Monday, November 23, 2009

Tebow Is A Florida Football Fan Himself (And Always Shows It During FSU Week)

"Why is it so important to me? Since I can remember watching football, I've been watching that game."

-- 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.


  1. It is going to be the most emotional Senior Day at the Swamp, when Gator fans will say good bye to Tim Tebow, Brandon Spikes and the rest of the FL football seniors.I am teary eyed just thinking about it now. Thank you Tim for 4 oustanding years of enjoyment your gave us watching you and the team play. Good Luck in the NFL and God Bless.

  2. Dan, I'm curious--as a Florida "convert," which are the rivalries that mean most to you? Which team just gets your blood boiling at the sight of their unis?

    For me, having grown up in Gainesville in the 90s, it's FSU, hands down, no question. They were so good and ruined so many otherwise spectacular seasons (1994 in particular was tough, with the Choke at Doak compounded by the Sugar Bowl loss).

    Plus, FSU fans are the biggest d-bags in college football. If they never win another game it'll be more than fine with me.