Let me begin writing this article by putting aside any potential evidence of bias that may arise in the following.
Yes, I am a Georgia Bulldog fan, and no player on any level of sport in which I commit my fanhood to hits my deepest nerves like Tim Tebow. While I sit season after season and watch my favorite college football team cripple under the hype and settle for "almost" seasons, Tim Tebow is getting handed trophy after trophy and showing up on sports channels twenty-four-seven.
So for those who have picked up on my die hard Bull-"dawg" spirit, I will say that I do not necessarily despise Tim Tebow. Tebow is a prime example of a celebrity who understands the realm they live in and the responsibilities at hand.
I know; I had to put up with the Michael Vick shenanigans. No person is more qualified to be an ambassador of the University of Florida, the NCAA, maybe potentially the NFL, and maybe even our country, than Tim Tebow.
However, I am set on my own conclusions that Tim Tebow may just be one of the most overrated athletes to ever--and yes I said ever, hit the sports scene. I got on the EA Sports team builder the other day, which prematurely has presented onlookers with the player ratings for the upcoming NCAA Football '10.
I happened to look up QB #15's rating (that would be the EA carbon copy of Tim Tebow) and was astounded to find his overall rating was a 99.
Now, I know you readers are probably thinking, "Wait? You are basing your argument on an illegitimate video game ranking system? Please!"
And the answer would be no, I am not, but the fact that a somewhat qualified panel of people over at EA sees Tim Tebow as a perfect athlete baffles me.
So let me expand my argument. For any of those who watch Sportscenter on a regular basis, or College Football Live, or any of those local pregame shows during the fall, we all know that Tim Tebow is more often than not the primary topic of discussion.
He has been in the spotlight at Florida for the past two years, and in translation eventually got labeled with just about every gratifying identity imaginable. "Superman" is just one of the many nicknames that have been given to Tebow.
But what makes Tim Tebow so great? (Or, seemingly great, as I would put it.) I think most who would be quick to argue with me would say, "Well, he has a national championship."
Well, Chris Leak had a national championship, and he was quickly forgotten.
Too often in sports is credit given to the individual in the spotlight rather than the entire cast and crew. Too often in sports, and especially in sports media, is the individual not only put in the spotlight but sucked dry by people glorifying them at a disturbing rate, only to see that individual settle back to earth once again.
For example, LeBron James. James' three pointer against the Magic in game two was shown on Sportscenter at least fifty times while I was eating my dinner at a restaurant in Ohio.
Where is LeBron now? That development and red carpet roll out from ESPN came back to smack them in face did it not?
And I cannot wait, until Tebow leaves Florida and falls from his pedestal.
It is not the individual that wins championships in team sports. My point to make is that Tim Tebow just so happens to be the quarterback--the most emphasized and critiqued part of a football team-- on one of the most dynamic offenses to ever hit the gridiron.
Tebow's delivery is slow. His mechanics are goofy. His throws are sloppy. He does not have the best arm.
What makes Tebow great is that the few things he is good at just so happen to be a vital part of Florida's overwhelmingly superior offensive formula. Florida's offense is built on misdirection, and on the defense having to account for all six skill position players at the same time.
They are surrounded by superior talent like Percy Harvin (previously), Jeff Demps, Chris Rainey, Aaron Hernandez, etc. Every single skill position player on Florida's roster is a weapon that defensive coordinators want to put extra guys on.
Usually when gameplanning, you can focus your attention on a few playermakers and maybe double or bracket accordingly to help slow down the attack. For Georgia, expect people to do this to AJ Green.
Expect people to do that to Julio Jones at Alabama. People did it when gameplanning for Michael Vick in the NFL.
But, when gameplanning for Florida, you cannot do that. You cannot put two men on a flanker, or a tailback is going to tear you apart.
If you bring men in the box they will attack you on the edge and destroy you. You have to play individual matchups against Florida's offense, and individually they are all around the most talented and dangerous slew of homerun breakers in college football.
So here you have this guy Tim Tebow. He does not have to make laser throws.
He does not have to throw the ball fifty yards downfield. His offense is based on misdirection; and with so many superior athletes at each position, defending that type of offense is on paper impossible.
That is where Tebow's success comes from. He does nothing amazing, remarkable, or unheard of.
I do not care if he did a jump pass for a touchdown. Seriously?
There is nothing outstanding about jumping and tossing a wounded duck fourteen feet. It was the misdirection and overcompensation of the opponents defense that was on their heels that made the jump pass work.
And it is the misdirection and overcompensation of the opponent's defense that opens everything up at each gap and alley when Florida is on offense that leads to Tebow's easy eleven yard runs and wide open misdirected pass plays.
If Tebow played in a pro style offense, like the one at Georgia, he would likely not even be starting. He does not have the arm, accuracy or the mechanics to play in a professional style offense--or at a professional level.
He is just an awkwardly tough to bring down, glorified fullback, with a mediocre arm, who just happens to fit perfectly into one of the most genius offensive blueprints known to man.
I respect Florida's offense like nothing else, and I respect Tim Tebow as a person and a leader, however I am sick and tired of seeing Tebow get center stage and being labeled one of the greatest players to ever play the game.
Central Michigan fans would likely agree with me. For those who are unaware, Central Michigan's Dan LeFevour put up career numbers in passing and rushing (in a similar system to Florida's) that are just as daunting and dominating as Tebow's.
However, LeFevour played for a mid major school in a tiny market, and more notably never won a championship. It is funny how a team accomplishment like a national title, on a stage that only a select group of members can even bid for (thanks to the flawed BCS system), can take something of regularity and stretch and skew it into something it is not.
The sports world is too quick to get their hands on the most accessible and sexy items and blow them completely out of proportion. What about Dan LeFevour?
What about former Tulane University running back Matt Forte? Thats right-- nobody even knew who he was until he hit the NFL.
A year with Chicago, and Forte is one of the highest rated fantasy players coming into this year. But, Forte did hit the NFL.
Not through media hype and attention, but through actually having what it takes to perform in his profession. Tim Tebow is no Matt Forte, and I highly doubt he will find a place as a dominant player in the NFL.
The people at ESPN and other multimedia groups know this, and yet they continue to lift Tebow on their shoulders. I highly doubt the NFL is going to treat Tebow the same way, and it will amuse me when all of the football pundits out there "act surprised" when Tebow falls behind.