.- The much-discussed Super Bowl ad about college star quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother Pam aired on Sunday. It encouraged viewers to celebrate life and family. The ad showed Pam Tebow holding a baby photo of Tim.
“I call him my miracle baby,” she says. “He almost didn't make it into this world. ... you know, with all our family's been through, we have to be tough.”
She is then pushed off-screen as she is forcefully tackled by her son, the outgoing quarterback of the University of Florida.
“Timmy!” she says, returning to the screen unaffected. “I'm trying to tell our story here!”
“You still worry about me, Mom?” asks Tim Tebow.
“Well, yeah,” Pam Tebow replies. “You're not nearly as tough as I am.”
The ad bears the tagline “Celebrate Family. Celebrate Life” and directs viewers to the website of Focus on the Family, the ad’s sponsor. The website contains more about the Tebows’ story and other pro-life and pro-family messages.
Reports before the ad’s broadcast focused on Pam Tebow’s decision not to abort her unborn son despite her life-threatening condition and her doctors’ advice. Many pro-life groups rallied around the Tebows, while some pro-abortion groups criticized CBS for accepting the ad.
The New York-based Women’s Media Center, which led the protest, had billed the unbroadcast ad as an “attack on choice” that tried to “dictate morality” and risked women’s health by encouraging them to ignore medical advice.
Despite the ad’s message, National Organization for Women (NOW) president Terry O'Neill claimed the ad glorified violence against women because it showed Tebow tackling his mother.
“I am blown away at the celebration of the violence against women in it,” she said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “That's what comes across to me even more strongly than the anti-abortion message. I myself am a survivor of domestic violence, and I don't find it charming. I think CBS should be ashamed of itself.”
Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life told the Los Angeles Times that the ad showed the “increasing sophistication of the pro-life movement.”
“Focus on the Family has really been strategic. They went with the old adage 'Less is more,' and they put a positive message out there.”
Marjory Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List said the ad was “so benign.”
“It's a story of a mother's strength,” she commented.
Ordinary people have also weighed-in on the ad. As of Monday afternoon, almost 250,000 people had joined a Facebook group titled “Support Tebow’s Super Bowl Ad.”