Jacksonville Sports News, Sam Kouvaris - SamSportsline.com

Tim Tebow: The Legend Grows

I voted for Tim Tebow for the Heisman. In fact the final count followed my ballot: Tebow, Darren McFadden and Colt Brennan. It was a wide-open year but I thought Tim’s historic numbers put him at the top of the list.

He’s not going to play in the National Championship game and the Gators lost three times but in a year where there was no clear-cut favorite, the award’s focus shifted to individual achievement and that made Tebow the easy choice.

More often than not these days, his name and the word “legend” are used in the same sentence as he racks up one accolade after another. A National Championship ring, historic numbers at the position and now the Heisman Trophy.

His work ethic is also considered legendary, as well as his attitude and personality. All that stuff he said at the ceremony? That’s really him. Not rehearsed, not made up, he’s really that way. He’s very team oriented, he’s not all about “me.”

He’s normal.

And I know that makes a lot of people either angry or uncomfortable or apathetic. He says, “Yes sir” and “no ma’am” and please and thank you and all of the other things that any regular person would do.

I’ve always thought it was funny when people got accolades for doing the regular things that seem everyday. But that’s where we’ve gotten. Our expectations are lower, especially when it comes to athletes. Putting sentences together, being respectful of the people around you, showing up when you say you’ll be there, aren’t they all part of everyday life? But regrettably we see that kind of behavior and accept it, writing it off to “celebrity” status or perhaps “money.”

Tebow clearly has strong faith, thanking God at every opportunity. I know that drives some people crazy but there’s no denying it’s genuine. His father is a missionary and he was raised with strong faith.

I remember Muhammad Ali thanking Elijah Muhammad and Herbert Muhammad each time Howard Cosell would interview him after a match. He was about the first high profile athlete to do that and people were taken aback at first but it just became part of the landscape.

Maybe people who are uncomfortable with their own faith are the ones who are uncomfortable with Tim or any other athlete professing theirs. He has a pretty high profile and I’m sure he believes its part of his duty to use that stage to profess his faith.

He’s been on all of the morning talk shows and did very well, promoting his team, the university, and his friendship with Danny Wuerffel and Wuerffel’s charity in New Orleans.

He’s an academic All-America on top of all of it.

So the legend grows and you have to wonder where does he go from here? Win another Heisman? Maybe two more? There’s constant speculation that he’ll leave Florida after his junior year.

He wouldn’t be the perfect NFL quarterback right now, but if he continues to improve, and there’s no reason he won’t, he could be the top selection in the ’09 draft. If that’s the case, he’ll probably come out unless his family says stay in school.

There will be money there if he stays healthy and the endorsements would be massive. If he can play, what owner wouldn’t want him as the face of their team?

One thing’s for sure; Tim’s life will never be the same. No matter where he goes, he’ll always be, Tim Tebow, Heisman Trophy Winner.

Pretty good title to have behind your name.
Even if “Legend” is already there.