THE TIM TEBOW Show made its way to Alabama on Wednesday, and he did not disappoint. If ever there existed a better ambassador for college football, I would like to meet him.
This guy is more than the perfect one for your daughter to meet and, heck, marry. He gives new meaning to the term "golden boy." He borders on being too good to be true. Women find him easy on the eyes. He carries close to a 4.0 grade-point average in his school work. He is charming and quick-witted.
He also plays a pretty mean game of football.
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But this goes well beyond winning the Heisman Trophy as Tebow did a season ago as Florida's quarterback. It goes beyond being the first sophomore to haul away the bronze trophy as the best player in the college game.
This goes to Tim Tebow, the person. My gosh, he is gaining Chuck Norris status. Insert "Tim Tebow" for "Chuck Norris" the next time you tell jokes: If paper beats rock, rock beats scissors, and scissors beats paper, what beats all three at the same time? Tim Tebow, of course; Tim Tebow does not use spell check. Webster changes the word when Tebow misspells it.
Perhaps for the first time in the history of SEC media days, a player needed the big stage Wednesday to address the print media. Tebow stood and answered questions head on where previously only head coaches had stood and evaded such questions. All other SEC players talked at smaller side tables.
The more he talked, the more Tebow won everyone over. This from a young man who is not permitted to drink beer legally until August, as if that would be even a remote possibility. If there were any doubters among the 300 or so media members who listened to Tebow, they likely were eliminated as he spoke about his recent offseason.
"I can take what I do in playing football as a game and change people's lives with it," Tebow said. "That's why football is such a great game. That's kind of why I do the things, preaching in prisons, doing those different things, trying to take advantage of that platform that God has blessed me with."
Tebow served church missions in the Philippines, Croatia and Thailand. The Philippines trip is an annual excursion as part of his father's Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association. This time, when called on to fill in as a surgeon, Tebow participated in circumcisions and the removal of cysts on small children.
When he returned to Florida, Tebow visited numerous prisons throughout the state and played a role in converting many to Christianity. In his spare time, he organized a powder-puff football game that raised $10,000 for charity.
"If I can change a kid's life for the better, that's much more important to me than beating Georgia or Florida State, or whatever team it is. That's very special to me," Tebow said. "Having the ability to put a smile on a kid's face, to go to a hospital and see a girl who is about to die and see her smile because you're there to see her. You can't put a price on what that does for me."
Tebow traveled nearly 20,000 miles this offseason. He was honored in nine states by 15 organizations. His parents and the Florida sports information office sorted through thousands of speaking requests.
None of the adulation and the rock-star status has seemed to adversely affect Tebow. He is a veteran at being in the spotlight. Before he graduated from Nease High School in Florida, his name was attached to a bill in the Alabama state legislature, one that did not pass but would have permitted private school athletes to compete for public schools as Tebow did. Upon announcing his commitment to Florida, Tebow was the subject of an hour-long ESPN documentary titled "The Chosen One."
Do not think for a minute that the off-field Tebow frenzy will somehow be detrimental to his on-field performance this coming season. He said his focus in the offseason was to become more knowledgeable about the game.
"My biggest goal this year, as far as football goes, was becoming a better decision-maker," Tebow said. "What that entails is when I approach the line of scrimmage, it's recognizing defenses faster, getting us into a better play faster. When the play happens, when I'm dropping back, maybe not always having to make the big play."
With that, Tebow thanked everyone for coming and headed off for another task that will further his ever-growing legacy. He learned that Emma King of Hoover, Ala., whose seventh birthday arrives on Friday, was left in tears in The Wynfrey Hotel lobby earlier in the day.
King's sign that read "All I Want 4 My Birthday Is To Meet Tim Tebow" went unnoticed by the star as he was ushered around the lobby and into an elevator to the second floor.
The girl's patience paid off as Tebow made one birthday wish come true, beyond her wildest imagination. She and her family got to meet her idol face-to-face in a private room.
Word has it that Tebow left the room with a bigger smile than the girl.