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Tim Tebow's latest defenders: Bill Cosby and former Secretary of Education William Bennett

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Tim Tebow's NFL rise has done more than boost the Broncos' chances of making the playoffs. It's inspired musical tributes, tattoos and Tumblrs, the naming of racehorses and a slew of testimonials from celebrities and pundits from beyond the world of sports.

The latest examples of this last phenomenon: Bill Cosby and former Secretary of Education and professional scold William J. Bennett.

Bennett's latest post for CNN features the simple headline "Don't Mock Tim Tebow." In it, he lauds Tebow as "a role model for sports fans everywhere" before noting that "instead of lifting him up, too many commentators, critics and even fellow athletes mock and deride him and hope that he fails." Then, after knocking Detroit Lions players who engaged in Tebowing after a sack, as well as onetime Broncos QB Jake Plummer, who said, "I wish he'd just shut up," Bennett concludes with this:

C.S. Lewis warned us of this. He wrote in "The Abolition of Man," "We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst." We scoff at Tebow and all that he represents and are horrified at the scandals at Penn State and Syracuse. We are right to be horrified, but we shouldn't make fun of our good men.

Men such as Tebow are not in over supply. Despite what his critics say, he should not stop what he is doing. We need men like him, the type of men many fathers would want their daughters to marry and many mothers would want their sons to grow up to be.

As for Cosby, he's featured in a new video telling those who ridicule the Chosen One that they don't know anything about "fooooot-baaaaalll." But he can't resist making a joke about how those worried about bad weather in Denver on March 31, when Cosby is scheduled to make an appearance here, should "call Tim Tebow and ask him for a great day."

Hope you didn't mean that mockingly, Bill -- because if you did, William Bennett will give you an earful.

Check out the Cosby video below.

More from our Sports archive: "Tim Tebow 5th worst QB in NFL according to ESPN's obviously confused quarterback metric."

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