I've spent the better part of the past three years loathing both Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators football team. Something about how he's the "Second Coming" and above all in the hierarchy of College Football just rubbed me the wrong way. Once I wrote down the exact reasons why I felt this way, something hit me.
How can I hate the guy when he's done nothing to garner the hatred???
Every reason I could muster really has nothing to do with him, but with fans & analysts making him out to be this God-like person, when all the guy wants to do is play football. I can actually admire that about a student-athlete (as I do with former FSU safety, Myron Rolle).
So now the bitter taste in my mouth finally has it's true cause: Florida Gator fans & college football analysts. Here are two things that (as Peter Griffin once said) "Grind My Gears:"
1) "The Speech" (Ole Miss upset of UF)
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, go find another article. It's not the speech itself that bothers me. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a guy coming off that kind of a loss who wants to be the leader of your team to come out and declare that he'll work harder than anyone has ever seen for the rest of the season and bring a BCS Championship to their school.
What UF did AFTER is unbelievable.
While the speech itself was very motivating and nice to hear, was it really necessary to have it bronzed and put on the side of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium? By doing this, the UF Athletics Department have basically put a bulls-eye on their own turf in the eyes of any team that enters. Just like on any given Sunday, a team can come in on a Saturday and put a licking on a team. All it needs is that little motivation. How about motivation in the form of a plaque on the side of the stadium?
2) 2009 BCS National Championship
Before I go crazy about this, let me first say the Gators deserved to win that game. It was a well-played game and they were clearly the better team.
However, Fox announcer Thom Brenneman blew my mind when he said the now-famous quote:
"If you're fortunate to spend five or 20 minutes around Tim Tebow, you're better for it."
The first thought that came to mind was what Brenneman could do to himself (trying to keep it G-rated here). The second thought was how on Earth can you compare this kid to some sort of huge public figure? Let's set the record straight: He is a 22-year old college football player. A very talented one, at that. He does missionary work with his family and that's great. But let's hold off on the comparisons to the likes of Ghandi & Martin Luther King, Jr. for a while.
Ultimately, Tebow has not asked for any of this publicity. You've got to hand it to the guy for handling it as well as he has. All I'm asking is for people (namely rabid UF fans with false senses of entitlement & ESPN analysts) to take it easy on trying to make this kid any bigger than he needs to be.
Will he go down as one of the best to play at the collegiate level? Probably. With that said, let's not make him, or any other player for that matter, bigger than the game itself.