What is it with Tim Tebow? What about the guy so infuriates so many people? He is to some the most polarizing figure on the planet. Did he spurn a Khardashian? Or worse still, pray for one? Bank on the latter which makes him an open target for haters.
And when it was announced that he would be part of ABC’s Good Morning America’s Super Bowl coverage, all the old animus resurfaced.
My only personal dealings with him were after he led the Florida Gators to beat Cincinnati 51–24 in the 2010 Sugar Bowl . He completed 31 of 35 passes for 482 yards and three touchdowns, accounting for 4 scores with a Bowl Championship Series game record 533 yards of total offense. In the aftermath he was humble, generous in his praise of everyone on the field and above all to his Creator. To some that makes him too good to be true.
He has never once proclaimed himself the best. The 2007 Heisman Trophy committee did that. He has never sought attention. It comes with the territory when you lead a high profile team to a National Championship.
People gravitate to him because he is a genuinely good person who does his best to be the best man he can.
And all he ever did whenever or wherever he played football was win. Even if punctuated by those unnerving genuflections after a touchdown. How diabolical. Not that anyone in Denver objected when he guided the pre-Peyton Broncos to seven straight wins in 2011 and an elusive playoff berth.
He took his lumps after moving on to the Jets where one teammate viewed him as “terrible.” Not as a person mind you but as a starting quarterback. Not once did he strike back as he boiled in the seething cauldron that is New York City sports.
He admitted at the time to “some frustration and I guess some sadness. This is something I can’t control. I can control my attitude, my effort and my work ethic. Those are things that will never change based on what anybody says. It’s never fun to hear criticism,” Tebow added. “At the same time, it’s something I’ve always used as motivation. You try to get stronger from it.”
No less than the churlish Rex Ryan weighed in as Tebow was released and caught on with New England. The Jets coach offered that “it’s not a surprise to me that Tim would be picked up. He’s very competitive. And as I’ve said before, he’s a tremendous young man.”
Perhaps Tim Tebow makes people take a look at themselves. And they’re not comfortable with what they behold. A guy who looks you in the eye, says what he means and means what he says. And even more unnerving to his critics is his unwavering optimism that today will be better than yesterday and tomorrow holds even more promise.
Is Tebow -- who is building his broadcast resume with ESPN’s college football coverage -- going to be the next David Muir for ABC? He might not even be the next David Hartman, but it doesn’t matter.
He will be the best he can be and that should be good enough.