The moment Jeremy Lin was given a pop culture title (Linsanity!!!), the Tim Tebow comparisons flew at viral speed. They both win, we said, and they’re both talented and religious.

For me, there was always one massive deal breaker that we conveniently overlooked when Linsanity was at its height before the New York Knicks point guard suffered a left knee injury in late March that required surgery. Tebow was a highly-hyped megastar long before his heroics in 2011 after he was a first-round pick, a Heisman winner, and a national champion with the Florida Gators, while Lin was an undrafted nobody.

Although his time in the spotlight was(?) shorter, Lin was the far better story during that brief period, and that’s coming from someone who’s watched maybe four full NBA games all season. But here’s one undeniable truth, and an important link during an NFL offseason when players are still routinely being morons and eating marijuana: they’re both genuinely good people, and fine role models who’ve never had even a small public misstep.

Tebow was included in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world, and Lin wrote his thoughts on the Jets quarterback:

He is unashamed of his convictions and faith, and he lives a life that consistently reflects his values, day in and day out. Through his foundation, he constantly reaches out to people and communities in need of hope. He realizes what he has been blessed with and seeks to help those who are worse off. As athletes, we pour our hearts into winning games. Tim is a reminder that life is about much more than that.

I understand that the public doesn’t take kindly to preaching, but the eye rolls towards Tebow when he mentions his charity work have always been a little baffling. While other athletes are busy wiggling out of lengthy punishments because they waited an extra hour to have sex with a minor, Lin and Tebow are connected in the sense that they continually use their platform for something productive.

The only fault anyone can find with Tebow is that he’s mildly annoying while referencing a higher power. We should probably get past that soon.

And now you want to know the rest of the story…

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