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....
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?