I'm not quite ready to pull together everything just yet, but I was going back through some old posts and found this one from early August, riffing on an Andrea Adelson post about what would define Tim Tebow's legacy more: "The Promise" or an undefeated season.
I was surprisingly heartened by re-reading what I wrote then:
The Promise transcended Florida and became part of college football history. It was the sport's version of Joe Namath's Super Bowl III "guarantee." Because it resulted in a national title, it was arguably the most notable off-field moment in college football history, right up there with the (fictitious!) "Win one for the Gipper."Of course, that unbeaten season didn't happen. And the failure in the SEC championship game is acute -- it is part of Tebow's legacy.
"The Promise" distilled everything there is to know about Tim Tebow the football player AND Tebow the person. Even how it is referred to -- "The Promise" -- sounds mythological, even evangelical.
The speech sparked a national title. It will be the foundation for a run at a second -- and college football immortality that would come with an unbeaten season and 2009 national title.
In the annals of Tebow Myth -- and they are extensive -- The Promise is the biggest and most important moment. An unbeaten season in 2009 is a direct offshoot of that Promise.
But the defining moment was -- and will always be -- The Promise.