You should read the whole thing, but I wanted to point out one fascinating detail that reporter Steve Weiberg digs up: Tebow's Q-Rating.
"Q-Rating" is basically a simple metric that illustrates how well-known someone is. I have been curious about Tebow's Q-score all season, and Weiberg finally gets the numbers:
Last spring when his popularity was measured (for the first time), Tebow was recognized by 49 percent of sports fans aged 12-64. (And that was last spring, before the saturation of coverage and attention since then.)
His actual Q-score was "21," which means that 21 percent of fans named him as one of their favorite athletes. Again, that was before the spring, summer and fall media crush on him.
These numbers are staggeringly good for a college athlete and they quantify what we all already know: Tebow is insanely popular -- probably the most popular college athlete of all time.
I would be willing to bet that Tebow's recognition and "favorite" scores would be among the highest in sports by now. (And sponsors scrambling to sign him up as a partner starting the morning after the bowl game will be banking on that, for sure.)
Beyond those numbers, the story has it all: The on-field accomplishment, the community service, the values, the popularity, the NFL future. All your favorites: The Google stuff; the influence on Urban Meyer; the influence on other athletes and coaches; the attempt to draw historical comparables (going so far as to interview Bill Bradley and Roger Staubach for quotes); even noting the Heisman race last year where Tebow had more 1st-place votes than anyone else.
And, of course, the gushing quotes. Here's one from Vince Dooley:
"Football. Athleticism. Leadership. Charity work. His faith. You name it. I've never seen anybody who had all that in one package. That's what puts him in a class by himself."I think the story illustrates something important:
To understand Tebow and the Tebow phenomenon, you have to understand that it is the overwhelming breadth and depth of the entire package that makes him so unique for the times and unprecedented in sports history.
Read the full story here.