Tim Tebow

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Tim Tebow
PNS 2707.jpg
Tebow in pregame warm-up January 2012
No. --     Free agent
Quarterback / Special teamer
Personal information
Date of birth: (1987-08-14) August 14, 1987 (age 27)
Place of birth: Makati, Philippines
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 236 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school: Ponte Vedra (FL) Nease
College: Florida
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25
Debuted in 2010 for the Denver Broncos
Career history
*Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
TDINT 17–9
Passing yards 2,422
Passer rating 75.3
Rushing yards 989
Rushing TDs 12
Stats at NFL.com

Timothy Richard "Tim" Tebow (/ˈtb/; born August 14, 1987) is an American football quarterback who is currently a free agent. Tebow played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). In addition to his playing activities, he received considerable press attention for his public displays of religious faith, both on and off the field. He played college football for the University of Florida, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and appearing on BCS National Championship-winning teams during the 2006 and 2008 seasons. Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Tebow became the Florida Gators' starting quarterback during the 2007 season when he became the first college sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.[1] In 2008, Tebow led Florida to a 13–1 record and its second national championship in three years, and was named the offensive MVP of the national championship game. The Gators again went 13–1 in 2009, his senior year. At the conclusion of his college career, he held the Southeastern Conference's all-time records in both career passing efficiency and total rushing touchdowns, appearing second and tenth (respectively) in the NCAA record book in these categories.[2]

As a member of the Denver Broncos, he started the last three games of his rookie season and became the team's full-time starting quarterback beginning in the sixth game of 2011. The Broncos were 1–4 before he became the starter, but began winning with him on the field, often coming from behind late in the fourth quarter, until they won their first AFC West title and first playoff game since 2005, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime.[3] Tebow was traded to the New York Jets during the offseason after the Broncos acquired free agent quarterback Peyton Manning.[4] Tebow received little playing time for the Jets and on April 29, 2013, the Jets released Tebow after drafting quarterback Geno Smith.[5] He signed a two-year, non-guaranteed contract with New England on June 11, 2013, before being cut from the team on August 31, 2013.[6]

On December 30, 2013, he was hired by ESPN as a college football analyst.[7][8]

Early years

Tebow at the 2006 U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a high school senior.

Tim Tebow is a descendant of Andries Tibout, who emigrated from Bruges in Flanders, Belgium to New Amsterdam (later known as New York City).[9] Tebow's parents met while attending the University of Florida in the late 1960s. Pamela, his mother, was a freshman and his father, Robert, was a sophomore at the time. The couple married on June 12, 1971, before Pamela's graduation from the University.[10] In 1985, the family moved to the Philippines where they served as Baptist missionaries and built a ministry.[10] Prior to becoming pregnant with Tim, his mother contracted amoebic dysentery and fell into a coma. She discovered she was pregnant while recovering. Because of the medications used to treat her, the fetus experienced a severe placental abruption.[10] Doctors expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion. The Tebows decided against it citing their strong faith (abortion was illegal in the Philippines in any case). On August 14, 1987, she gave birth to Tim in Manila.[10]

Tim Tebow is the youngest of five children.[10] He and his siblings were all homeschooled by their parents, who instilled the family's Christian beliefs.[11] In 1996, legislation was passed in Florida allowing home-schooled students to compete in high school sporting events.[12] The law, which later became known as the Tim Tebow law,[12] specifies that home-schooled students may participate on the team of the local high school in the school district in which they live.[13] Tebow took advantage of this law when he decided to attend Trinity Christian Academy, the local high school in his hometown of Jacksonville, where he played tight end.[14] In 2003, he moved into an apartment in nearby St. Johns County, making him eligible to play for the struggling football program at Allen D. Nease High School where he could play quarterback. His performance led to a minor controversy regarding the fact that, although home-schooled, he had his choice of school for which to play.[14]

Tebow came to national prominence as a junior at Nease, known for his running and throwing abilities, as well as an intense competitiveness. Later that year, he suffered an injury to his right leg late in the first half of a game. Originally believed to be suffering from a bad cramp, he actually played the entire second half with a broken fibula, at one point rushing for a 29-yard touchdown. After the game the extent of the injury was discovered and he was held out for the remainder of his junior season.[15] Nevertheless he was named Florida's Player of the Year and became a major college football quarterback prospect.[16]

During his senior season he led the Nease Panthers to a state title, earned All-State honors, was named Florida's Mr. Football and a Parade magazine high school All-American, and repeated as Florida's Player of the Year.[16][17] He played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas which featured the top 78 senior high school football players in the nation and was shown nationally on NBC television.[18]

Tebow was the subject of an ESPN "Faces in Sports" documentary. The segment was titled "Tim Tebow: The Chosen One", and focused on Tebow's home school controversy and missionary work in the Philippines, his athletic exploits, and the college recruiting process.[19] Tebow was also featured in Sports Illustrated on the "Faces in the Crowd" page.[20] In 2007, he was named to FHSAA's All-Century Team that listed the Top 33 football players in the state of Florida's 100-year history of high school football.[21] Despite family ties to the University of Florida, where his parents met as students,[11] Tebow considered other schools, including the University of Alabama.[22] One of the reasons he gave for choosing Florida was coach Urban Meyer's spread option offense, an offense for which Tebow was deemed an archetypal quarterback. Prior to enrolling at the University of Florida, he spent three summers in the Philippines, helping with his father's orphanage and missionary work.[23]

Homeschooling

On January 7, 2007, Tebow was featured prominently in an ESPN "Outside The Lines" feature on home-schooled athletes seeking equal access to high school athletics in other states. Because a home-schooler's access to public and private school athletic functions vary by state, Tebow and former defensive end Jason Taylor (who was allowed to play at his local high school in Pennsylvania) argued in favor of extending the right to play for local teams to more states.[24] Upon becoming the first home-schooled athlete to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy, he remarked, "That's really cool. A lot of times people have this stereotype of home-schoolers as not very athletic – it's like, go win a spelling bee or something like that – it's an honor for me to be the first one to do that."[25][26][27][28] Tebow received the 2008 Quaqua Protégé Award as outstanding home-education graduate.[29]

College career

Tebow accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida and play for coach Urban Meyer's Florida Gators football team from 2006 to 2009.[30] While he spent his freshman year as a backup, eventual career highlights at Florida include winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007, leading the team to a BCS championship in 2008, and a 13–1 season in 2009. The Gators' coaches selected him as a team captain in 2008 and 2009, and he is the only three-time recipient of the Gators' most valuable player award, having been chosen by his teammates in 2007, 2008, and 2009.[citation needed]

2006

Despite a strong showing in his first inter-squad scrimmage, coach Urban Meyer named Tebow second-string behind Chris Leak. A backup throughout the season, Tebow was a significant contributor to the Gators' 2006 success. He made his college debut coming off the bench in a goal line situation against Southern Miss. He rushed for a touchdown on a designed quarterback scramble on his first play.[31] In his next game, he led the team in rushing yards against UCF.[32]

Tebow made his SEC debut against the Tennessee Volunteers on September 16. His performance included a ten-yard run on his first carry and converting a critical fourth down near the end of the game, which led to the Gators' go-ahead touchdown.[33] Tebow's biggest game in the season came against the LSU Tigers on October 7, where he accounted for all three of the Gators' touchdowns, passing for two and rushing for another.[34] Tebow played a role in the Gators' victory in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game against Ohio State. He threw for one touchdown and rushed for another, finishing with 39 rushing yards.[35] He finished 2006 with the second-most rushing yards on the Gator team.[36]

2007

Tebow (on right) and other Gator QBs during pre-game warm-ups.

Although questions about his passing skill loomed, Tebow was named the Florida Gators starting quarterback for the 2007 season.[37] He opened the year 13-of-17 for 300 yards and three touchdowns in his starting debut against Western Kentucky University.[38] Tebow finished the regular season with the second highest passing efficiency in the nation with 177.8. Additionally, he averaged 4.3 yards per carry on the ground.[39]

Tebow set numerous personal, school and national records in the 2007 season, including:

  • University of Florida single-game quarterback rushing yards, 166, week 4[40]
  • SEC season rushing touchdown record, 20[41]
  • Career high single game rushing touchdowns, 5, November 10
  • SEC season total touchdowns (passing and rushing), 55[42]

On November 24, against the Florida State Seminoles, Tebow threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two in a 45–12 rout of the Seminoles. It was later revealed that Tebow fractured his right hand during the third quarter but played the rest of the game. He had to wear a cast for the next three weeks.[43]

After the 2007 season, Tebow was recognized as a first-team All-SEC selection and a consensus first-team All-American,[44] He won the Heisman Trophy, given to the most outstanding college football player of the year. Tebow also received the Davey O'Brien Award, annually given to the best quarterback in the nation, on February 18 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Heisman Trophy

Tebow in 2007

On December 8, 2007, Tebow was awarded the Heisman Trophy, finishing ahead of Arkansas's Darren McFadden, Hawaii's Colt Brennan, and Missouri's Chase Daniel. He was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.[15] He garnered 462 first-place votes and 1,957 points, 254 points ahead of the runner-up, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden.[45][46] He finished the regular season as the only player in FBS history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in both categories in the same season.[47] He had 32 passing touchdowns, and 23 rushing touchdowns. Tebow's rushing TD total in the 2007 season is the most recorded for any position in SEC history.[48] The total also set the record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in FBS history. Tebow became the third UF player to win the Heisman Trophy, joining Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel.[49]

2008

Before the 2007 season had even come to a close, Florida coach Urban Meyer stated that he would likely use two quarterbacks during the 2008 season to take some of the workload off of Tebow's shoulders.[50] Tebow led the Gators in rushing in 2007[51] but also had to play through a bruised shoulder and broken non-throwing hand.[50] Before the 2008 season even started, Tebow had his name pulled from consideration for the Playboy Preseason All-American team because it conflicted with his Christian beliefs.[52]

On November 1, 2008, playing against the Georgia Bulldogs, Tebow ran for his 37th rushing touchdown, breaking the school record previously held by former Florida running back Emmitt Smith. Tebow led the Gators to a 12–1 record in 2008. After clinching the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title, the team played for and won the SEC title in the 2008 SEC Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The win secured the #2 ranking in the final BCS standings, which earned the Gators the chance to play the #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game, which they won 24–14.[citation needed]

Tebow finished third in the 2008 Heisman Trophy voting, with Oklahoma's Sam Bradford taking the top spot followed by Texas' Colt McCoy, despite Tebow receiving the most first-place votes.[53][54] He won the Maxwell Award in 2008, only the second player to ever win the award twice.[55]

On January 11, 2009, at a national championship celebration held at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Tebow announced that he would not make himself eligible for the 2009 NFL Draft, but would instead return for his senior season at Florida.[56] A day later, he had surgery on his right shoulder to remove a bone spur in an effort to reduce chronic inflammation.[57]

2008 Heisman Trophy Finalist Voting
Finalist First place votes
(3 pts. each)
Second place votes
(2 pts. each)
Third place votes
(1 pt. each)
Total points
Sam Bradford 300 315 196 1,726
Colt McCoy 266 288 230 1,604
Tim Tebow 309 207 234 1,575
Source:[58]

2009

Tebow opened the 2009 season continuing a streak of throwing and running for a touchdown in blowout wins over Charleston Southern and Troy. He ran for a touchdown in the third game, a win against Tennessee, but failed to throw for a touchdown for the first time since his freshman season. In answer to an interview question, Tebow stated he was a virgin.[59] The statement was subject to much discussion about whether the question was necessary, including criticism of the reporter who originally asked.[60]

Tebow started against Kentucky despite suffering from a respiratory illness and taking two bags of intravenous fluids before the game.[61] He ran for two touchdowns to put him in 2nd place on the all-time SEC touchdown list and he also threw for a touchdown. Late in the third quarter, he was hit in the chest by Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham, fell backwards, and hit the back of his head on the knee of Florida tackle Marcus Gilbert, who was wearing a hard knee brace. Upon impact, Tebow briefly displayed a prominent fencing response with his left arm, indicating that a concussion had taken place.[62] He lay motionless for several minutes before being helped to the sidelines, where he vomited. He was taken by ambulance to the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center.[63][64] A CT scan showed no bleeding in the brain, with the injury described as a mild concussion.[65][66] Coach Urban Meyer stayed the night in the hospital with Tebow, who was discharged in the morning.[67] Coincidentally, Florida did not have a game scheduled for the following Saturday, and Tebow was cleared to play in the Gators' next contest at LSU on October 10, two weeks after the incident.[68]

On October 31, 2009, while playing against the Georgia Bulldogs, Tebow ran for his 50th and 51st rushing touchdowns, breaking the SEC career record previously held by former Georgia running back Herschel Walker.[69] His penultimate collegiate game, the 2009 SEC Championship, saw him once again facing the University of Alabama. Tebow threw for 245 yards and a touchdown and led the team with 63 yards rushing, but the Gators fell 32–13 and lost their chance to play for a second consecutive national title.[70] Florida beat Cincinnati 51–24 in the 2010 Sugar Bowl the following January. In what was Tebow's last college game, he completed 31-of-35 passes for 482 yards and three touchdowns and accounted for four total touchdowns and 533 yards of total offense, which set a record for a Bowl Championship Series game.[71] He graduated from the University of Florida in December 2009.[72]

College statistics and records

At the end of his college career, Tebow held 5 NCAA, 14 Southeastern Conference, and 28 University of Florida statistical records.[73] He was the SEC's all-time leader in career passing efficiency (170.8), completion percentage (67.1%), passing touchdown to interception ratio (5.5 to 1), rushing yards by a quarterback (2947), rushing touchdowns (any position) (57), and total touchdowns responsible for (145).[2][74] Among many mentions in the NCAA Division-I record book, Tebow is ranked second in career passing efficiency, third in career yards per attempt (9.33), 8th in career rushing touchdowns, and also owns the record for most consecutive games in which he both threw at least one touchdown pass and scored at least one rushing touchdown (14).[75]

[76]

Season Team Games Passing Rushing
Comp Att Pct Yds TD INT Rating Sacks Att Yds TD
2006 Florida Gators 14 22 33 66.7 358 5 1 201.7 0 89 469 8
2007 Florida Gators 13 234 350 66.9 3,286 32 6 172.5 13 210 895 23
2008 Florida Gators 14 192 298 64.4 2,747 30 4 172.4 15 176 673 12
2009 Florida Gators 14 213 304 70.1 2,895 21 5 155.6 25 217 910 14
Total 55 661 985 67.1 9,286 88 15 170.8 53 692 2,947 57

"The Tebow Rule"

In 2010 a new rule for the next NCAA football season banned messages on eye paint. This rule was dubbed "The Tebow Rule"[77][78][79] by media because it would have affected him.[79]

During his college football career, he frequently wore references to biblical verses on his eye black. In the 2009 BCS Championship Game, he wore John 3:16 on his eye black; the verse was the highest-ranked Google search term over the next 24 hours, generating over 90 million searches.[80][81][82][83][84] Additionally, later, when Tebow switched to another verse, there were 3.43 million searches of "Tim Tebow" and "Proverbs 3:5-6" together.[85] Tebow stated of the searches "It just goes to show you the influence and the platform that you have as a student-athlete and as a quarterback at Florida".[85]

Despite the media labeling it as the Tebow rule, the NCAA denies the rule was influenced by Tebow in particular, since many other notable players (Reggie Bush and Terrelle Pryor for example) wear or have worn messages on eye black.[86][87] An NCAA spokesman said: "When this rule was proposed, the committee did not focus on any one team or student athlete. That measure reinforces what the intended use of eye black is, which is to shade the eyes from the sun."[87]

The NFL already had a rule prohibiting players from wearing messages on eye black, so Tebow could not have continued the practice in the NFL.[79]

Professional career

Pre-draft

After passing on the 2009 NFL Draft for his senior season at Florida, Tebow went on to enter the 2010 NFL Draft. Despite his college success, Tebow's NFL potential was much debated. According to former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, he could "revolutionize" the pro game. Says Gruden: "Tim Tebow is 250 pounds, and he's the strongest human being that's ever played the position. He can throw well enough at any level."[88] Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy said he would pick Tebow with a top 10 pick over any quarterback in the 2010 draft.[89] However, NFL analyst Mel Kiper believed Tebow did not have the intangibles to play quarterback in the NFL. "I don't think he can be a fulltime quarterback. I don't think he can be the quarterback of the future for you, but I do think in the third round, maybe the second round, he'll be the same as Pat White", said Kiper.[90]

Tebow was particularly mentioned as a potential third round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, his hometown team. Some, including Florida governor Charlie Crist, suggested that Tebow could be the remedy for dwindling Jaguars ticket sales at EverBank Field.[91]

Early in the 2009 season, Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver stated: "He (Tebow) clearly is an outstanding football player and would be an asset to any football organization. Clearly there's going to be a groundswell for Tebow, and we'll have to make that evaluation if we have a draft pick that's going to be anywhere near him."[92] Not everyone in the organization agreed, as Jaguar lineman Uche Nwaneri posted doubts about Tebow's potential NFL success on his team's website message board.[93]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 2¾ in 236 lb 4.71 s 1.55 s 2.66 s 4.17 s 6.66 s 38½ in 9 ft 7 in 22
All results from NFL Combine[94][95]

Denver Broncos

2010

Tebow during warm-ups with the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in 2010

Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round (25th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Broncos had acquired the pick in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens on the first night of the draft for the Broncos' second, third and fourth round picks.[96] Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels said about drafting Tebow, "He has all the traits you look for. It's a good pick."[97] When asked how Tebow will be used, McDaniels commented that Tebow probably wouldn't start at quarterback as a rookie, and that he'll, "Play when he's ready." The Denver Post columnist Woody Paige praised the pick, saying "Tim Tremendous may be high risk, but he will be a Mile High Reward."[98]

Tebow wore number 15 on his jersey for the Broncos, the same number he wore in college.[99] He set an NFL Draft record for jersey sales and continued to have the top selling jersey through the 2010 season.[100]

On July 29, Tebow signed a five-year contract with the Broncos that had a base value of $11.25 million (he could make as much as $33 million through certain performance-based incentives). The contract included $8.7 million guaranteed.[101]

On October 17, Tebow scored his first NFL touchdown, which was a five-yard running play against the New York Jets.[102] On November 14, Tebow threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Spencer Larsen on his first career NFL pass attempt, as part of a 49–29 home victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. He also added a one-yard rushing touchdown in the game.[103]

Tebow started his first NFL game on December 19, which was a 39–23 road loss to the Oakland Raiders.[104] Tebow completed eight of 16 passes for 138 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown pass. He also rushed for 78 yards, 40 of which came on a touchdown run in the first quarter of the game. It was the longest touchdown run for a quarterback in Broncos history and the longest touchdown run in NFL history for a quarterback in his first start.

Tebow's first career victory came in his second start on December 26. The Broncos defeated the Houston Texans, 24–23, in Denver. Tebow helped rally the Broncos from a 17–0 deficit at halftime, as he finished the game with 308 passing yards and one touchdown pass. He also added a fourth quarter rushing touchdown, which capped the comeback.[105]

Tebow finished his rookie season playing sparingly in six games as a back-up (primarily on plays involving the wild horse formation, which is Denver's variation of the wildcat formation) before starting the last three games of the Broncos' season. He threw for a total of 654 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 227 yards and six touchdowns. Tebow became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for a touchdown in each of his first three career starts.

2011

Tebow began the 2011 season as the Denver Broncos' backup quarterback, behind Kyle Orton. After a 1–4 start and some poor performances, Orton was replaced by Tebow at halftime during a home game against the San Diego Chargers in week five. Tebow nearly led the Broncos back from a 16-point deficit, as he passed and ran for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Chargers ultimately won the game, 29–24. Shortly afterward, Broncos' head coach John Fox announced Tebow would start in the following game on the road against the Miami Dolphins. Tebow and the Broncos struggled in the first three-and-a-half quarters against the Dolphins, but rallied from a 15–0 deficit in the last three minutes to win the game 18–15 in overtime.

Tebow playing against the Kansas City Chiefs in January 2012

On November 6, Tebow rushed for 117 yards, along with passing for 124 yards and two touchdowns, as part of a 38–24 road victory over the Oakland Raiders. The Broncos followed up a road win over division-rival Oakland with another road win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Tebow completed two passes on eight attempts for 69 yards and a touchdown. His second completion, a 56-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to wide receiver Eric Decker, sealed the game for Denver. Four days later, Tebow was 9-for-20 with 104 yards in a Thursday Night Football home game against the New York Jets. He led a 95-yard, game-winning touchdown drive with less than six minutes to play, and the Broncos trailing. On third-and-four, Tebow ran for a 20-yard touchdown with less than one minute remaining causing the Broncos to win the game, 17–13.[106] Tebow guided the Broncos to another comeback victory the next week—a 16–13 overtime road win over the San Diego Chargers. He ran the ball 22 times for 67 yards. In the 10th start of his NFL career, Tebow led the Broncos to their third consecutive come-from-behind win of the season, as Denver beat the Minnesota Vikings on the road, 35–32. The following Sunday, Tebow once again guided a comeback victory, this time at home over the Chicago Bears. Denver won 13–10 in overtime after facing a 10–0 deficit with just over two minutes to play in regulation.

The Broncos' winning streak was broken by the New England Patriots in week 15. Tebow rushed for 2 touchdowns and completed 11 of 22 passes against the Patriots in a 41–23 loss. Tebow was sacked four times in the game and had one fumble. In the Broncos' 40–14 loss to the Buffalo Bills the following week, Tebow had one passing and one rushing touchdown but also threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, and two fumbles. He struggled for a third straight game the following week in a 7–3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, completing only 6 of 22 passes and finishing with a career low quarterback rating of 20.6, but a week 17 loss by the Oakland Raiders clinched a playoff spot for the Broncos in the AFC West.[107]

After the three consecutive losses, Broncos vice president and former quarterback John Elway said Tebow was playing tentatively and needed to "pull the trigger."[108][109] On January 8, Denver hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first round of the NFL playoffs. Tebow threw for a career high 316 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80-yard TD to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime, as the Broncos won 29–23.[109] Tebow completed 10 of 21 passes in the contest, setting an NFL record for yards per completion in a playoff game at 31.6.[110] Media sources noted Tebow's passing yards (316) and yards per completion (31.6) evoked the Bible's John 3:16. The Nielsen ratings for the game also peaked at 31.6. John 3:16 was the top search item on Google the next morning, followed by Tebow and Tim Tebow.[111][112] The Broncos were then handed a 45–10 defeat by the New England Patriots the following week, knocking them out of the playoffs.[113] Tebow completed 9 of 26 passes for 136 yards and was sacked five times; he also rushed five times for thirteen yards.

After the season, John Elway confirmed that Tebow would be the Broncos starting quarterback going into training camp in 2012.[114]

Despite on-field successes by the Broncos under Tebow, he finished the season with the lowest passing completion rate in the NFL which led many to question his potential as a quarterback at the professional level.[115]

New York Jets

In the wake of the Broncos signing free agent Peyton Manning, Tebow was traded, along with the Broncos' 2012 seventh round draft pick, to the New York Jets, on March 21, 2012, in exchange for the Jets' fourth and sixth round picks.[4] Jets special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff stated Tebow would be used on special teams[116] while head coach Rex Ryan and offensive coordinator Tony Sparano stated he would also be used in the wildcat formation on offense.[117] The presence of Tebow throughout the season, in which the Jets struggled, created a controversy as the fans and media called for Rex Ryan to bench the inconsistent Mark Sanchez in favor of Tebow.[118]

Tebow suffered two broken ribs during a road game against the Seahawks, however, this was not confirmed until two days prior to the Jets' Thanksgiving contest against the New England Patriots. Tebow was active despite the injury which was publicly revealed after the game.[119] Tebow was subsequently inactive during the Jets' following contest against the Arizona Cardinals in which Sanchez was benched in favor of Greg McElroy.[120]

Westhoff was highly critical of the Jets' use of Tebow in a January 2013 interview on WQAM radio in Miami.[121]

On April 29, 2013, Tebow was released; he had thrown only eight passes and run 32 times in his one season with the Jets.[122]

New England Patriots

The New England Patriots signed Tebow on June 10, 2013, the day before the team's mandatory minicamp;[123][124][125] Tebow signed a two-year contract with no guaranteed money, although it did have playing time-based incentives in 2014. The move reunited Tebow with Josh McDaniels, now the Patriots offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.[126] Tebow played in the first two of New England's preseason games, against the Eagles and the Buccaneers; he completed just five passes in both games, was sacked several times and intercepted once, intensifying criticism of his football acumen.[127] Tebow went 6-for-11 for 91 yards, throwing a pair of touchdown passes and one interception, and gained 30 yards on six carries against the New York Giants, but he also was sacked four times. He threw a total of 2 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions in the preseason and had a passer rating of 47.2 and completed 36.7% of his passes.[128] Tebow was released from the Patriots on August 31, 2013, the day NFL teams were required to cut their rosters to 53. After being cut, Tebow publicly thanked the Patriots organization for the opportunity and stated: "I will remain in relentless pursuit of continuing my lifelong dream of being an NFL quarterback."[129]

Though he began his broadcasting career in December 2013, he continued to seek opportunities to resume his career as an NFL quarterback.[130]

NFL statistics

Regular season

Season Team Games Passing Sacks Rushing Fumbles
GP GS W–L Comp Att Pct Yds Y/Att TD INT Rating # Yds Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost
2010 Denver Broncos 9 3 1–2 41 82 50.0 654 8.0 5 3 82.1 6 26 43 227 5.3 6 1 0
2011 Denver Broncos 14 11 7–4 126 271 46.5 1,729 6.4 12 6 72.9 33 225 122 660 5.4 6 13 6
2012 New York Jets 12 0 0–0 6 8 75.0 39 4.9 0 0 84.9 2 7 32 102 3.2 0 0 0
Total 34 16 8–6 173 361 47.9 2,422 6.7 17 9 75.3 41 258 197 989 5.0 12 14 6

Playoffs

Season Team Games Passing Sacks Rushing Fumbles
GP GS W–L Comp Att Pct Yds Y/Att TD INT Rating # Yds Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost
2011–12 Denver Broncos 2 2 1–1 19 47 40.4 452 9.6 2 0 90.0 5 28 15 63 4.2 1 1 1

In the media

Books

On May 31, 2011, HarperCollins released Through My Eyes, an autobiography that Tebow co-wrote with author Nathan Whitaker. Tebow details his early life growing up in Jacksonville and the Philippines, as well as his college football experiences.[131] By March 4, 2012 it had spent 24 weeks on the New York Times best seller list.[132] It was named the #1 sports book of 2011 [133] and the best selling religion book of 2011.[134] Tim followed his memoir with a young readers’ edition titled Through My Eyes: A Quarterback’s Journey, also co-written with Nathan Whitaker.[135]

Endorsements

Tebow is a spokesperson for Nike, Jockey International, FRS Health Energy and TiVo.[136][137][138][139]

Documentaries

In 2011, Tebow was the first quarterback featured in ESPN's "Year of the Quarterback" series. The documentary, titled Tim Tebow: Everything in Between, followed him from the 2010 Sugar Bowl to the 2010 NFL Draft. It premiered on January 6, 2011.[140] On November 8, 2011 the documentary was released on DVD. Tebow was documented in 2012 on NFL Network's A Football Life in a documentary titled, The Faces of Tebow.[141]

2010 Super Bowl ad

A nationwide controversy surrounded Tebow's decision to appear in an ad funded by the socially conservative organization Focus on the Family that was broadcast February 7, 2010, during Super Bowl XLIV on CBS.[142][143] There were two 30-second commercials, which included Tebow's personal story as part of a pro-life stance. The abortion issue was not specifically mentioned in the ad.[144] Pro-choice groups criticised the ad,[145] while pro-life groups supported Tebow.[146]

Tebowing

Tebow kneeling in prayer, which has since been referred to as "Tebowing"

Tebowing is a neologism for the act of kneeling on one knee in prayer specifically with one's head bowed and an arm resting on the one bent knee, when kneeling, a form of genuflecting.[147][148] It is derived from Tebow's propensity for kneeling and praying. The origin of the phrase is credited to fan Jared Kleinstein, who posted a picture with friends on Facebook, in which they mimicked a pose of Tebow following the Broncos' comeback overtime victory over the Dolphins on October 23, 2011.[149] The popularity of the picture led Kleinstein to set up a website showing pictures submitted by people depicting various interpretations of Tebowing all over the world.[149] After two-and-a-half months, the site received 20,000 photograph submissions and 20 million page views from 2 million unique visitors.[150] The New York Times wrote "it can be hard to tell whether [people tebowing] are celebrating or mocking [Tebow] for his virtuous ways."[148] Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl tebowed as part of a bet with the mayor of Denver following the Broncos playoff victory over the Steelers in 2012.[151] On October 9, 2012, Tebow was awarded the trademark to Tebowing after winning a legal battle with two fans who had expressed interest in trademarking the name.[152]

Tebowing was recognized as a word in the English language by the Global Language Monitor, due to its level of worldwide usage, which was comparable to the word Obamamania (referencing President Barack Obama).[147][153] In December 2011, the life-sized wall graphics company Fathead released a "Tebowing" sticker that became the company's best-selling product in two days.[154]

Tebowing was included as a feature in the Madden NFL 13 video game.[155]

Christianity

Tebow is known for his outspoken Christian faith.[156][157] In the Philippines, Tim Tebow preached the Christian Gospel to schoolchildren and entire villages and assisted in medical care.[158][159] Tebow supports more than 40 national evangelists working in that nation.[159] In the United States, he has shared his Christian faith in prisons and schools, to church and youth groups, and at meetings and conferences.[156][158]

Tebow holds a firm stance in favor of faith-based abstinence, and has maintained he is preserving his virginity until marriage.[160][161]

An Easter Sunday crowd of roughly 20,000 in Florida listened to Tebow on April 8, 2012. He only briefly mentioned his move from Denver to New York. "Kind of got traded. I'm on another team—excited to be a Jet," Tebow said. "Regardless of what happens, I still honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because at the end of the day, that's what's important, win or lose. ... We need to get back to one nation under God, and be role models for kids," Tebow added.[162][163]

Philanthropy

Tebow envisioned a foundation to give back to others during his college career, and he, along with other University of Florida students, created "First and 15", raising funds for Uncle Dick's Orphanage [clarification needed] in the Philippines, founded by his father's nonprofit association, the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association.[164] He also raised money for Shands Hospital pediatric cancer center in Gainesville and a Disney trip for disadvantaged children. Upon graduation from University of Florida, Tebow launched the Tim Tebow Foundation in January 2010.[165] In 2013 Tebow was designated a Great Floridian by Florida Governor Rick Scott in recognition of his “major contributions to the progress and welfare" of Florida.[166]

Tebow CURE Hospital

CURE and the Tebow Foundation announced plans to build a children's hospital in the fall of 2011 in the Philippines, the country where Tebow was born. The Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao City, on the island of Mindanao, will hold 30 beds and will specialize in orthopedics. CURE's 12th hospital worldwide, they hope to heal deformities such as clubfoot, untreated burns, hydrocephalus and other conditions correctable with surgery. The cost of the project, $3 million, will come from donations from CURE and the Tebow Foundation. The hospital will include a "Timmy's Playroom".[167]

Broadcasting

On December 30, 2013, Tebow was hired by ESPN as a college football analyst. He will appear mainly on the SEC Network as co-host of SEC Nation, a travelling pre-game show, and will contribute to ESPN's other platforms as well; Tebow made his debut on ESPN during the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. He has not given up on playing in the NFL, however; his contract allows him to continue to pursue opportunities as a player.[7][168]

Tebow was asked to co-host ABC News' Good Morning America on January 31, 2014, shortly before Super Bowl XLVIII, and was joined on the morning show by Eli Manning.[169][170][171][172][173]

Awards and honors

College

2006 season

2007 season

Tim Tebow in 2007

2008 season

2009 season

See also

References

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Bibliography

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Kevin Durant
Best Male College Athlete ESPY Award Winner
2008 & 2009
Succeeded by
John Wall