I've had this post in my head for what seems like eons now, long before MaconDawg posted his case against Florida's quarterback over at Dawgsports.com yesterday, even before this post over at EDSBS, which would've been the perfect opportunity to purge my soul about this -- but anyway, with the next installment of the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party coming up just a few days from now, I've decided to get my ass in gear and get it all out there. A lot has been said about Tim Tebow ever since he signed with the Gators, a lot has been said by Georgia fans this week and will continue to be said up until the game on Saturday and certainly after, and not a lot of what they have to say will be complimentary, but you know what?
I think Tim Tebow is awesome. Check that: I think Tim Tebow is fucking awesome.
He's an incredible football player, of course. Has any player carried a team to nine wins as singlehandedly as Teebs did last year? Sure, the Gators' utter lack of a pass defense showed the limits of what even a player as awesome as Tebow could surmount all by his lonesome, but consider that the Gators overcame that deficiency on nine separate occasions by scoring an average of nearly fifty points in those games, and consider, too, that Tebow was directly responsible for more than half of those points. He provided more than seventy percent of an offense that finished '07 ranked 14th in the nation in total yardage. Seriously, it was him, Percy Harvin, and that's it.
But I also think Tebow is awesome in ways that have nothing to do with his performance on the field. He's just a genuinely good kid. The mission trips, the ministry to convicted prisoners? I mean, I do a fair amount of work with charities and community organizations here in Birmingham, but I've never done anything like that. And even the circumcisions in the Philippines that we Dawg fans like to laugh about -- and seriously, it is pretty fuckin' funny -- meant that Tebow had to take weeks out of his life and fly seven thousand miles to go cut some kids' foreskins off. Me, I feel like I've done a great service when I take someone halfway across town to pick up their car at the mechanic.
There's a part of me that thinks I might be highly annoyed by Tebow if I ever met him in person -- by all reports he's super-Christian, all but assuredly a Republican, and would probably chafe at the fact that my description of him in the second paragraph used the word "fucking" -- but he is one of a depressingly small number of prominent Christians in this country who walk the God-fearing walk in addition to talking the talk. He actually gets out there and does the stuff that Jesus instructs people to do in the Bible. And when he's not ministering to people in the Philippines or a state prison or wherever and the cameras aren't on him anymore, there's still no evidence that he's anything but a good, upstanding citizen. All those reports you hear about Gator players getting into trouble with the law for this reason or that reason? Tebow ain't never in 'em. I'll bet you he's in bed every weeknight, like clockwork, by 10 p.m.
And even though he could have his pick of any coed on Florida's campus -- and, even though they wouldn't admit it, Florida State's, Miami's, and UCF's, and more than one at a time -- I'll bet anybody right now twenty bucks that Tebow's a virgin. I'm not saying that to make fun of him; I think that's fantastic. If your personal belief system tells you that you should be saving yourself for marriage, and you resist a daly, if not hourly, dose of worldly temptation to stick to that, then friend, I will not say the first bad thing about you. (Partly because Tebow can't be more than about five months older than I was when I finally lost my virginity myself, but that's really neither here nor there.)
The last reason I think Tebow is awesome, though, might be the hardest to admit: He's awesome because he loves being a Gator. Now, I don't think loving being a Gator is admirable on its face -- mostly, it's quite the opposite -- but the genuine joy on his face when he's running out on the field is something I don't know that I'd ever want to take away from anybody. He's found something he's very good at and he gets to do it in front of ninety thousand people who love watching him; he is living his fucking dream and loving life, and it is so real and beautiful to him that I don't even care that I hate the team he's doing it for. Yeah, we all like to roll our eyes and grouse about what a gaywad he looks like when he's hopping up and down on the sideline or jumping around like a fricking circus act after he scores a touchdown, but admit it, Georgia fans: You wish every player on our team showed the same enthusiasm for being a Bulldog that Tebow does for being a Gator on nearly every single play. Not that all of our players don't, but still, Tebow is the model for showing school pride and loving the colors on his back more than life itself. If I could draw some of Tebow's blood, put it in a centrifuge, separate that enthusiasm out, put it under a microscope and find a way to genetically modify it into something Georgia-specific, I would mass-produce that shit and inject it into every student who walks on to UGA's campus.
Now is probably an improper time to be getting all this off my chest, I suppose, given that this model of a modern-day student-athlete is going to be hurling passes against us in just a few short days. I hope his team loses, of course. I hope they lose this year and next year, and I hope the world scratches its collective head wondering why a quarterback as astronomically talented as Tim Tebow never managed to beat the Dawgs, and I hope that criticism eats Urban Meyer up so much he breaks a toe kicking his file cabinet in frustration.
But I hope the criticism doesn't eat Tebow up the same way, 'cause he's a good kid and I don't want him to feel bad.
Confession over. The executioners may fire when ready.