Sunday, April 15, 2012

Romanconomics: Tebow on the Hill

Sunday, April 8, 2012 will go down in history as the day my heart officially melted.
I was in Austin, TX, over Easter weekend, and got to hear Tim Tebow speak.

I know you may dismiss this as a silly school-girl's crush, but I assure you. I think Robert Pattinson is one of the ugliest leading men to appear on the cover of "People" magazine. I never caught Bieber-fever. I refused to join the Orlando Bloom hype back in hist LOTR days. Heck, I only know the choreography to N'SYNC songs because commercials for it played between episodes of Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century when I was growing up. Let's leave it at "I don't have celebrity crushes on principle."

But then came Tim Tebow.

Suddenly my Sunday afternoons involved nail-biting Broncos games. The Carpenters song "One Fine Day (You're Gonna Want Me For Your Girl)" newly held blue eyes and moderate facial hair full of hope. I even Googled "Tim Tebow girlfriend" to make sure I wasn't aspiring to future-homewrecker status. I wasn't.

So getting to hear Tebow speak (it was a little bit more of an interview than anything, but hey! Admirers can't be choosers) was kind of amazing. We were in a gigantic field on a hill,* surrounded by approximately 15,000 of our closest friends and competition ... I mean, other nice young ladies for Celebration Church's "Easter on the Hill." The weeds and dust left me in an allergen-induced stupor by the end, but I survived.

Tim Tebow then decided to talk about the importance of being a good role model, being a leader wherever you are, and how America needs to get back to its roots as "one nation under God." It was like watching an interview as a proposal - with every word, he was reaffirming that I have excellent taste in celebrity crushes.

So how does this all relate to economics? Well, beyond the obvious romanconomics implications (why isn't anyone supplying more of this wonderful commodity called "Christian men who lead by example"?!?), there are some interesting things happening here. Celebration Church, who hosted Tebow, had to bus people in (dispersing the parking nightmare), and graciously provided jelly beans and water bottles to anyone who wanted them. With over 1,000 volunteers, plus a huge stage and two video screens set up "on the hill," the church put in an astonishing number of man-hours. The logistics planning and supplies needed before the actual day were staggering. Total cost? Donated.

See, as much as economists love reducing things to cost/benefit analysis or self-interest (trust me, I attended out of self-interest), sometimes people do things simply out of the goodness of their hearts. If you can inspire people to donate their time, you have a valuable message and a powerful way to share it. Tim Tebow can draw a crowd. So where is he drawing them? Church.

It may seem like this defies basic economics (after all, economists only care about money, right?), but actually it fits in nicely. See, I really think that Tim Tebow would rather have a bunch of people at church on Easter than do something for himself. Self-interest doesn't have to be selfless. Football players don't have to be obsessed with drugs, sex, and rock n' roll. Or convicted felons (*cough, Oakland, cough*).

Certainly I was happy to see Tebow and go to church all at once - they're both wonderful. On Easter (and today), I rejoiced that my Redeemer lives ... and that he made Tim Tebow.

I heard Tim Tebow in:
Blue polka dot sundress, blue glass earrings, brown watch, and brown cowboy boots (it's Texas).

Tim Tebow spoke in:
Pink oxford with white cuffs, medium-wash classic cut jeans, rubber "Livestrong-style" bracelets (approximately three), and brown loafers.

*Allegedly this hill is the highest point in the southeastern US. As a native Coloradoan, this was HILARIOUS.