I'll cut right to the chase: It's time to move on. Sort of.
Tim Tebow is no longer the quarterback of the Florida Gators. It's been a fun ride, and no one who has played close attention to this generation of college football will dispute the fact that over the last three-plus seasons, we got to see one of the finest players in the game's storied history.
Tebow captured multiple All-American distinctions, breezed his way to the forefront of SEC record books, and was oh-so close to becoming the second player ever to win two Heisman trophies — and he navigated the glare of the the national spotlight under the guidance of his trusty moral compass.
But the next chapter is awaiting its own hero. I suppose college football now needs to cultivate its next endearing and enduring figure.
Statistically, Tebow was a gridiron folk giant; toss in his reputation as a squeaky-clean humanitarian, and you have a walking figure whose stature quickly outgrew life itself.
The chances are great that we'll never see another Tim Tebow. But what if we tried to manufacture the next closest thing? Could we then keep the good times (and the No. 15 love affair) rolling?
What if we could create a blueprint from which future college quarterbacks could devise a specific game plan for channeling their inner-Tebow?
Wouldn't that be fun? Or, if you live anywhere other than Gainesville, downright weird and annoying.
Something along the lines of "The Tim Tebow Handbook To Becoming The Ultimate College Quarterback."
Let's give it a whirl.
Future NCAA quarterbacks, let the following be your official guide.
As far as the real Tebow is concerned, we'll let him sweat out his NFL prospects at the Senior Bowl in Mobile while we work on his second coming.
Sure, solid footwork, a high arm slot, and all that other mechanical BS works in the NFL, but who cares about being technically sound in college, where at times the talent gap is so wide that a quarterback could throw for 300 yards underhand?
If you wanna look proper while winning in the pros, go read a Tom Brady handbook. Tebow's mantra was winning, but he preferred to look unorthodox in doing so.
So, too, can you.
Exhibit A: Take a good, hard look at this sidearm delivery on Tebow. Name another player who has been able to pull off a completion with his throwing hand at crotch-level?
Bernie Kosar, maybe. But that's about it.
And you can forget about wedging that throwing hand of yours up some center's rump and trotting back in the traditional seven-step drop, because around here, neither is regarded as standard procedure. In fact, they're frowned upon.
All aspiring Tebows will operate out of the spread, which means you'll sit back in the shotgun, take one step to either the left or right, and throw the ball—sidearm, of course.
In the NFL, pocket presence is crucial. Per the doctrine in this handbook, there is no such thing. If no receiver can be found within your first scan of the field, you will run, because there is no such thing as throwing the ball away.
Oh, and when you run, you will put someone on their ass.
Photo: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Jesus Christ. Allah. Poseidon, God of the Sea. Marijuana.
In this day and age of religious diversity, whichever divine being you serve is not nearly as important as the act of giving into the guidance of a force far greater than yourself.
We've all seen how powerful Tebow's devout Christian faith has been thus far in his journey, particularly in the last four years. For every touchdown scored there was a bended knee and a glance skyward, towards the heavens; for each eye there was a piece of black plastic inscribed with a Scripture verse.
Faith is a powerful thing. At times, it seemed to be the one thing saving No. 15 from collapsing under the relentless wave of media infatuation, fan adoration, and scrutiny from the opposition. And then there were the expectations, the weight of which were enough to crush even the holiest of rollers.
If you want to achieve a household name of Tebow-like proportions, you're going to need some help dealing with the accompanying pressure. I suggest religion, but your favorite psychadelic or narcotic, if done discreetly, would probably do the trick just the same.
Whatever helps you achieve an even keel between model citizen and All-American badass.
Photo: Associated Press
One of the worst euphemisms for sex, I know, but abstinence is key to the success of a college quarterback, at least according to this handbook.
If you've ever watched Tebow play, you know I'm not full of it.
As did I some time ago, most guys in college take what they can get in the department of sexual relations. Tebow, on the other hand, because of his ironclad stance on premarital sex, no doubt got at least a bit of enjoyment out of what he spent each waking hour of his days on campus turning down.
Whether girls are attracted to us for our looks or because we're a Heisman winner, guys don't care; we're game either way. But Tebow is no ordinary Joe with a sex drive; rather, he's some sort of droid with half a libido and a forcefield that's impervious to the advances of any horny coed within a 200-mile radius.
In other words, Tebow went ahead and turned the idea of self-control and sexual discipline completely on its head, presumably forgoing late-night romps down Sorority Row the night before a conference game in favor of something a tad more wholesome.
Seems to have worked for him, though.
If deprivation dots the path to enlightenment, then a difficult decision awaits those who strive to follow in Tebow's footsteps.
What would you rather have: possibly meaningless sex or a pair of BCS national championships?
Photo: Getty Images
I don't pretend to know how a circumcision is performed, and neither does Tim Tebow.
He doesn't pretend, because, to Tebow, lopping the foreskin off a discerning member of the male anatomy is second nature. And that's what makes him so awesomely multi-faceted.
And because Tebow is so awesomely multi-faceted, any college quarterback looking to mold himself in No. 15's likeness should strive for similar versatility.
But rest assured you don't have to travel to a Southeast Asia orphanage to get the job done.
If you're really serious about becoming the next legendary quarterback in college football, look no further than your university's hospital, where I'm sure any supportive medical professional would allow you to become a mohel for a day.
Just make sure you don't carry over any nervous jitters from your aforementioned battle for abstinence, or things could get messy in a hurry.
Photo: Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association
This one's pretty cut-and-dried: You pose half-nude for a GQ photographer at the 50-yard line of your home stadium while a fine mist is set off in the background, you'll be one step closer to ultimate Tebow-ness.
You don't, well, forget about it.
If you're not comfortable with showing a little skin for the sake of a men's magazine, then you're probably not equipped to handle the less-glamorous chores that come with being the universe's gift to college football.
In which case a spread in Homes & Gardens might be a little more your speed.
Perhaps "creepy" is a poor choice of words. Instead, let's use "playful."
Extramarital? Beautifully semi-platonic? Timeless?
No matter your adjective, there's no denying the unique bond that formed between Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer during their time together. And the connection they shared may never be duplicated.
Like a proud father playing catch with his son in a cheesy commercial for prostate health, Meyer was genuine in his emotion. Situated along the Florida sideline, Meyer was often spotted on Saturdays with a gleam in his eye and a lump in his throat as he marveled at the otherwordly accomplishments of his beloved quarterback.
And Meyer's cup runneth over on October 14 of last season when, in the waning moments of the Gators' 24-14 win over South Carolina, CBS cameras caught he and Tebow sharing an intimate moment that will forever be used to illustrate the blurred line between healthy coach-player relationship and something more.
There may not be a more affectionate and caring coach in college football than Meyer, but recent history suggests he may not be in the coaching ranks for the long haul because of health concerns.
As such, those who succeed Tebow and those who succeed Meyer will have to construct their own methods of relating on a higher level.
Here's the infamous Tebow-Meyer nuzzle:
Photo: Getty Images
How could any of us forget that fateful day?
It was September 26, 2009, and even though the setting was Lexington, Ky., what transpired was more fitting of the Hollywood treatment.
There he was, Tim Tebow lying motionless, face-up, and with a glazed-over look in his eye. America's Sweetheart had just been knocked stupid by the one-two combination of Wildcat defensive end Taylor Wyndham's pass rush and teammate Marcus Gilbert's leg.
Rivers ran red. Locusts swarmed. Lovers quarreled. Poets dreamed.
All the while, ESPN worked around the clock to make the Tim Tebow Concussion Watch a greater international concern than the genocide in Darfur.
For a whole two weeks, the planet had lost its equilibrium as we received reports about the quarterback's health. But, ultimately, order was restored as Tebow took advantage of the Gators' bye week to return without missing any action, starting two weeks later against LSU.
Let's face it: What's a storybook career as a college quarterback without a little adversity or drama, particularly a harrowing injury.
I wouldn't recommend wishing for a concussion. If you get some cobwebs cleaned out of your clock, so be it. But who wants the possible long-term effects?
I'd opt for a broken finger or something along the lines of turf toe. Of course, if your injury is going to incite widespread panic, you have to be a big deal, just as Tebow was when he went down.
But if you do as you're told in this handbook, that shouldn't be much of an issue.
First off, I can only begin to imagine how proud this young woman's parents must be.
Nothing says "daddy's little girl" like using textbook money to print a T-shirt that proclaims your demands for intercourse with the star quarterback in every conceivable fashion but one.
In the end, I doubt this not-so-secret admirer would have had much luck breaking the seal on Tebow's chastity belt, which is sutured at the hip. Or maybe we should be applauding her efforts, not only for summoning the courage to be a sort of X-rated spokesperson for female Tebow fans everywhere, but for stating her sexual requests with the eloquence and grace of a fifth-year English major.
Whether they love, hate, or feel the urge to rob you of your virginity, you know you've reached rarefied air when fans begin to personalize their attire with you in mind.
When you receive as much attention as Tim Tebow, it's real easy for everything to get stale. Before you know it, you'll be pigeonholed as someone who has no life outside of football.
Like Tebow, you must go the extra mile for a little variety.
On weekends, go to a few campus parties. Mingle with the little people. Pick up a heavyset man whom you've never met. It doesn't matter, as long as you show your fan base that you're one of them.
Doing this will only enhance your legacy and tell people that even though you're destined for millions in the NFL some day, you're not above living life on the ordinary once in a while.
Unfortunately, a majority of the work week in college football is far from ordinary most of the time. That's when you reassert your status as a superior human being by doing some tire-flipping.
As fans, it's easy to get caught up in the words of a player in the throes of passion, especially when that passion is triggered by the bitterness of defeat.
We see coaches and players alike give memorable — sometimes, even epic — speeches all the time. Or so we think, because over time those moments fade.
Unless they're immortalized in stone, bronze, and brick. Such is the case with the speech now warmingly referred to as The Promise.
Delivered by Tebow moments after the Gators' home loss to Ole Miss on September 27, 2008, the iconic pledge — in which Tebow undoubtedly laid the foundation for his legacy — is prominently plastered on UF's football complex as a constant reminder to all passersby that the words spoken that day ultimately fueled a team's national championship run.
As long as the world exists, there will always be people who inspire thousands with their words. But this one, considering what the Gators did on the field in the weeks that followed, may be hard to top for a while.
Naturally, each of these chapters is as meaningless as the one before if you can't bring home the bacon.
And, by bacon, I mean winning more than 85 percent of your starts, capturing two national titles in three years, and doing most of it in record-breaking fashion.
In his three seasons as the starter at Florida, Tebow threw for nearly 9,000 yards, completed 66 percent of his passes, and accounted for 132 touchdowns, including the magical mark of 55 from 2007 that propelled him into college football's upper stratosphere.
And it's not entirely impossible Tebow, had he not played behind Chris Leak his freshman season of 2006, would currently be the NCAA's winningest quarterback. As it stands, Texas' Colt McCoy, a four-year starter, ended his career with 45 victories.
Tebow finished his career with 35 wins as a starter.
If he's not remembered as the greatest college football player of all time, Tebow has surely cemented his legacy as the game's best-ever as an inspirational leader.
Either way, a matter of opinion such as this probably doesn't matter much to Gator fans.
All they care about is the acknowledgment that it seemed as if by some superhuman force, Tebow guided their beloved Florida program to unimaginable success, sometimes almost single-handedly.
Photo: Getty Images