Florida Gators: Tim Tebow's Fall From Grace

tre wellsCorrespondent INovember 3, 2009

STARKVILLE, MS - OCTOBER 24:  Quarterback Tim Tebow # 15 of the Florida Gators stands on the sidelines during the 2nd half against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, at Davis Wade Stadium on  October 24, 2009 in Starkville, Mississippi  (Photo by Rick Dole/Getty Images)
Rick Dole/Getty Images

In the SEC, as well as the entire NCAA, no one is more hated, yet respected, than Tim Tebow.


As a Tennessee Volunteer fan, I have feared, but respected him for four years.


He is a man of conviction, devotion and until yesterday, great character.


I always admired Tebow for his continual stance that he is a man of great faith, constantly witnessing to others through his words, and actions.


It takes someone with a special kind of faith to desire the stage, the platform and the mountain he relishes, in order to spread the Gospel. It is a message more of us should want to hear, but unfortunately sometimes don’t consider as important as the score of the current ballgame, or the beginning of a good movie.


Tebow wears verses from the bible under his eyes like a billboard to spread the good word. His actions in life speak to his conviction. It is the single reason he is so respected despite being a thorn in the side of every other college program he plays.


On Saturday, Brandon Spikes, a co-captain to Tebow, committed a grotesque act in which he attempted to gouge the eyes out of a freshman running back at Georgia. The video itself will make your skin crawl.


There is no question of the act, or the intentions of the aggressor.


Oddly enough, it does not surprise me as much that Spikes committed the act, or that head coach Urban Myer looked the other way with his pitiful half game suspension. Neither person can be, or has been, labeled for their great character.


What does surprise me is Tebow’s reaction.


“I don’t think that we did anything in that game that they didn’t do,” Tebow told reporters.


Really, Tim? That is your stance?


Don’t get me wrong, things happen at the bottom of a pile, during a football game, that are not meant for younger eyes to see.


In addition, I understand a player's need to stick up for his team-mate.


This is much bigger than both of those situations. Spikes wasn't pinching and scratching to try and get the ball. This was a blatant act to gouge the eyes of a player.


The sight of Spike’s hand working feverishly to find the inside of the freshman’s helmet, while the player lay helpless with a half a ton of bodies lying on top of him, made me squirm as if I was watching SAW VI.


Aside of Albert Haynesworth’s despicable act against the Cowboys Andre Guroude, Spikes act was the most grotesque display of sportsmanship I have seen during a game in my 37 years.


Again, I expect Urban Myer to have a soft hand in response to this. The dozens of arrests that Florida players have had under Myer's watch have set a precedent as to Myers conviction. But Tebow is, or was, better than that.


Tebow’s response is that he feels Spikes wasn’t doing something that Georgia players weren’t doing themselves.


That is the response of a seven-year-old after being caught stealing gum from the drug store.


Where is Tebow’s conviction now?


Where is his message now?


Am I to believe that it is easy to spread the word when everything is running smoothly, but if the road starts to get rocky, it’s OK to deviate from our moral responsibility?


Wearing “John 3:16” under your eyes for a big game is one thing, but when the chance comes to do the right thing in the face of adversity is when your message will be heard louder than ever.


Not only did Tebow miss that opportunity, he basically undid a mountain of good works by overlooking, and downplaying his team-mate’s malicious act.


Tebow has stated in the past his life’s mission is greater than football. I honestly believe that it is.


He just didn’t show it.