When she first found out she was pregnant with an unexpected child, Susan Wood seemed pretty optimistic about being able to keep the baby—that is, until her boyfriend at the time reacted in a way she couldn’t have imagined.
“You need to have an abortion, you can’t have the baby,” he told her. “I can’t have another kid, I’ll kill myself.”
It was a side of him that Susan had never seen before, and terrified of what he would do, she simply said, “OK,” if only for the sake of ending the conflict.
With her agreement, she found herself completely overwhelmed with shame and confusion. “I didn’t want anyone to know I was even thinking about that.”
In an attempt to erase the confusion from her mind, Susan headed to a Super Bowl party.
On the night of Feb. 7, 2010, during the first quarter of Super Bowl XLIV, Focus on the Family’s “Celebrate family, celebrate life” commercial aired for the first and only time. Pam Tebow appeared onscreen, reminiscing about her “miracle baby”—son Tim.
Susan, who had never watched college football, and couldn’t identify a single player, was shocked to recognize the 2007-Heisman-Trophy-winning college quarterback on the tv screen in front of her.
“A few weeks earlier, I was folding laundry alone and the TV was on ESPN,” she says. “I was too lazy to change the channel and watched an entire special on Tim Tebow. Literally the only college player in the entire country I could have named or recognized.”
The anti-abortion commercial wasn’t what anyone would have expected. The usual tone of condemnation and shame was completely replaced with an encouraging message of a mother’s love.
Of course, 85 percent of the Super Bowl hype is rooted in the commercials. There were hundreds of others played that day, but for some reason, Susan couldn’t get that one out of her head.