Yes, I am a Gator. And yes, there is a small side of me that will actually be relieved when Tim Tebow walks off the field for the last time. All the gushing and oozing the press has done portraying him as some sort of God or Super Hero will finally be done. Given time for all the vitriol to die down, people may look more objectively at how a kid has grown into a man and in the process added in some small way to what makes college athletics so great. Tim himself would tell you he is just like thousands of other student-athletes across the Universities and Colleges in this great country.
There are volumes of examples of student-athletes that:
· Are great students
· Are great role models
· Live their life within their faith
· Like to give back to less fortunate
· Play their sport with true passion and emotion
· Are great athletes
· Are great leaders
· Are great teammates
Any journalist worth a hill of beans could go visit campuses and find stories to report on countless student-athletes that would inspire us all and rejuvenate our belief that good people do exist amongst the student-athlete ranks. The sad part is that it is really much more common than we all acknowledge. But good stories rarely sell, controversy and conspiracy sells.
The small difference that makes Tebow's story special is simple. Today, where we read about all the convictions, drug issues, and how fame taints people so much that as a society we have almost come to expect some of the greatest to fall (see Tiger Woods); it is inspirational to see someone under that ridiculous microscope stays true to himself in his morals and ethics.
Many non-Gator fans respond to what I believe is more towards the laughable fawning and love affair the press had for an all around good kid to the point I found myself talking to the television telling the announcers to please shut up. The typical attempts to out “scoop” each other that went on amongst the broadcasters brought us ridiculous stories and in game comments around events that if it were any other player, would not even receive mention. All of it done to simply to "create" stories. Tim does not control that, the Gator fans do not control that, such poor reporting coverage is simple a beast of its own.
I look forward to the day more people will look back and realize that a mere common student-athlete accomplished some amazing things on and off the field. Not some artificial image created and managed as we see so carefully done by celebrities and professional athletes today.
The level of animosity unleashed on what amounts to simply a good guy wanting to lead and be an example for others is unprecedented, but quite understandable given the extent the press has force fed him to the people. For true impressions, we should ask players and coaches of both the Gators and their competitors. It is safe to say the vast majority would tell you Tim has been something special for college football and they would love to have had him on their team. It is impressive the number of Alabama fans, with as heated as our rivalry grows, remember just four years ago when they were oh so close to signing Tebow at their school and recognizing the simple turn of this story would have had that event occurred.
So do not let the people who are in business of selling advertising and are willing sensationalize everything to get a story that sells arbitrarily set the tone for your judgment for a kid that simply and sincerely loves the game and wants to do great things on and off the field.