Why Tim Tebow Is the King of Florida
Tim Tebow's inescapable now, his face and quotes taking over SportsCenter and Sports Illustrated alike. Your friends who don't know football know him. Your friends who do can't stop talking about him, arguing for or against the quarterback.
You're either for Tebow, or against Tebow. Middle ground doesn't seem to exist with this burly, passing-skill depraved but still-winning signal caller. Denver loves him right now. They, as a city and fanbase, clamored for him to start and have cheered during the ever-so-close victories since.
But will it last? What if losses like the one against the Patriots pile up? Will "Tebow Mania," like all fads, start to quell?
Once place the adoration will never atrophy – Florida. He'll always be a hero there, a king on the gridiron and off. When Bleacher Report ran a poll asking fans to crown their local king, Tebow was Florida's undisputed ruler.
High School Legend
There's different stages of "Legend." Make no mistake, they all can't be grouped into one. Their are tiers, a way to differentiate who was great and who was absolutely amazing. Everybody who plays big-boy FBS ball on Saturday's was a legend at their respective High School.
You don't make the Big 10 or Pac 12 or SEC without being a star. But like anything, some stars are brighter, like Tebow was at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra. By the time he was done there, he was one of the top recruits in the nation.
He was premium, able to rattle off amazing plays, the kind that will forever be remembered in highlight reels. Tebow was a kid with a golden ticket of talent, and as such had a buffet of post-graduation options.
His decision to stay in-state made him a hero.
Want to make an entire state swoon over you in a matter of months? Step 1: Play football at the school named after the state itself. Step 2: Help that school win the BCS National Championship.
Tebow made this look easy in during his freshman year in 2006. When the Gators got into red zone situations, he would shine, rumbling forth past the goal line or dropping in a pass for six points. He did one of each against Ohio State to help the University of Florida end the season on top.
Optimistic Florida fans minds became excited about his prospects. The ones who worried would soon become converts.
Any doubts of Tebow's ability to lead were quelled after his 2007 season. Yeah, winning the Heisman Trophy has a way of doing such a thing.
With the offense now his, Tebow owned it. He put up Excel document numbers. He did from his first game against Western Kentucky (300 yds., 3 TDs) to his victory over South Carolina (five rushing TDs). He became the Swamp's savior as a sophomore, and now everyone was excited to see what he could do a a returning junior.
You're immortalized once you win the Heisman, all sports fans know this. They also know what Tebow did after his second season are just as important to why he's the king of a state, despite the fact he now plays 1,700 miles away.
National Title No. 2, and His Return
Want to be the king of something? Spoil your subjects. Give them two BCS National Titles in a 3-year span then announce in front of a stadium full of people that you're coming back for a senior season.
It's what Tebow did, and it's why there's a statue of him in front of Florida's stadium. We actually could have saved a few slides here and just mentioned that earlier. Why is Tim Tebow the King of Florida? Easy, they gave him a statue in his 20s. He can't even rent a car yet, but he has his own statue.
Stats and Service
Everything about Tebow's personality seems nice, but his stats are just plain gaudy. For his college career, he finished with 88 passing TDs, 57 rushing TDs and enough combined yardage you'll have to bust out your old scientific calculator from 10th grade just to keep up.
But that's what the two Heismans show. The other reason Tebow is the king of Florida – and why he's such an obsession in the NFL – is his demeanor and community service. A devout – to the point of meme-inspiring – Christian, Tebow has defined his off-field life with charity work.
The media latched on, penning and shooting stories about his goodwill. That made the non-football fans take notice, and vaulted him to superstar status, where he will always be as the king of Florida.