Our generation’s greatest two-way athlete, Timothy Richard Tebow, announced his retirement from baseball last week. In a brief statement, the Mets minor league outfielder thanked team president Sandy Alderson, fans and his teammates for the opportunities they gave him.
The 33-year-old Tebow came into the national spotlight as one of the most exciting college football players of all time. He led the Florida Gators to two national championships, and won the Heisman Trophy at just 20 years old. Then, Tebow followed that with a five-year run in the NFL that saw him win more playoff games than Matthew Stafford and finish with a higher career passer rating than Hall of Famer Joe Namath. And although he never quite replicated his Florida success at the next level, he still found flashes of that old magic.
But the flaws were glaring. He fumbled like crazy and struggled to complete even half his pass attempts. It wasn’t long before he was demoted from Broncos starting QB to Jets sideshow—gone from the game entirely soon after.
On the baseball diamond, the former Heisman Trophy winner just bounced around the minors. He struggled at the plate and never found his way to major-league form. And while it’s incredible a guy 10 years removed from high school baseball worked his way up to Triple-A ball, that was a ceiling he could never hope to crack. Now, he’s done altogether.
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For a guy who’s spent half his life as a household name, this shrug into the night reeks of anticlimax. But there’s no chance this will be the last we see of Tim Tebow.
Although Tebow kept things vague in his retirement statement, he did mention he felt “called in other directions.” For a pious man like him, those words mean something. Tebow’s just 33, only old for football standards. There’s no way he’s about to sulk off to day-drink and dream about the good old days. But anybody who’s ever contemplated a career change knows how scary a process that can be. So if he’s still wondering about his next step, I have an idea for how Tim Tebow can make his golden years shine like the sun.
Bear with me here…
Tim Tebow’s ascent at Florida signaled a return to peak performance for the storied football program. Befitting his nature as an evangelical, Tebow’s presence infused the people around him, the very environment, with life and energy. On his back, the school surged to glory.
You know what other struggling national institution could use an infusion of good-natured passion? This Arby’s in Wheatland, Wyoming.
As a whole, the globe-trotting meat monger has actually done well for itself these past few years. The company bet big on meme marketing a few years ago, and it seems to be paying off. But this particular franchise in southeast Wyoming doesn’t seem to be feeling the love. While 3.5 stars on 23 TripAdvisor reviews seems respectable enough, digging into these stats tells a different story. Sure, ANDYKWestYorks described lunching there as “reasonable” in June 2019, but just last August M7562MQbillf declared it the “Worst Arby’s ever,” recounting a fast food experience marred by long waits and unmasked employees.
Years earlier in 2015, GypsyPolice had a nightmarish time in the restroom, which he chronicled with poetic disgust:
“The sink was clogged with old standing water to the top,” they wrote. “A man was in the bathroom pooping staring at me as I walked in. I guess the door didn’t lock. The floor was disgusting. It was obvious the place was dirty. It was so dirty I refused to urinate there. I read the reviews of people getting food poison and left. I didn’t want to risk it. I will never stop here again.”
Long lines, food poison and poopy toilets. It’s clear this Arby’s isn’t just struggling, it’s beset by a sickness. There’s a miasma hanging in the air. It’s almost spiritual.
It’s the perfect opportunity to do God’s work.
Post-athletic life can be a phenomenal opportunity to build a legacy on this Earth. But as Tebow well knows, Paul the Apostle warned us of the pitfalls of that striving in his Epistle to the Phillippians.
“I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things,” Paul wrote. “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.”
The scripture is clear. If Tim Tebow wants to glorify the Lord and know Christ through suffering like him, Tim Tebow must take it upon himself to purchase and resurrect the Wheatland Arby’s.
Franchise Business Review says the average Arby’s franchise costs between $628,950 and $2,205,600. Since we’re talking about a restaurant in a town of less than 4,000 people in a county where the median household income is hovering around $50,000, we can safely assume this Arby’s would tend toward the lower end of that range. If he’s managed his money even somewhat well since signing his rookie contract in Denver, he’d have more than enough to make the purchase.
But the real allure of any investment like this is potential. For Tebow, that goes above the money he could hope to make operating a middling fast food franchise in Wyoming’s 17th-most populous county. He could revive this Arby’s, nay, the whole Wheatland community, in just the same way he brought life to the panhandle state. Tebow could lead a spiritual reawakening in Platte County, where 63 percent of residents were reported as not affiliated with any church. That’s like 5,000 souls to save. He could turn this Arby’s into a bastion for his faith. This Arby’s—the very City of God, causeway to the heavens themselves.
Herein lies the true and eternal glory of the path set before Tim Tebow. All that remains to be seen is whether he has the spiritual wherewithal to pursue it. This Arby’s already has The meats. Let’s see if Tebow can give it The Beats.