Tim Tebow is just an ordinary American.
He is a devout Christian that actually reads his bible and takes many of its passages to heart.
This quote he said about teammates at Florida includes the Golden Rule: “You just try to be nice to everybody and treat them all the same. Treat them how you would want to be treated.”
Tebow loves sports, namely football, but baseball too.
In an article by Ron Higgins of The Commercial Appeal , a newspaper out of Memphis, Tennessee, Tebow spent time leading up to the NFL Draft in the small southern city having fun with high schoolers.
“He also got a chance to take batting practice with the MUS baseball team and hit 12 of 15 pitches out of the park. ‘The kids were just awed by how far he hit the ball,’ Memphis-based agent Jim Sexton said. ‘The best thing about Tim is he thinks he’s just another guy and acts that way. He’s oblivious to everything going on around him.’”
In fact, Tebow said of himself, “You have to decide what you have to be proud about, and being a football player doesn’t make you any more special than anyone else.
“Football gives me a platform and with that platform comes a responsibility and obligation to make a difference in people’s lives.”
Yeah, everything about Tebow is ordinary except for the fact that he’s a completely unique NFL player.
At 22 years old, Tebow just finished four years at one of the biggest party schools in the country in Florida—and he gave them much to celebrate, winning two National Championships there. But while likely everyone else on the team was out participating in drunken debauchery—you know, things college kids do—Tim was at home studying Bible verses or the playbook.
The starting quarterback is supposed to date the head cheerleader, especially when he’s constantly competing for Heisman Trophies, but Tebow has not been shy about letting people know he’s a virgin.
And at 22, Tim Tebow is already one of the most known faces and names in America—meaning he could easily bank in on that stardom if he wanted to.
But here’s another twist in the Tebow biography to date: now he’s turning down endorsement deals that are worth big time bucks.
Yes, he’s signed up to be the cover boy on EA Sports NCAA Football 2011, but he’s saying nay to multiple other million dollar deals.
His agent, Jim Sexton, continued, “Within the next five years, Tim clearly has a chance to be one of the most endorsable athletes on the planet.
“I had one CEO of a major Fortune 500 company tell me, ‘You know what, Jimmy? For a corporation to put a face on their brand, this guy (Tebow) is the real deal. He’s the one guy who’s not going to be a scandal two or three years from now.’ “
Tebow is the Holy Grail of athlete endorsers.
He’s the safe guy that lives up to a higher moral standard, like many thought with Tiger Woods, but at this point he’s unattainable because he’d rather focus on football.
“I’m trying to work hard and not get my mind cluttered with all that,” Tebow said. “When it gets to the point when something needs to be presented to me, I see it. Right now, it’s all ball for me.”
It might have been crazy for Nike to offer LeBron James $65 million before he stepped a Nike covered foot on an NBA court, but we would have all thought him insane to turn it down.
But Tebow’s not like LeBron or Tiger, or basically any other athlete in the massive money business that is professional sports in 2010. He’s not all about the money, he’s in it to play a game and impact people's lives in some positive way.
In a world that’s become stuffy, no putrid, with the stench of overpaid, egomaniacal, careless, law-breaking athletes, Tim Tebow is a breath of fresh air.
Tebow isn’t out to buy cars and houses; he legitimately wants to make his team better in any way possible.
The following are only a few of the quotes Tebow has rattled off since being selected in the first round by the Denver Broncos, these ones coming immediately after the draft’s first night.
“They know they’re gonna get my heart and soul and everything that comes with it.”
When asked what he proved when working out for the Broncos Tebow replied, “I think when I was working, that I did whatever it took. But also, whatever they asked me to do I was gonna do it.”
When asked where he fits in the Broncos’ lineup he said, “I’m gonna go in there and do what the coaches tell me and I’ll fit in whatever way I can.”
And when Tebow was asked what Denver was getting in terms of a player he replied, “Someone that’s gonna work, someone that’s gonna compete, someone that’s gonna do whatever they ask.”
Tim Tebow is a coach’s dream.
He’s intelligent, with an extremely strong work ethic. He’s a winner. He's confident, but never cocky. He’s a leader by example and he knows how to win over teammates.
Straight from the horse’s mouth, quotes from head stallion Josh McDaniels on Tim Tebow:
“That confidence affects everybody. We could see it last week at rookie camp. There were a bunch of rookies out there with no confidence, except him. He’s got such confidence that he will just not let himself fail.
“And that quality sometimes is very underrated. There are people with a great deal of God-given ability who are fun to watch, and it’s really interesting to see what kind of seasons they’ll put together.
“Then there are guys who will say they won’t fail, our team’s not going to fail, and they have a ‘I’m not going to let you down’ attitude. And that’s what you notice with Tim.”
McDaniels has noticed Tebow’s amazing attitude, which was almost certainly a reason he drafted the QB, and Tebow’s intelligence is as high as his spirits.
The Denver Post’s Woody Paige mentioned in his piece on the Broncos needing to trade away Kyle Orton saying Tebow “has already absorbed the playbook,” one that Paige himself described to be as thick as an encyclopedia in the preseason of 2009.
It’s not only McDaniels—who will certainly always be linked to Tebow—and the Denver media’s biggest voice in Paige that believe in Tebow. Another prominent figure in Colorado sports is enamored with the rookie QB as well—John Elway.
Elway recently told Denver’s 9News,
“I’m excited, I’m excited for him, obviously he’s a great kid, great character and a guy that’s going to work his tail off and be a great example for everybody else. He’s got the potential, he won at the college ranks, and won the Heisman, so there is talent there, there’s a want there. I think we have a great competitor so that gives us hope.
“Josh (McDaniels) has got a track record of teaching quarterbacks, and as a quarterback that’s the most important thing is to have that relationship with your head coach, and I think they’re going to have that.
“I’m looking forward to getting a little more involved and I’m looking forward to meeting Tim. We’ve texted back and forth, so he did text me when he came in town, which I thought was pretty neat, so I’m looking forward to meeting him and if I can help in any way, I’m more than glad to.”
Elway didn’t give Brian Griese or Jake Plummer an endorsement anywhere near the way he’s talking about Tebow, and Elway knows a little bit about playing QB in Denver.
And while some of the more prominent names in Colorado sports are a mile high on Tebow, many others aren’t so quick to think he’s the savior at quarterback.
While some fans are on the fence when talking about the Broncos selecting Tebow in the first round of the 2010 draft, others are downright against him being on the team.
Whether it’s his strict Christian views, including the pro-life commercial he starred in with his mother during the Super Bowl, or that he looks like a suck-up with all of his positivity—Tebow is a polarizing figure.
Or maybe it’s because McDaniels traded three picks away to move back into the first round to take Tebow, a player that’s been surrounded by doubt about his football playing ability.
Whatever the case, Tebow has become a divisive topic among Bronco Country, and he likely will be until he’s done in Denver.
One thing is for sure: Broncos fans love a winner, and at this point—a four year stretch missing the postseason for the first time since the early 1980s—they need a winner.
Whether Tebow starts in 2010 or shortly thereafter is to be seen, but at least Denver knows they have a winner in Tebow—someone who will give it his all in hope that he’s helping his team.
Tim Tebow may not be the next John Elway, no one will, but he’s definitely not the next Griese, Plummer, or Cutler—Tebow’s too unique to be anyone but himself.
Rich Kurtzman is a Colorado State University Alumnus and a freelance sports journalist. Along with being the Denver Broncos Featured Columnist here on NFLTouchdown.com, Kurtzman is the Denver Nuggets FC on bleacherreport.com , the CSU Rams Examiner on examiner.com , a contributor to coloradosportsdesk.com and the Regional Correspondent for stadiumjourney.com.
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