Jarvis Moss, Reggie Nelson, Percy Harvin, DeShawn Wynn, Brandon Spikes, Derrick Harvey, Joe Haden, Riley Cooper, Andre Caldwell, Jeffrey Demps, Aaron Hernandez, Major Wright, David Nelson, Michael Pouncey, and Phil Troutwein. Do you know who they are? They were Tim Tebow’s teammates at the University of Florida from 2007-09, when Tebow established himself as “the greatest college football player ever”. Defensive linemen, linebackers, cornerbacks, safeties, running backs, wide receivers, tight ends and offensive linemen. 5-star recruits, All-Americans, All-SEC, NFL Draft picks, and even an NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year is in the bunch. I mention them to let you Tebow fans know that he did not single-handedly win football games, conference championships, and national championships.
I am not a “Tebow-hater”. I believe he was a great college football player. His games were usually a joy to watch, because of the enthusiasm and effort he played with. Couple that with the fact that I’ve loved UF football since the Steve Spurrier days, and it’s easy to see why I didn’t mind seeing him succeed on the collegiate level, even though I’m a huge Michigan and Michigan St. football fan.
HOWEVER, all of the Tebow love is seriously starting to annoy me. What makes it worse is that most of it doesn’t even make sense.
I’ve heard many say that Tebow won 2 national titles. True, he was part of 2 national title teams, but he was Chris Leak’s backup in 2006. He definitely was a piece of the puzzle, but nowhere near a large piece. Someone once argued with me that Florida wouldn’t have won the 2006 title game without him. Word? Florida beat Ohio State (how I loathe the Buckeyes), 41-14. Tebow ran and threw for a touchdown. That touchdown pass? A one-yarder before the end of the second half to put Florida ahead, 34-14. Clutch.
Have you Tebow fans ever heard of Alex Smith? He was just as much a beneficiary of an offensive scheme designed to take advantage of his strengths as Tebow was while playing for Urban Meyer, who transformed Smith from a good WAC quarterback into the #1 NFL Draft pick in the 2005 draft. The shotgun, spread-option offense made Smith look like a world-beater, and it’s done the same for Tebow. While Smith did not play in arguably the best football conference in the country, or even a very good one, he was seen as a more prototypical quarterback coming out of college than Tebow. How has he done in the NFL, you ask? Next question.
Please, don’t bring up “The Speech”. What irks me about it is that it’s given Tebow fans one more reason to bring up how great of a leader he is. Excuse me, but I’m 99.9% sure that Tebow is not the first college football player (or college athlete, period) to deliver an emotional, fiery speech to his team and its fans after a disappointing loss to an inferior opponent. I don’t really have a problem with the speech. As a matter of fact, I actually thought it was great. I became irritated when ESPN and damn near every other sports and news outlet hyped the speech up to be on the level of the Ten Commandments. The speech has even been engraved on a plaque and sits outside of the Florida Field football facility. Wow.
We get it. Tebow is a great guy. He’s got intangibles. He was a Christian missionary in the Philippines. Despite being home-schooled, he appears to be perfectly normal. He’s an uber-respectful, God-fearing virgin. There is a bill pending in the Alabama Legislature, called “The Tim Tebow Bill”, which would allow home-schooled students in the state of Alabama to play sports for their local high school. But…um…that does not equate to success on a football field, nor does it equate to having a productive professional football career. A speech does not win Super Bowl rings, playoff games, division games, or even mean that he’ll have good quarters. It seems like everytime anyone offers criticism of Tebow, it’s met with “You’re a Tebow hater!” People who can’t accept that Tebow isn’t perfect obviously don’t know much about football, and are most likely current students or alumni of UF. Granted, some of the criticism is unnecessary and a little harsh, but like every other athlete in the public eye, he’ll be praised as well as “dissed”. Stop being sensitive.
I made a point on Twitter yesterday about Myron Rolle and NFL teams shying away from him because they aren’t sure whether or not he’s focused on playing football. Rolle is a safety and graduate of Florida State University. He earned a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science in 2.5 years and earned a Rhodes Scholarship for his success in the classroom. Rolle chose to forgo his final season at FSU to study at Oxford, to earn an M.A in medical anthropology. Instead of attempting to help his draft stock, he took one step closer to becoming a physician and neurosurgeon and doing what he could to dispel the notion that Black athletes from the inner-city are only after the money. He has dreams of going to poverty-stricken countries and utilizing his degree to provide health care to their citizens. He’s acknowledged that he’s heard he will be a 5th or 6th round pick, which usually doesn’t guarantee a guy a spot on an NFL roster. Even though he’s extremely talented on the field, and has shown it during his career at FSU, some NFL front offices aren’t sure whether professional football would be his top priority.
While Tebow gets praised and is glorified for ending every speech/presser/comment with “God bless”, his intangibles, and missionary work, Rolle has gone without nearly one-quarter of the same fanfare for over a year. Tebow fans cry out how selfless he is. How else could you describe potentially sacrificing millions of dollars to study abroad, with the hopes of helping impoverished people? Rolle didn’t play football for a “mid-major”. He played for FSU, and the great head coach Bobby Bowden and defensive coordinator, Mickey Andrews. And yet, his accomplishments have been lost among the latest stupid, heinous act committed by Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger, Mel Kiper’s hair, and of course, Tim Tebow, and all that is great about him.
Tebow fans, practice logic. Understand that everyone in the limelight will be criticized at one point or another, whether it’s warranted or not. Even Michael Jordan received his fair share of criticism throughout his playing career, and even after. Go ahead and jump on the Denver Broncos bandwagon and cheer for every 3-yard run and jump pass thrown by Tebow. If he has a successful career, it will be mostly because of his talent. If he fails, it will be mostly because of his talent. Please, please, please…understand that just because you hear/read someone express that they are not a Tebow fan, does not mean they are a “Tebow-hater”…
P.S. I miss Karen!!!
P.P.S. Go Bulls! Go Blackhawks!