The book on Tim Tebow is that he’s either derided or deified, depending on whom you ask, with very little middle ground to speak of.
Darryl Strawberry might not seem like the most likely candidate to canonize Tebow, what with his hard-partying, addiction-riddled past that seems at odds with Tebow’s message. But in an interview with USA Today, the former New York Mets and Yankees star reveals that he’s quite the admirer of the New England Patriots’ popular backup quarterback.
In fact, Strawberry, who is now an ordained minister, calls Tebow a “real man” and says he wishes he “could have been like a Gary Carter or a Tim Tebow when (he) was playing.”
"I look at Tebow. He gets bashed because of his faith. Let ’em laugh. Let ’em talk. He’s a greater man than anyone who might be greater than him as an athlete. He’s a real man,” Strawberry told the paper.
"He gets challenged about his faith all of the time, but he never wavers because of opinions, or what the media is writing about him. His reward later on in life is going to be even greater because he stood in the midst of everybody criticizing him being a Christian and playing sports at the same time.
"I admire him more than he could ever imagine."
Strawberry and Tebow don’t necessarily seem like kindred spirits. Strawberry was an eight-time All-Star despite an off-field lifestyle that could have easily derailed his dream, whereas Tebow can be pious to the point of overkill, but can’t catch a break on the field.
That said, Strawberry could do worse than looking up to Tebow, and it appears the two have more in common than we think.