Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tebow-Wonderlic Story: Debunked by Tebow

UPDATE: Debunked! In a "typical Tim" move -- and indicative of how you should judge the original story -- Tebow actually called Mike Florio, the editor of Pro Football Talk, and told him the story was absolutely not true.

It's a show of respect to Florio -- and it is a show of how secure (not to mention media-savvy) Tebow is to call Florio directly to debunk the rumor, after it became the odd sports meme of the day. Florio stands by his sources but also can't deny the sincerity of Tebow's denials -- which included giving names of guys in the room that Florio could call to confirm Tebow's story. I think that short of the guy who was alleged to have said the quote coming forward with another story, you have to trust Tebow.

By the way: What a smart move by Tebow to call PFT directly. I cannot remember an athlete's scandal-management -- even when the "scandal" is hardly a scandal -- as facile and savvy as Tebow displayed this afternoon. That's how seriously Tebow (and Team Tebow) take his reputation. Tiger Woods -- and every other athlete -- could take a lesson.

Even if it reinforces that, indeed, Tebow has never called the editor of THIS blog....

ORIGINAL POST:

I would be remiss if I didn't mention the underground Tebow story that is going around the Internet this morning, via Pro Football Talk:

Apparently, the day of the Wonderlic, Tebow and his fellow draft prospects were about to take the test and Tebow asked if there could be a moment of prayer before the test.

The response from one fellow draftee: "Shut the f--- up."

Tebow fans and the Tebow-fatigued alike should never be surprised at any forms of hostility or mockery directed at Tebow -- frankly, that's been happening online for years.

There's quite a bit of schadenfreude resulting from the quote -- although not even close to the level during the whole "Tebow crying" thing after the SEC championship game.

As with everything Tebow, it is going to get way more attention than any other player would get. And it cuts to a lot of the controversy regarding Tebow's demonstrative display of values.

It strikes me as more an example of Tebow schadenfreude than a larger issue about Tebow's style and how it might translate in a pro setting.

I have a couple of other responses:

*From Tebow's perspective -- knowing who he is -- it couldn't hurt to ask. He probably didn't foresee the level of vitriol coming back at him, but maybe he probably should have.

*Tebow would never have done it -- wrong time and place, for starters -- but I'd be curious if that player (will we find out who it was?) would say that to Tebow's face in a different setting.

What I mean by that is -- not that Tebow would ever kick someone's ass for mocking him -- Tebow could have knocked that dude the f--- out, to repeat the salty language. Anyone doubt it?

We have never really seen personally vengeful Tebow -- aside from that altogether more fun unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty in the 2008 season national title game.

I suspect there would be a whole lot of Biblical-level whooping going on. Again: Not that he would ever engage in that. He is much too disciplined.

Last thought: Not that I doubt Tebow's ability to focus, but if the story is true, is it possible that the pre-test interaction bothered him enough to knock a couple of points off his test score?

-- Dan

8 comments:

  1. Are you saying that his low score was because he got rattled by being told to shut the fuck up by an incoming rookie?

    If that's true, he should retire.

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  2. Anyone that BELIEVES this story just FAILED the Wonderlic test..

    I am blown away how stupid the general public is. First of all, this is completely counter to Tebow and his families way of pushing their religion. If Tebow was really the way this story portrays him his teammates would have turned on him before he even got started in college football.

    Second of all, The second part of this story could have been fictionalized just as easily as the first... It is possible, though highly unlikely, that Tebow did say SOMETHING about prayer or religion and someone made up the "shut the fuck up" part..

    Anyway.. it's sickening that the media would even post this story. Makes me wonder about all those supposed Tiger Woods affairs as well.

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  3. I have a hard time believing this story knowing it was written by Mike Florio, who has never been one to hide his ill feelings toward Tebow. I wouldn't be surprised if he fabricated a story just to get one more person against Tebow or to shed him in a negative light.

    But if it is true, I'm sure this incident has already leaked to NFL scouts and team insiders. I mean the test was taken almost more than a month ago. Therefore, this alleged draftee's action may have tainted his image to those who wanted to draft him. This scenario paints a pic of locker room relations, and IMO, I would take Tebow over someone who tells a teammate to STFU than one who is accused of "pushing his faith on others," a ridiculous accusation that's no stranger to poor Tim.

    All I have to say to that draftee is: What goes around comes around...

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  4. I really hope this story isn't true. I thought it was kind & magnanimous of Tim to ask a nervous Mark Ingram if he wanted to have a prayer to calm his nerves, considering that it was Ingram's team that beat UF in the SECCG. But, if this Wonderlic story is true the only way Tim wasn't being too pushy is if one or more of the guys in Tim's Wonderlic group had asked Tim to pray & he was just asking for them & himself, not the entire group, or if Tim was just asking if he could go in a separate room by himself & pray.

    And I do find it ironic that the only reason those who hate & ridicule Tim b/c of his faith will never feel the wrath of the linebacker-sized Tim is b/c of that faith they so despise.

    This reminds me of something I've been meaning to ask here: has Tim ever confirmed that his Wonderlic score was 22? It was only an anonymous source that revealed that-& it's probably true-but I've been wondering if anyone's tried to confirm that w/Tim?

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  5. "This reminds me of something I've been meaning to ask here: has Tim ever confirmed that his Wonderlic score was 22? It was only an anonymous source that revealed that-& it's probably true-but I've been wondering if anyone's tried to confirm that w/Tim?"

    Well, everyone else's scores were revealed, and if they weren't all accurate, then that could be considered libelous or defaming and players would def. been complaining by now if one news report said one score and their official score said another.

    So, I'm guessing it is true, since Tim or his reps haven't said anything about it.

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  6. Yeah, that's why I assumed it was true, too.

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  7. It's not a surprise that this story turned out to not be true. It just smelled bad: anonymous source, no other people in the room at the time were mentioned by name, & it contradicts Tim's rep for not being a hard-sell type.

    I think it's more than a little unprofessional for Florio to just take his source's word for it, instead of finding out who else was in the room & contacting them first to confirm it before running it. He's the EDITOR, for crying out loud, not just some lowly post-grad. (Or did Florio already have a preconceived Tebow-is-a-pushy-religious-zealot mindset & this story fit it too neatly to even bother to check if it was true?) And now Florio's going to continue to "keep digging" to find out what *really* happened, b/c "Tebow believes he's telling the truth" (what?), but Florio believes his source? Translation: this story made Florio look like a trusting fool (&/or a Tebow hater), so he has to find some way to justify his reporting this before checking if it was true.

    With Tim having so many haters, something like this was predictable. There are probably going to be many more attempts by anonymous sources (& all-too-willing &/or incompetent journalists) to make Tim look bad during his NFL career.

    "Even if it reinforces that, indeed, Tebow has never called the editor of THIS blog...."

    LOL. I'm sure that day will happen, Dan. :D

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  8. I knew it! I refused to believe it until I heard it directly from Tim. I'm so glad he faced the man head on. I doubt Florio will be writing anymore inappropriate Tebow articles ever again.

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