We can vigorously debate Tebow’s place in college football history as a player. What’s not up for debate is his unparalleled ability to provoke the deepest of feelings in fans of the sport.
He said afterward that he wants the fans to remember him for “how much I cared.” The fact is, fans have never cared so much about a player before.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Florida coach Urban Meyer said. “ He’s made unselfish kind of a cool thing.”
The numbers and awards are all impressive and voluminous, but they’re not what have made the quarterback a historic figure in Florida and beyond. That’s due to the winning attributes, the leadership qualities, the endless acts of charity performed off the field, the ability to graciously lead a heavily scrutinized life.
The cynical and envious rip him — and rip the media for saying nice things about him, claiming that he is overhyped. (They’ll say that very thing about this column, I’m quite sure.) Some roll their eyes at his unapologetically public Christianity — worn on his sleeve and under his eyes — despite the authenticity that underlies it in word and deed.