.J.-N.Y. AMERICANS ARE LOSING THEIR MINDS.
N.J.-N.Y. NEED SOULS SAVED MORE THEN A "QB SAVIOR".
WORLD IN MIDST OF A WAR BETWEEN GOOD & EVIL.
I SURVIVED AND REPORTED N.J. "BIOCHIP TERRORISM".
SADLY MANY IN U.S.A. HAVE BEEN "BRAINWASHED"!

MY MISSION: SAVE U.S.A. FROM BIOCHIP TERRORISM.
I ASKED QB TIM TEBOW FOR HIS HELP TO SAVE U.S.A.

SAVE U.S.A. ***WARNING TO U.S.A.***
http://www.Pinterest.com/SAVEUSA

SAVE WORLD! BIOCHIP TERRORISM
http://www.Pinterest.com/SAVEWORLD

@MILLSSAVEUSA RICHARD MILLS
http://www.Twitter.com/MILLSSAVEUSA

1:52PM PST on Feb 14, 2013

They might be nice people to look up to as role models maybe, but there should be no idol worship involved since they're only human like anybody else. Often times when people are placed on pedestals, they fall off.

3:21AM PST on Feb 25, 2012

Idols? There's that brain dead "winner of a reality show" reference.Could we call them heroes? The only people I'd call "idols" spell it differently.

2:58AM PST on Feb 25, 2012

IDOLS???? YOU SHOULD HAVE NO OTHER GODS OR IDOLS BEFORE ME....'GOD'

9:08PM PST on Feb 23, 2012

TY

5:38PM PST on Feb 23, 2012

i like mac danzig and ron artest.

5:34PM PST on Feb 23, 2012

Really love their attitude and team spirit. These guys are not physically good but intelligent as well in their plays and sportsmanship.

5:15PM PST on Feb 23, 2012

Since God says not to have any other gods before him, these two "idols" had better watch their step...

4:55PM PST on Feb 23, 2012

As long as Tebow plays 'By The Rules' in his football games and 'Advertises' rather than 'Proselytises' his faith, he's fine. If Lin sets an example by playing basketball 'By The Rules', he's fine. It's better than the usual hypocrisy of cheating politicians, corrupt officials, sex-pervert priesthoods, and incompetent or biased teachers.

Whether or not Tebow is narcissist, he's not costing anyone else their esteem by his actions. He's welcome to it.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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