-- Tim Tebow, on Florida's rivalry with Florida State. Tebow followed with an FSU-rivalry story (familiar to those who track Tebow closely) that I think is essential to his mythic status:
"When Florida State beat Florida in 1996, we didn't think we'd go to the national championship. I remember my dad made me go outside and cut the grass and rake the leaves. The whole time I was raking leaves, I was crying because Florida State just beat Florida. That's just one example of how special this game is. Winning this game helps put a smile on your face, that's for sure."
It's easy to chuckle at the story, but I think it is telling in a fairly substantive way:
My wife -- who is the lifelong Gator fan and, as you know, is the one who converted me -- ID'ed during Tebow's freshman year what she liked most about him:
That Tebow, himself, was a die-hard Gator fan.
He grew up rooting for Florida, which -- she would attribute -- makes him that much more spirited about playing for Florida and his relationship with Gator Nation.
His tie to the school isn't just as a player -- it is as a fan. And that matters.