I mentioned this the other day, referencing a small graphic I spotted on the front cover of the USA Today sports section, but the Sun, smartly, made a full-blown story out of it:
Tim Tebow is the 3rd-most influential athlete in the country. That's the headline of the E-Poll Market Research polling that had Tebow behind No. 1 Lance Armstrong and just behind LeBron.
It is unclear -- but entirely likely -- that the polling was done before LeBron's "Decision," which undoubtedly would influence his number lower than Tebow.
If you go with that presumption and take a provincial perspective that while Lance is influential, his sport is not (but Tebow's is the biggest U.S. sport by a wide margin), then you start to build a remarkable case:
That Tebow is the most influential major-sport athlete in the country. Already. Not after a season of playing in the NFL. Not after being an NFL starting QB. But right now.
It is unprecedented in the modern (post-ESPN) history of American sports. Of course, unprecedented is the norm for Tebow.