Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Tebow Moment No. 4: Taunting the Sooners

Tim Tebow's college football career has mere days remaining. All this week, a look back at the Top 10 defining moments of his career.

"I let the Gator speak for me."

This is my all-time favorite Tim Tebow moment: The unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty he was flagged for against Oklahoma in the 2008 national championship game.

Let's set the scene. Florida was up 24-14 with 2 minutes to go in the 4th quarter. On 2nd-and-9 from the Oklahoma 35, Tebow rushed for 13 yards, pulled down a little too hard by Oklahoma's Nic Harris.

Tebow popped up and started jawing. Then he gave Harris the Gator Chomp. There is the briefest of pauses by the referee, perhaps because he is shocked that the taunt is coming from Tebow. But then the flag comes out.

Because the game's result -- and a national championship -- were in hand for Florida, the outburst from Tebow was triumphalist, rather than tacky. In the face of some unflagged unsportsmanlike conduct by the Sooners, Tebow showed them what's what.

It was so uncharacteristic of Tebow to taunt, let alone get flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct -- and yet it was a glimpse at the ultimate competitiveness. 99 percent of the time, the Bible's word is Tebow's guide; in this case, as he said: "I let the Gator speak for me."

Not to sound blasphemous, but it was almost like -- for that five seconds -- Tebow was possessed by something less-than-wholesome, something that insisted "No, take THAT." Everyone has that side. And a rare peek at the pure competitive core that makes Tebow who he is on the field.

Here is why I like the play so much: It was Tebow's most human -- and likable -- public display of his life.

Watch the video below. It's only 10 seconds, but it says everything.

The Complete Top 10
10. Commits to UF
9. I'm Coming Back!
8. Circumcisions
7. Crying
6. 20/20
5. The Virgin
4. Taunting Oklahoma
3. John 3:16
2. The Jump-Pass
1. The Promise


  1. Dan... you are missing the entire real subtext in the Tebow "taunt".. the whole reason Tebow taunted that player with the Gator chomp was because he did some bush league move on an INJUREd Percy Harvin messing with his ankle. Tebow was defending his player... not being classless.

  2. Classless taunting is not defending a player. Tebow was correctly flagged for his bush league action. Tebow is not righteous, he just claims he is.