In one of the most ringing endorsements imaginable, polarizing free-agent quarterback Tim Tebow has received the support of legendary martial artist Chuck Norris in his pursuit of finding a job in the NFL next season.
In a column written for NewsBusters, Norris talks about Tebow’s skill and how the enigmatic QB reminds him of himself when he was competing in martial arts:
Tebow is a player who rises to the occasion and delivers big in critical moments. He reminds me of myself when I used to compete in martial arts…I would spar with my black belts in class, and sometimes they would outscore me. Yet in the tournaments, I would defeat them. My students used to ask me, ‘Why is it that we can contend equally against you in class but can't beat you in the tournaments?’ My answer was always the same: ‘When it counts, I rise to the occasion.’
Norris' feelings on Tebow via tumbler.
As we saw during Tebow’s dream regular season and playoff run with the Denver Broncos in 2011, the QB isn't the sharpest passer and his mechanics are far from perfect, but he performs above his ability in clutch situations.
All he needs is the proper opportunity, and Norris believes that should come with the Jacksonville Jaguars, going as far as calling out owner Shad Khan and using Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes to convince him the QB is worth an investment:
So let me respectfully challenge Khan to consider these words from Dr. King: ‘There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.’
Norris is one of the most famous martial artists in history, and his mainstream television and movie work—along with the countless Chuck Norris jokes that have flooded the internet over the years—makes him one of the most marquee names to support Tebow.
This is not the first time Norris has come to the aid of athletes in need either, as he was portrayed as a huge advocate for Average Joe's gym (the team equivalent of Tim Tebow) in the movie DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story:
Now, he’s bringing that support to the stage of life.
After being mistreated by the New York Jets last season and now being blackballed by teams across the league thus far this offseason, Norris is voicing his opinion that the talented QB deserves a chance to play for another team in the NFL.
Norris believes that whether it’s as a backup or a starter, Tebow's ability to win when on the field warrants a risk from any team with a need for depth at quarterback.
Norris may not be an authority when it comes to football, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Tebow wins games in the clutch and rises to the occasion.
If there was ever a single player that defined the Chuck Norris spirit in the NFL it would have to be Tebow. With the same hard work, determination and attitude, Norris’ support of Tebow is something everyone should note.
When Norris speaks, people must listen.
We're looking at you, Jacksonville.