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Tebow documentary: Long on sports and business, short on Tebow

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DVD review: “Tim Tebow — Everything in Between.” Summit Entertainment. 58 minutes.

Everything in Between, which premiered Nov. 11 on ESPN2, is like a big donut: lots of material with a hole in the middle. It has a lot on the process of getting into the NFL. It has much on training, management, politics, business, even broadcasting. But surprisingly little on the young man in the middle of it all.

Tebow, of course, is the star player from the University of Florida who won an armload of awards before even leaving college, like the Heisman Trophy, NCAA Quarterback of the Year, and the Associated Press Player of the Year.

He’s also known for kneeling and praying even during a game, a practice that’s become known as Tebowing. And he’s the guy who paints “John 3:16” on his eyeblack. The documentary has him talking about Jesus to assemblies, but doesn’t major on it.

What it does show is how someone can be a hero in college, but get knocked down a few pegs when he tries to crack pro football. He goes out for Senior Bowl but doesn’t impress sports scouts. He gets criticism from sports commentators on his low, looping pass, a drawback he tries mightly to make up for.

It’s amazing to see how many decisions are thrust onto this young man. First he and his family negotiate for an agent. Then he and the agent scout several training facilities around the country. Then Tebow undergoes a grueling regimen — running, passing, hot baths, ice baths and more — for more than 10 hours a day. And he has to wade through oceans of adoring fans, like young girls who squeal just to touch him. And all he wants to do is play football.

Director Chase Heavener keeps the production lean and businesslike, seldom even adding music. His choice of camera is light yet steady, seldom jerky. He gets onto the field, follows Tebow around reception halls, sits in on decision making with his agent and family. He goes to the Tebow ranch near Jacksonville, Fla., where the young quarterback chats with his parents and tosses the ball with his brother.

What don’t we get? Much about Tim Tebow. And that’s a sizable hole in this film. After all, the end isn’t terribly suspenseful for anyone who follows Tebow or the NFL: He gets picked for the Denver Broncos. How did he get through all this? Pretty smoothly, if we’re to believe this film.

He does say it’s an honor and a responsibility for so many fans to be rooting for him. And he voices a little frustration for winning so many college trophies, yet getting dissed on sports shows. But does he have any doubts? Any nerves whether he’ll be chosen for a team? He shows none.

When did Tebow show a skill for football? How did he know he wanted to make it his life’s work? Did he ever consider any other career? What good does it do to put a Bible verse on his eyeblack? These are all standard questions for a sports profile. Their lack leaves a hole.

Everything in Between may well find buyers among sports fans who want to know the guts of the training and selection process for new players. Perhaps even for Christians who are proud of a sports champ who hasn’t left his spiritual roots. For the rest of us, the film lacks something: a real understanding of its main character.

For those who want to buy it, here’s the website for the film company.

James D. Davis

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Written by Jim Davis

November 13, 2011 at 3:01 am

Posted in christianity, documentary, faith, film, video

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