This year was a wild year in College Football—maybe the wildest ever! Tim Tebow capped off an unbelievable year becoming the first player in College Football history to win the Heisman as an underclassman.
Sure, there are a few people in the past who "should have" won it, but no one ever had until Tebow.
I've been a Gator fan since I was a young kid—since Wayne Peace (early 80's), who started at QB for the Gators as a True Freshman. (In fact, Peace was playing in the FL -GA game a week before his 18th Birthday... he too was just a kid). Growing up, the Gators were my second favorite team... that is, until, 1993 when another Freshman ran onto the field. I saw # 7 come off the bench to lead the Gators on a comeback win against KY. And each time he threw a TD, I saw his clasped hands in prayer thanking God for the ability to play College Football.
You see, Danny Wuerffel was one of my new role models as well, (even though I was a couple years older). The GATORS were now my favorite team and I followed Danny's career very closely - even throughout the NFL. I am a Christian as well, and I like following players who use the platform they have been given to do something great with it.
Four SEC championships, a Heisman, and a National Championship later... I knew the Gators wouldn't be the same without Danny. Still, I tried... the Gators remained my favorite team because of the years 1993 through 1996. I really couldn't get into the QB's since then... Doug Johnson, Jesse Palmer, and Rex Grossman etc were good, but not until Chris Leak did I really enjoy following a career. However, it still didn't—couldn't—compare to Wuerffel.
But, coming into this year, the anticipation of someone who could actually replace Danny Wuerffel on the field and in the Gator hearts across the nation, we knew we had someone special in Tim Tebow. I knew we had a Heisman Trophy QB—I wasn't sure it would be this year, but I was sure it was inevitable!
Although known throughout the nation as one of the greatest QB's to ever come out of High School, Tim Tebow's arm and ability was questioned all summer long. Does he have an accurate arm? Can he throw the deep ball? Can he lead the Gators through a very tough SEC? Of course, Tebow and the Gators knew the answer, and soon the media did too. Game after game, Tebow led the Gators to high scoring, high powered, offensive landslides with the Gators on the right side of the victories, including the Tennessee game in which all eyes were on Tim.
And game after game, I sat and watched Tebow and the Gators with my kids (ages are 8, 6, 3, and 2.) We got the ESPN Game Plan just so we didn't miss any of the games that weren't on national TV. My oldest, Trevor, was playing his first year of Youth Football. When they asked my son before the season started what number he wanted, he yelled back, "15, Sir!" I said out loud to Coach, "that was my number when I played." My son yelled back, "Its also Tim Tebow's number too, Coach."
You see, Danny Wuerffel and Tim Tebow are household names in our family. My wife loves them too and, as she does College Football. No, we don't know them personally... but Trevor is the oldest of 4 kids and they all know the names of the 2 greatest QBs in College Football History... Danny and Tim. My son taught my youngest son, who is not quite 2 years old to say, "GO TEBOW!" And even my two daughter this year asked for a framed picture of Tim Tebow this year for Christmas. (Like my oldest son has.)
As a father, it matters who is leading your favorite team and who your kids watch and want to be like. It matters who they are on the field and off the field. My kids were so happy the night Tebow won the Heisman, without even a clue as to what the Trophy really means. They just knew it was a big deal.
My son has 2 framed art prints of Danny Wuerffel in his room, and some posters and magazine covers framed as well. I had already gotten him some Tebow stuff to go along with the Wuerffel stuff in his room, but I had no idea that I would be putting up Tebow art and magazine covers in my daughters' rooms too—but it was on her Christmas List and now its under the tree.
Like the Tebow's finding Wuerffel to be the role model for their young Timmy, how many fathers out there are using Tebow as the role model for their kids? I know that's who my son wants to emulate on and off the field. My son wants to be a Pastor and QB... like Wuerffel and Tebow!