Tim Tebow Talks Playing in Minor Leagues, Top Florida Memories, More in B/R AMA

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistSeptember 23, 2020

New York Mets' Tim Tebowduring a spring training baseball game against the Miami Marlins on Saturday, Feb 22, 2020, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The Marlins won 5-3. (AP Photo/Vera Nieuwenhuis)
Vera Nieuwenhuis/Associated Press

Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow remains busy as a member of the New York Mets' minor league system, working as a football analyst for the SEC Network and serving as an activist for social causes, such as ending human trafficking.

The 2007 Heisman Trophy winner rose to superstardom at the University of Florida as part of two Gators' national championship teams. Although his pro football career lasted just six years, he's remained one of the country's most well-known athletes.

He spoke with Bleacher Report on Wednesday about some of his best moments at Florida and in the NFL along with life as a baseball minor leaguer after the MiLB season was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.

The following is the full transcript from the B/R AMA session.


@noahtheboat: What was your favorite moment as a player all time?

First two that come to mind: my senior year, when I ran out of the tunnel for the last time at the Swamp (Florida). Then we go play FSU for the last time, who we can't stand, and we go ahead and beat them for the 4th year in a row. Florida-Georgia game meant a lot to me. My parents first date was to that game in JAX. I had the chance my senior year to break Herschel Walker's TD rushing record. And I had the chance to break that, and hand the ball to my dad. That was really special.


@BleedGreen_99: If you could play with any player, past or present, baseball or football, who would it be and why?

Jackie Robinson. His character and kindness, matched with his courage and his boldness, made for an incredible man. He would've been a fascinating person and player to get to know.


@codymking: Would you rather throw a touchdown when trailing to win Super Bowl or walk-off grand slam Game 7 down by 3 to win the World Series?

I would say I'd take either one, they'd both be exciting. It's harder to hit a grand slam than throw a TD pass, but it's the Super Bowl. I think I'd pick the World Series since it's so unique.


@Steve_Perrault: What was your inspiration for the "30 minutes for the rest of our lives" speech during halftime of the championship game?

I was trying to have the right perspective for understanding the big moment. In all of our lives we have very few big monumental moments. But we have to understand when they are there and we have to take advantage of them. That team, some guys were coming back the next year and some weren't, that team would never be the same again. We would never be able to have this moment again. We would never be able to finish out this team's legacy and destiny again. This was it. There's 30 minutes and we have a choice. We have a choice to rally together to make our mark, or we can kind of just go through the motions. I really felt like at that moment, this 2008 Florida team in the next 30 minutes—this is how we're gonna be remembered. To a certain extent, we did have those 30 minutes for the rest of our lives. I think it's important to rally people to that moment so they understand the bigness of it and how we control it and there's something we can do about it. A lot of people think I was giving a lot of speeches in front of teams but I didn't really do it all the time. But when I did it, I wanted it to be because it was the right moment. For me that was something that came from the heart. Looking at my teammates' faces in that video, you can see that that team was together.


@JRD22: What were you thinking when Demaryius Thomas scored the TD in overtime in the playoffs?

At first when I walk up to the line of scrimmage I see Troy Polamalu coming down and I'm thinking one of these safeties has to rotate back. We literally put that play in on the sideline right beforehand. We had run a version like it but nothing from that formation or from the gun. We had done a lot of zone read that game so we faked another zone read and pulled it back and no one went back. I knew I had a shot at him and then when he caught it and gave the stiff-arm and he was going I was so excited but I was also like 'Please don't get caught! Get there! Get there!' That was one of those great memories. It was because of the win, but I think it was the way that we won that game. It was the belief in that team and the fact that we weren't given a chance at all that year to do anything. Beating a great Steelers team, best defense in the NFL. After that win all the players stood on the field and went to see the fans for some 30 minutes, some an hour. It was an incredible atmosphere.


@Koolaisman69: What's the minor league life like?

It's had its ups and downs and it's definitely had some long bus rides. But I love the opportunity to compete. The highs, the lows, the slumps, the hitting streaks. That's what baseball is about. It truly has been something that's been so fun for me. I won't say necessarily that the bus rides are that fun, but the competing and the battling and getting better and pursuing the passions in your heart is something that means a lot to me. So from that standpoint it's been great.


@NEPatrul: What was playing for [Bill] Belichick like for a short period of time?

It was great. I was fortunate to have a relationship with him since my freshman year of college and still have been able to keep up with him somewhat since. I think he's a great coach, I think he'll go down as one of the best to ever do it. I learned a lot from him. Unfortunately I didn't last real long, but I still learned a lot from him and I enjoyed my time.


@thatguy827: What do you think was the biggest difference between college football and the NFL?

Probably some of the anticipation. You go into practice and Champ Bailey is the corner and he's seen a slant route thousands of times. The anticipation, getting it out early, finding the weaknesses in a lot of teams and defenses. I was fortunate to be able to play in the SEC with a lot of great competition. Shoot, some of the defenses we played against—LSU, Alabama and Georgia...their entire defenses went to the NFL. The NFL game continues to speed up, so you really have to anticipate. There's a lot of different nuances to it, but that's one that stands out.


@Dana_Grey: How close were you with players on the 2006-07 Florida hoops team?

We had a lot of classes with those guys, we hung out a good amount. They were all great guys—Al Horford, Joakim Noah, Corey Brewer. The whole squad was full of really good guys. It was so fun to be able to see the success and feel like we were a part of it and feel like they were a part of ours. Seeing the campus go crazy for all those championships. But it was so much more than that. Our softball team was awesome, our swimming team, our gymnastics team. It was a really special time because you honestly felt like 'Who's winning the next championship?' Because someone was. While it was fun with the basketball team and those were great relationships, it was also fun because all the sports at that time were so dominant.


The 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team—tell us about that and what role you play there.

I'm so grateful that I get to be an ambassador for the 2020 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team. I had the great privilege of being a part of this team in 2009. It means so much to me because there are a lot of awards for what these young men do on the field, but there aren't a lot of awards for what they do off the field. I think it's so important to celebrate that and highlight it because there are so many that are doing amazing things. We have some of these young men going on mission trips. Trevor Lawrence has done so much this year, Sam Ehlinger has raised almost $200K for COVID relief. It's amazing what they're doing and the impact that they're having and it's why I get so passionate about this. They're making such an impact with kids all around their communities and all around the world. That's why I'm so grateful to be a part of this team.


Tebow announced the 2020 Good Works Team earlier Wednesday on Twitter:

Tim Tebow @TimTebow

One of my favorite college football traditions is the @Allstate AFCA #GoodWorksTeam. #ad   These 22 student athletes show it’s one thing to be a legend on the field, but another to be a hero in the community. So proud of this group and the impact they’ve made on so many people! https://t.co/kDUz9ejB88

The 33-year-old Philippines native has been with the Mets organization since 2016. He was selected to play for the Philippines national baseball team in the qualifiers for the 2021 World Baseball Classic, but the games have been postponed by the pandemic.