Issue 9- March 11, 2013
Tim Tebow- the most loved or hated figure in sports; there is no in between. The NFL’s most famous benchwarmer does not deserve to be on the sidelines. Attention haters, this article will make you question what you believe about number 15.
He was born a fighter. The doctors said that he wouldn’t live, that his mom wouldn’t survive, but God had a greater plan.
At Tebow’s birth, the doctor told Mr. Robert Tebow, “Your child is a miracle baby. I can’t explain how it happened, but despite all odds, he beat them.”
While a sophomore playing for Nease High School, Tebow ran a long touchdown with a completely broken fibula. His senior year, they said his team couldn’t beat Armwood High School, but Tebow led Nease to an improbable state championship title. He was named to the First Team All-State twice, declared 2005 Mr. Florida Football and set career marks in Florida for total offense, passing yards, touchdown passes and total touchdowns. These facts cannot be overlooked. Florida is a football state, and setting records is no easy feat.
He won two national championships at the University of Florida, a college facing SEC defenses and challenging some of the toughest teams in the NCAA. He was awarded the Heisman Trophy in 2007- the first sophomore to earn this honor- and was nominated again both his junior and senior years. The same year, he won the Davey O’Brien award- given to the best quarterback in the nation. In the 2007 season, Tebow fractured his right hand in the third quarter of a game versus the Florida State Seminoles, but finished the remaining quarters and crushed his competition. By graduation, Tebow had created a legacy in college football. His teammates respected their leader and selected him as MVP of the Florida Gators in 2007, 2008 and 2009- the only player to be chosen three times. He held five NCAA, 12 SEC and 28 University of Florida records. He became the SEC’s all-time leader in career passing efficiency (170.8), completion percentage (67.1%), passing touchdown to interception ratio (5.5 to 1), rushing yards by a quarterback (2947), rushing touchdowns for any position (57) and total touchdowns (145). Any player who holds the highest completion percentage and passing efficiency in the SEC cannot be lacking adequate passing acumen.
His perseverance isn’t limited to the football field, as he learns despite dyslexia; it’s not holding him back, ever. He earned the Campbell Trophy in 2009- awarded to the top scholar-athlete in the nation- and graduated with a 3.66 GPA.
Tebow displayed his athleticism in the 2010 combine by tying for the highest vertical jump for a quarterback (38.5 inches) and running a 4.72 second 40-yard dash.
They said Tebow would be a second or third round draft pick, tops. He went to the Denver Broncos in the first round, and this was just the beginning of a whirlwind of victories in his professional career.
They said he would fail. Tebow won six of the first seven games he started in 2011. He battled to the playoffs his rookie year and upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime- while the Steelers were the first-ranked defense in the league.
John Elway never supported Tebow. His half-hearted nods of approval showed his distaste. So when headlines screamed the news of Peyton Manning’s free-agencies, Elway jumped at the chance to ship off his quarterback, and no matter what Elway argues, Tebow had no choice in the matter. For the record, playoff victories with the Broncos: Tebow- one, Manning- zero.
In 2011, during the last seven minutes of games, his QBR was the highest in the league. Higher than the “history-making perfection” that is Tom Brady. Ridiculously higher than butt-fumble Mark Sanchez, who continually threw interceptions while Tebow watched on the sidelines.
Rex Ryan treated Tebow with no class. He watched his team fall apart, while the answer was seated on the bench or lined up for special teams. The way the New York Jets treated Tebow is a joke, and their train-wreck of a season couldn’t have been more humiliating.
Tebow is not a better quarterback than Manning or Brady, no one would argue that he is. His throws may not have pinpoint accuracy, but they get the job done. His competitive drive is unparalleled. Critics ridicule how he won games, but he still won them. They can talk about his throwing mechanics for days, but the fact still remains: he has been successful in the National Football League. No matter how much they argue that he doesn’t deserve to be there, he has earned a spot on an NFL roster for as long as he decides to compete. He has proven he knows how to win. He has proven he has the skills to lead a team to the playoffs. How many analysts look to Brady’s rookie year to determine his future? With adequate playing time, Tebow will only improve, and he will work as hard as is humanly possible to become the best quarterback he can be, in whatever offense he is calling.
“I appreciate the compliments. As to everything else, I just use it all for motivation,” Tebow said.
They say he isn’t worth the gamble. But Tebow’s résumé speaks for itself. He’s consistently proven to be exceptional at beating the odds.