February 5, 2010


On Sunday, count us among those who think the Tebow ad is ‘super’

If you plan to watch the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 like millions of other people around the world, pay close attention to the television commercials this year. For some viewers, they are the highlight of what is supposed to be one of sport’s grandest events.

Of course, we know most Indiana residents will be watching and pulling for our beloved Indianapolis Colts to win football’s biggest prize for the second time in four years.

But we’re hoping that plenty of insightful people will take the time to really examine what messages the advertisers are putting in front of us in 2010.

Will beer advertisements from Anheuser-Busch and other brewers introduce another alcoholic beverage with even less calories? What new vehicles are car makers bringing to the table for us to consider purchasing for a pretty penny in this shaky economy? Will there again be a GoDaddy.com ad or two featuring scantily clad women?

While many view Super Bowl Sunday, especially when our home team is involved, as a time to be with family, many of the advertisements have little or nothing to do with family values.

Which is why we were happy to read about CBS Corporation’s recent decision to air Focus on the Family’s pro-life advertisement titled “Celebrate Family, Celebrate Life” during Super Bowl XLIV. The ad features college football star Tim Tebow and his mother, Pamela.

Many of you probably know Tebow’s story. The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and recent University of Florida graduate was brought into the world because of his mother’s courage and faith.

Pam and her husband, Bob, conceived Tim while serving as Christian missionaries in the Philippines. While pregnant, Pam fell into a coma after contracting amoebi dysentery, an infection of the intestine caused by a parasite found in contaminated food or drink.

Her treatment required a series of strong medications. As a result of those medications, doctors told Pam that the fetus had been irreversibly damaged. They strongly advised her to have an abortion.

But Pam refused because of her faith. She spent the last two months of her pregnancy on bed rest, and gave birth to a healthy boy—Timothy—on Aug. 14, 1987.

Tim Tebow has consistently used his platform as one of college football’s most decorated players during the last four years to share his faith and life story. He puts references to Scripture passages on his eye black, patches football players wear under their eyes to prevent glare. And he openly has talked about how he thinks he has gotten some of his strength from his mom’s convictions.

While Focus on the Family, a Christian advocacy group, has reportedly paid an estimated $2.7 million for their 30-second spot, we think it is money well spent to affirm the Tebow family’s life message.

Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, said in a press release that the chance to partner with the Tebows and lift up a meaningful message about family and life comes at the right moment in the culture because “families need to be inspired.”

“Tim and Pam share our respect for life and our passion for helping families thrive,” Daly said. “They live what we see every day—that the desire for family closeness is written on the hearts of every generation.”

The timing of the advertisement seems providential, too, since an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 people—including thousands from Indiana—participated in the 37th annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 22. The number of people who take part in the March for Life continues to grow each year, and polls are showing society shifting more toward valuing life.

A poll commissioned by the Knights of Columbus released on Jan. 21 said that a majority of Americans called abortion “morally wrong” (see related story, page 19).

Last May, a Gallup Values and Beliefs survey found that a majority of Americans—51 percent—describe themselves as “pro-life” with respect to the abortion issue, while only 42 percent say they are “pro-choice.” A separate daily Gallup poll conducted a few days later found a similar result: 50 percent of Americans described themselves as pro-life and 43 percent as pro-choice.

As this newspaper went to press, several groups, including the Women’s Media Center, National Organization for Women, and Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health were trying to get CBS to pull the pro-life and pro-family advertisement.

We encourage our readers—and all people who espouse pro-life causes—to let their voices be heard, too. Call CBS or send an e-mail to Les Moonves, chief executive officer of CBS Corp., at lmoonves@cbs.com and tell him you support their running of the Tebow advertisement.

As we cheer for the perfect ending to the Colts’ season, let us also voice our support for the life-affirming victory of a parent, a child and a family.

—Mike Krokos

Local site Links: