One could argue that Tim Tebow and Tiger Woods are the most talked about athletes over the past few months. The former is an amateur turning professional, and the latter is a professional who acted like an immature and foolish amateur.
Both athlete's backgrounds are well known. Tebow, the son of Christian missionaries, has become a household name based on his actions on and off the field. Woods, the son of a former U.S. Army infantry officer, is known for his on-the-course mastery and off-the-field infidelity.
Prior to Thanksgiving Day, 2009, Tiger was a role model and beloved sports hero. It all came crashing down when he drove his Escalade into a tree after an alleged argument with his wife. No time in history has an athlete crashed to earth like Tiger Woods did the past few months.
Tebow has been in the spotlights since he announced his intentions to play college football at the University of Florida. In four years he rose to prominence as a QB and leader of the Gators football team. The spotlight grew brighter immediately when the clock clicked to zero at the end of the Sugar Bowl.
Tebow, still a hero to the Gator Nation and his fans, has been under the microscope as he attempts to prove his critics wrong by becoming a successful NFL QB.
Woods, on the other hand, is no longer a hero to many of those that have followed him, but soon he will attempt to not only win golf tournaments, but the hearts and minds of his former fans, too.
When's the last time your turned on your television, radio, or computer and not read a sports headline regarding Tebow or Woods? Honestly, is there anyone out there that keeps up with the daily world of sports not completely up to date with the stories of Tim Tebow or Tiger Woods?
With the exception of a few haters out there, most fans of football are hoping Tebow succeeds in the NFL and proves his critics wrong. Unfortunately, the damage may be too great for Tiger to win back all the fans he lost do to his playing the field.
Some may point to the likes of Kobe Bryant, Mike Tyson, and Ray Lewis and say that all will be forgiven and forgotten once time passes and Tiger wins a few golf tournaments. Perhaps, but golf is a different sport, environment, and culture, and the fans of the "gentleman's sport" may not be so forgiving.
Tebow, if he fails to become a NFL QB, will continue to be hero to the Gator Nation. He will move on to other endeavors that he has a passion for, and perhaps return to the University of Florida as a coach, or even Urban Meyers' replacement one day.
Woods, on the other hand, may never recover what he has lost in terms of fans, endorsements, and his overall reputation. We may never know the entire story, including the early morning car accident to the scores of leaked stories of the women he had affairs. I doubt we will ever know the truth.
Tim Tebow and Tiger Woods—both high profile and polarizing athletes in the world today. Will they both remain under the microscope, or will one or both eventually fade off into obscurity?
Tune in tomorrow and the day after; I doubt their stories will go away any time soon.