Tebow balances faith and fame

The most important call of Tim Tebow’s day comes far away from the huddle. It’s usually sometime at night, when football is the furthest thing on the New York Jets backup quarterback’s mind.

That’s a rare moment these days for Tebow, 25, particularly during training camp. But one of his closest friends — an “accountability partner,” as he describes him — is always a phone call away to keep his priorities in order. For number 15, that means God is number one. Family comes second and football is a distant third.

“He’s someone I pray with,” Tebow said. “He’ll ask me: ‘Hey, did you get in the Word today? Were you praying today?’ I have him because I need someone who is always investing in me, you know?

“You don’t ever want to become complacent. That’s very easy to do because life gets in the way.”

Tebow’s every move on the field is scrutinized, from how he throws to how he runs. Off the field, he’s easily recognized by even the most casual of football fans. He’s currently battling Peyton Manning for the NFL’s top-selling jersey. It all makes things predictably tough when you’re just trying to be normal.

Tebow, a devout Christian, leans on his faith constantly, even during the dog days of training camp when prayers and playbooks could get muddled in his mind.

“There’s football, wanting to get in an extra workout, wanting to go to an extra meeting. That’s when your priorities get jumbled, maybe for an hour, maybe for a day, maybe for a week or maybe for a year. I don’t want that to happen to me.

“It’s a constant battle. It’s nonstop. That’s why it’s always good to have people around you who hold you accountable. My friend doesn’t tell me what I want to hear. He tells me what I need to hear, and that’s important.”

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