…I live in Gainesville, Florida and, with three degrees from UF, I’m a long time Gator fan. After the Chicago game, I called my ex-wife, still a friend, and asked, “Do you believe in God?” Neither of us is religious but Tebow is beginning to convert us. Our question to all those Tebow-haters is: “What’s not to like about Tim Tebow?” In Gainesville even the emotionally-challenged will use the word “love” when referring to Tebow. Of course, we were prepared for his unabashed devotion to Christ by his predecessor, Danny Wuerffel, also a national champion and Heisman winner, who was similarly openly expressive about his faith. As a matter of fact, I came to feel that some sort of faith is a singular requirement for playing a number of dangerous positions in football (even if I had the skill, I could never play wide receiver).
An important feature of the tenures of both Wuerffel and Tebow was the admiration and respect both these fellows generated among their teammates, and I don’t believe it was based simply on winning games. Two memories stand out in my mind, from two organized celebrations of national championships in the Swamp (Florida Field). First, Danny’s teammates had sat politely through one short speech after another, even the great Gator icon, Coach Spurrier, but all rose spontaneously when Danny was introduced. Second, as Tim left the stage after the last championship celebration, he took the mike and announced: “By the way, I’m coming back [for his senior year].” The crowd went crazy and I think there were few dry eyes. Sure, we were grateful for all the games they won, but it is a lot easier to pour out your emotions for men of character and integrity….