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Random Doppelganger: Timothy Mumford Tebow and Sons


Are we certain that British rocker Marcus Mumford and New York Jets Quarterback Halfback Special-Teamer football player Tim Tebow are NOT the same person?

Is this Tim Tebow, a marketing icon who happens to play football? Or is it Marcus Mumford, a devout Christian who happens to be a famous musician?

Is this Marcus Mumford enjoying a smoke? Or is this a picture of Tim Tebow doing the most scandalous thing he has ever done?


Is this Tim Tebow’s most modest pose for GQ magazine? Or is this Marcus Mumford, channeling his inner C.S. Lewis? (Notice the tweed.)

Marcus Mumford, a capella? Or Tim Tebow, with a pink shirt on?


Tebow, pretending to play guitar? Or Mumford, proselytizing by singing about his faith in a thoughtful, accessible, yet humble manner?

Did Marcus Mumford get a crew cut? Or is this Tim Tebow, evangelizing by writing a random Bible verse on his face?

One thing I hadn’t considered…

The possibility that…

All the Mumford and Sons’ songs are ABOUT TIM TEBOW?!?

“We’re gonna make millions, boys, and we’re going to do it singing about a flawed, though celebrated, American footballer. Trust me.” -Marcus Mumford, circa December, 2007.

Let me explain…

Tim Tebow and Marcus Mumford are probably the two most prominent Christians in pop culture. Mumford was born in January, 1987, Tebow was born in August of the same year. Each was born outside of his “native” country (Tebow in the Phillipines, Mumford in Anaheim, CA). Both were raised by evangelical missionaries. Their similarities in style are best summed up by Grantland writer Steven Hyden, who wrote in a September column:

“(B)oth men project comparably wholesome, inspirational personae. People love Tim Tebow because he plays hard and with demonstrable enthusiasm and because he seems like a throwback to a simpler (yet also tougher and grittier) period in American history; people love Mumford & Sons for basically the same reasons. (Even though they’re British.) Tebow and Mumford are bulwarks of conservatism in two of our brashest, crassest, and most rapidly evolving cultural spheres.”

Hyden does a great job in the article, but not once does he even consider the likelihood that Mumford & Sons’ lyrics are poems to Tebow. Upon further review, Marcus Mumford’s open, quasi-cathartic revelations about personal weakness and struggle are not autobiographical, but rather, an elaborate self-help letter, set to music, for his kindred spirit across the Atlantic. Don’t believe me? Well, take a look for yourself:

After a loss against Ole Miss in September of 2008. a tearful Tebow takes to the podium…

“But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat” ‘The Cave’

In 2009, Tebow led the Gators to Tallahassee to face bitter rival, Florida State, in a driving rainstorm, and came out victorious…

“You saw my pain washed out in the rain
Broken glass, saw the blood run from my veins
But you saw no fault, no cracks in my heart
And you knelt beside my hope torn apart” – ‘Ghosts That We Knew’

Early in the 2011 NFL season, “Tebowing” became something of a phenomenon, following Tim’s late-game heroics and sideline praying…

“But I’ll kneel down wait for now
And I’ll kneel down
Know my ground” – ‘I Will Wait’

As the season wore on, Tebow’s magic began to run a little thin. He fumbled six times in a three week stretch, and people  wondered if the Broncos could make the playoffs with him at quarterback…

“But you rip it from my hands
And you swear it’s all gone
And you rip out all I have
Just to say that you’ve won” – ‘I Gave You All’

But all his praying led to something, as Tebow threw an 80-yard game winning touchdown pass in the Broncos’ 29-23 playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers…

“So as we walked through fields of green
Was the fairest sun I’d ever seen
And I was broke, I was on my knees
And you said yes as I said please” – ‘Not With Haste’

While some people look at the two and see fundamentally different styles of living one’s faith, it’s obvious (because of his lyrics) that Mumford approves of Tebow. The British rocker lives mostly outside the limelight, married to his childhood sweetheart (it’s actually sort of nauseatingly adorable – the two were pen pals as children and reconnected a couple of years ago, whereupon romance was sparked). Mumford articulates his faith, one of self-doubt, dark nights of the soul, and maybe even self-loathing, intelligently. Despite the stigma attached to Christian rock, he’s become a smashing success – against the odds.

Tebow’s NFL success is no different. Why, you can’t be a professional quarterback if you can’t throw a football, can you? Well, think again! Tim Tebow is living proof that anyone, even people who possess the arm strength of a polio-stricken child, can achieve their dreams.The New York Jets backup quarterback markets himself (and his Christianity) well; he is a spokesperson, a non-controversial, calculating modern star. His religion is a product, a complete brand, void of doubt and uncertainty. Whether you’re the sort of person who identifies with Mumford’s humility and humanity, or Tebow’s corporate polish, one thing’s clear: it’s best not to doubt either of them. They’ve succeeded, and made millions, despite the odds being stacked against them.

BreakTheHuddle is a fan of the Twins, Timberwolves and the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers. Reach him at BreakTheHuddle@gmail.com, @BreakTheHuddle on Twitter or leave a comment below!

2 Responses

  1. Well written, and an interesting perspective…here is a different one:

    You – Breakthehuddle, have only 3 degrees of separation from Tim Tebow’s world.

    He seems to the center of the football universe, and you are close, very close!

    • Well, thank you, sir. Glad you enjoyed the article – this is about as ridiculous as I get on the blog. If you can handle this, you can probably handle anything I’m going to write!

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