Almost as popular as the Super Bowl itself are the signature commercials sprinkled throughout the big game — and on Sunday night there were plenty of those attention-grabbing spots to go around.
With that said, every once in a while there’s a commercial that’s so stirring or controversial that it becomes solidified in the minds of Super Bowl viewers. Among those spots was Tim Tebow’s 2010 commercial for Christian organization Focus on the Family — a spot that featured his family’s own personal pro-life story.
Did you know that the commercial actually ended up saving the life of an unborn baby? The story all centers around a woman named Susan Wood, who found herself at a friend’s house watching the Super Bowl on Feb. 7, 2010.
Unbeknownst to her friends, Susan had just found out she was pregnant; she was distraught and fearful. Then, Tebow’s ad aired.
“Earlier that morning, Susan told her boyfriend she was pregnant. Let’s just say he did not react well,” reads a description on the Focus on the Family website. “He saw the first pregnancy test; he insisted on a second. Abortion was the only option. Susan consented, if only to end the conflict. Then he left, and she walked to the Super Bowl party alone.”
Susan later recalled how she and the entire room reacted when the Tebow commercial aired, noting that, though they expected it to be fervently anti-abortion, the tone was quite different; the clip simply featured Tebow’s mom, Pam, sharing how the former NFL star had survived against all the odds.
Watch the ad:
“I wanted to be critical. I wanted to bash this horrible ‘anti-choice’ commercial,” Susan later told Focus on the Family. “But as we watched, everyone agreed that it was a positive commercial with an encouraging message — not one of judgment or condemnation.”
Susan simply couldn’t get the ad out of her head, so when she returned home, she went on the Internet and watched a longer video on the Focus on the Family website that featured Pam and Bob Tebow explaining how they had rejected a doctor’s advice to abort Tim due to medical complications. In the end, the commercial — and that longer video explanation — resonated with her.
Watch Pam and Bob Tebow tell their story:
So, she reached out to Focus on the Family, started interacting with a staff member and soon decided to keep her baby, delivering the child in September of 2010 and naming her Avita Grace. The father reportedly didn’t want to be part of the baby’s life and Susan felt alone, but she said Focus on the Family staff members kept in touch, sent gifts and offered encouragement.
“I was shocked that they cared so much. They kept in contact with me the whole time,” she said. “I knew — no matter what — there were people who truly cared about me and the baby. That meant everything to me.”
Read more about Susan’s story here.
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