Monday, April 13, 2009 PTI: Tim Tebow

[Editors Note: Welcome to the first edition of's take on PTI. On a bi-weekly basis, authors, Chris Stanley and Adam Primm, will take on a PTI type debate about a topic of their choosing. Chris and Adam are friends, roommates, and Ohio State law students. Interstingly, they kicked their coverage off with a man that helped break the hearts of millions of Buckeye fans across the nation, Tim Tebow.]

Chris Stanley: I want to preface this by saying that I think Tim Tebow is a great football player and a great person. I really appreciate athletes who use the spotlight to be role models and influence society in a positive way. Tebow definitely has my respect both on and off the field. I just get tired of hearing about how wonderful he is. If you watched any games last year I am sure you heard Tebow getting praised left and right. How many times did you see the interview where he rambled on about how he would never let the Gators lose again? How many times do we have to hear Urban Meyer tell us how good Tebow is and how there has never been a coach-player relationship that has been so positive in the history of mankind?

All of these things were very annoying to me, but we have seen this type of treatment before (see Brady Quinn’s Heisman campaign). But what really became ridiculous, what REALLY irritates me, is when the announcers in all of the Florida games act like the Gators are a one-man show. “Did you see that tackle on the kick-return? I will tell you who made that play possible…TIM TEBOW. He gave an amazing pep talk in the huddle right before the kick which inspired (insert random unimportant non-Tebow Florida Gator player here) to make that tackle. Man this kid is great. Lets put up a big statue of him when he gets back from his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance ceremony. Enough already. Florida has many great players and while Tebow is the leader of that team, give them some credit too.

Adam Primm: I agree with you that the media needs to stop with Tebow. The only knock I have on Tebow is that the media won’t stop talking about him, and honestly, they don’t need to. Tim Tebow’s accomplishments, both on and off the field, speak for themselves, and they speak loudly. In three seasons, Tebow has won 2 national championships, one as a key offensive weapon and one as the do-it-all quarterback. In between those two seasons all he did was win a Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, the first in NCAA history. That season, Tebow became the first player in college football history to run and pass for 20 touchdowns in the same season.

As a freshman, Tebow was second on the team in rushing as the backup quarterback. Ponder that for a minute and think of how absurd it sounds.
When he won the Heisman as a sophomore, Tebow finished the season with 29 passing touchdowns and only 6 interceptions leading to the second highest quarterback rating in the country (177.8) and 3132 yards. On the ground, Tim added 838 yards (on only 194 carries) and another 22 touchdowns. That’s 51 touchdowns in only 11 games, a total that surpassed that of 87 Division 1-A TEAMS.
Last year as a junior, Tebow threw for 30 touchdowns against only 4 interceptions (that’s 59 TDs against only 10 interceptions in 2 seasons for those of you keeping track) while throwing for 2746 yards and rushing for 673 yards and 12 touchdowns while sharing touches on the ground with 3 other 600 yard running backs.
Tebow is obviously showing how good he is on the field.

The speech that you condemn is one of the reasons I like Tebow so much. He put himself out there and assured the fans and the media that he would be responsible for the Gators this season and he would not let them lose. I can’t remember the last time I saw a professional or college player show that much passion. By putting himself out there on national television all season, he also deflected attention from the rest of the team and put it on himself. While some may see this as selfish, I see it as Tebow being the consummate leader. After the Gators suffered a disappointing loss, Tebow deflected the harsh criticism from the rest of the team and put it on himself, like a true leader. However, when the Gators win, you never see or hear Tebow say “look at me, I won this game.” Instead, he, correctly, deflects praise to his team. As a 21 year old college student, he has already recognized the importance of accepting blame and sharing praise. As a leader, he also understands the need to motivate his teammates. Some may see him getting into the special teams huddles as annoying, but let’s be honest, those gunners are either pumped up to make the tackle because of it or are scared to face him on the sideline if they miss the tackle. Emotion, whether intensity or fear, can be a strong motivator. While Tebow is not responsible for making the tackle, he is the emotional leader of the Gators, and he does everything he can to pump up his teammates to try to increase their play.

While I could see Tebow being a successful H-back in the NFL, I don’t know why the NFL draft gurus do not see Tebow as a future quarterback.
• Strong, accurate arm, check
• Upper and lower body strength that shows the ability to shed tacklers and fight through injuries, check
• Scrambling ability, check
• Maturity and leadership, check
• Heart and desire, check
If my team didn’t already have Ben Rothlisberger at quarterback, Tebow would be one of three quarterbacks (including Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford) in this year’s draft or currently in college that I would want on my team.

One more thing about Tebow: how many Heisman trophy winners that have won two national championships return for their senior season and don’t bolt to the NFL for the money? Also, how many spend the off-season on mission trips to Southeast Asia? I have heard people say that it is just a show and that he can’t really be like that, but let’s be honest. If it was just a show, Tebow would be spending a week in Texas or Florida building a house through Habitat for Humanity for a week, he wouldn’t be spending extended time anywhere overseas. In an era when young athletes are “making it rain” at night/strip clubs and raising pit bulls to kill each other, why are we criticizing Tebow for his passion, heart, and commitment to helping others?

In an era where athletes are more likely to get arrested then they are to graduate, Tim Tebow is a breath of fresh air. He is a hard-working, successful athlete who is committed to finishing his education at Florida while also honoring what he sees as a responsibility to help others. While the media is overbearing in how much they fawn over Tebow, let’s not punish this young man for the attention they give him. Tebow is not working for the attention; he is just being himself and we should appreciate the accomplishments of this talented athlete, both on and off the field.

Chris Stanley: A few points. First, would you go pro if everyone worshiped you in college? I do appreciate his accomplishments and I am not trying to punish him in any way. But come on, how much of this do we have to take? You said “when the Gators win, you never see or hear Tebow say “look at me, I won this game.” Instead, he, correctly, deflects praise to his team.” The reason Tebow doesn’t deflect praise is because he doesn’t have to. The media is all over it before it even happens. Are you telling me the Gators don’t have any special teams players who can motivate themselves? And do you really think those guys go out there “afraid” of what Tebow might do to them if they don’t make a tackle? Come on man. Hey Adam, have you ever considered applying for a job with ABC? I think you would be perfect for their Saturday night games when Tim Tebow plays on national television. What is his team called again?

Related Posts by Subject


Steve Shoup said...

Adam: I agree with you wholeheartedly, Tebow has had an amazing college career and I think he deserves a long look at QB in the NFL. I don't think he will be a Franchise quarterback but I think he can be a pretty good starter. Especially if he goes to a team that will give him a year to learn the system and NFL game.

Chris: I have to say your in the wrong here. Plenty of 'worshiped' college athletes left early to go to the pros. You don't think Vince Young would have been treated like royalty at Texas? I mean its been shown that Reggie Bush is considered a "God" at USC, no Trojan fan I know cares that Bush was breaking NCAA rules for amatures. I think Tebow should be given credit for going back and trying to win one more title.

Chris Stanley said...

I agree that Vince Young and Reggie Bush had a strong fan base, just as many other college athletes have enjoyed throughout the years. The difference is the manner in which the media portrays Tebow. When I think about Vince Young, I think about Texas winning the National Championship after Vince ran for the game winning touchdown. When I think about Reggie Bush, I think about watching him run up and down, left and right, all over the field with 11 defensive players chasing him into the end zone.

The media hyped these guys, and commented on their talent and ability over their college careers. They got a lot of press, but it was different. In Tebow's case, every game Florida plays becomes a love fest. Its almost like the announcers have a competition to see who can praise Tebow the most during the game. Kicker makes a long field goal in a cross wind? Tebow pumped him up at practice and enstilled the ubiquitous "Tebow virtue" into the kicker's foot. Big hit on special teams? That was Tebow in the huddle transferring his fire to the special teams guys. Economy picks back up? Tebow is probably responsible for that too.

The point isnt that Gators love the guy. I understand that. I even get the fact that people praise Tebow extensively for his off the field demeanor and the way he embraces being a role model. But when he gets credit for every positive thing that happens in the Milkyway Galaxy, isnt that a little ridiculous?

Tebow is coming back because he can do no wrong at Florida. Between Tebow's Offense, Defense, Field Goal Kicking, and other Special Teams plays, why does he even need teammates? Why not just put The Tebow out there and let his unrivaled super powers win Urban Meyer a championship?

Adam said...

The reason we decided to select this as our argument was more based on the media than Tebow. I mentioned the other day that I never liked Tebow and I thought it was because of the media (and him beating Ohio State).

When I actually looked at Tebow on my own, without ESPN building him up, I couldn't figure out why he wasn't one of my favorite players. He is a talented dual threat QB, but the off the field stuff and the energy are what I really liked about him. He had the intangibles I think sets a special player apart.

That being said, I agree with Chris that the media can cloud that because they are too overbearing about Tebow. They love him so much, it can cloud a viewers true opinion of him. It's almost like overdosing on something; after a while you don't like it anymore because you can't get away from it.

Recently, I have looked past the media's portrayal of Tebow and focused just on Tebow's on and off field accomplishments which have led me to start appreciating him more.

As for the economy, why not give super Tim a chance? Nothing else seems to be working too much.