The Florida Gators won college football's National Championship Thursday night by defeating the Oklahoma Sooners 24-14. I watched most of the game and it was good one, close all the way to the end.
I think what interested me the most was the Gators quarterback, Tim Tebow. There have been some comments indicating that he may be one of the greatest college football players ever. What I enjoy most about his playing is that he runs and hits like a tight end. He doesn't just take hits, he dishes them out. Not your typical QB. On the other hand, some think his ability will not translate well to the NFL. We'll just have to see.
But what is very clear is that Tebow has so much going for him other than football. He's a young man who is very confident in his Christianity and puts it into action. Here are some excerpts from an article by Pat Forde of ESPN.com to give you the idea:
"It truly would be a shame to submit to cynicism and not fully appreciate the gift of Tebow -- the way he plays football with an unquenchable passion, and the way he approaches life with even greater ardor. If you think he hits linebackers hard on fourth-and-1, that's nothing compared to the way he tackles his higher calling to spread the word. In this one instance, what looks too good to be true really is true."
The 'too good to be true' label has been applied repeatedly and Tebow skillfully and politely answers the skeptical who wonder if he's a phony. And the good news is - he's no phony.
"Tebow has quarterbacked Florida to its second BCS National Championship Game in his three years at the school. He nearly won the Heisman for a second straight season. If the Gators beat Oklahoma on Thursday and he comes back for his senior year, he has a chance to become the most decorated college football player of all time. Yet none of those are the most important statistics or milestones in Tebow's life. These are: 11 prison visits to preach Christianity to inmates; annual trips to the country of his birth, the Philippines, to assist his father's missionary work there; and seven rubber wrist bands on his arms.
"Two commemorate injured or deceased former teammates. Two are for little girls afflicted by cancer. One says, "Praystrong," a twist on the Lance Armstrong bracelet slogan. Another, "TPS," which stands for Time, Place, Substance, distributed by a Florida coach. And one says, "Semper Fi," which means "always faithful" and is the motto of the Marine Corps, among other things."
Always faithful, which Tebow apparently is to all things that matter to him. Of course he wants to play NFL football. Whether or not he will remains to be seen.
"The reassuring thing about Tim Tebow is this: Even if his goal of playing in the NFL is unrealized, it will not define his adult life. There are so many other lives to touch. "I'll be OK" without the NFL, Tebow said. "Would I be upset? Yeah, absolutely. That's my goal. But it's not going to be like my life is over. There's so many other things that I want to do."
I trust that all will turn out well for Tebow, he appears to have most things in life accurately weighed. It would be nice to see him exert some influence in the pro ranks.
And it would give me one more guy to root for.