I’m going to do my best to stay awake for the end of the National Championship tonight (Oops… I think I’m contractually obligated to call it the BCS National Championship.) Florida quarterback and all around Superman Tim Tebow will make it a little easier.
Thanks to Vitamin Z for bringing this story to my attention:
Back in July, in a ballroom in a Birmingham, Ala., hotel during Southeastern Conference media days, a reporter asked Tim Tebow the following question:
“I don’t mean to sound cynical, but between winning the national championship and winning the Heisman, saving the world in the Philippines and all, did you ever, like, sneak a cigarette when you were in high school? Do you ever do anything wrong? Do you feel like everything off the field is sort of on cruise control for you?”
My immediate reaction: Lord help us. Sporting America has become too jaded to appreciate Tim Tebow. We’ve been Marion Jonesed and Mark McGwired and Barry Bondsed into suspecting there must be a dark side to the Florida quarterback, who does so many things right on and off the football field. We roll our eyes at his “saving the world in the Philippines,” when how many among us have bothered to go across town to help the poor, much less across the globe the way Tebow has? We’ve been conditioned not to trust a virtuous athlete when he’s right in front of us.Tebow’s reaction was better. His response, in part:
“You know, everybody, they can look and say how easy it is. But it’s definitely not that easy. The difference is ’cause not many people want to wake up at 5, go through workouts, go speak to young kids, go back, eat lunch, go to class, go to tutoring, go speak at a prison at night, come back. I mean, more people would do those things; they just don’t want to sacrifice.
“You know, there’s a lot of leaders out there. But, unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of good ones. So that’s always been my dream and my goal, is to be someone like Danny Wuerffel was to me, to be someone that a parent can say, ‘Hey, this kid did it the right way.’ That’s always been my dream and my goal more so than winning a trophy or winning a championship.
“So if it’s cynical or whatnot, that’s fine. If people don’t believe it, that’s fine. There’s always going to be naysayers, people that are going to say it’s fake. But that’s fine because you can’t control everybody. But I can control what I do, my attitude, how I approach the situation. So how I approach the situation is I want to do everything in my power that football gives me to influence as many people as I can for the good because that’s gonna mean so much more when it’s all said and done than just playing football and winning championships.”