Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Year of Tebow: The Teblog Anniversary

One year ago today, I launched

Nearly 900 posts later, it has been one of the most satisfying years I have spent as a writer -- and as a fan.

A year ago, only one thing was obvious: Tim Tebow would be the biggest story in sports for the rest of the year (and even into 2010, when I predicted he would be -- by far -- the biggest story of the 2010 NFL Draft and thus the first third of the new sports year).

I also had a hypothesis that there were a ton of fans out there -- Florida fans, Tebow fans, college football fans, sports fans in general -- who cared about the subject of Tebow and would enjoy a site dedicated to extremely focused coverage of him.

What I could never anticipate was the way the year would unfold:

Things got off to a circus-like start at SEC Media Days (aka “Tebow Media Days”) with “Are you saving yourself for marriage?”

(Speaking of marriage, the amount of time and energy I put into the site that week -- to get it off the ground, to cover the stories at SEC Media Days, to promote the site -- did not sit particularly well with my wife. We were supposed to be on “vacation.” It was foreshadowing of the way the site would come to become a huge part of our life. To her credit -- and because she is an even bigger Florida fan than I am -- she has been 100 percent supportive.)

The storyline for the season was simple enough: Tim Tebow -- all-time great college football player... or GREATEST college football player?

That was predicated on one assumption: When -- not if, mind you -- Florida rolled to a 14-0 national-championship season.

The pressure and the media hype matched the stakes -- immense. Like everything else related to Tebow, unprecedented.

My own effort ratcheted up from the start: I was posting 2, 3, 4 times per day, every day. One lesson in hindsight is that for all my effort, I didn’t do nearly enough promotion: Where was the Facebook Fan page? Where was the active Teblog Twitter account? Where was the outreach on message boards and to bloggers?

Great content was fine -- and with a “real” job and two young kids, enough of a time and energy commitment as it was. I really needed to do more to promote the site and its content, in order to have it have the impact I really envisioned for it.

Anyway, the season had its twists and turns -- the two that stand out were, ironically, the worst moments: The Concussion and the loss to Alabama.

The comeback at the Sugar Bowl was amazing, as was the epiphany -- delivered by Tebow himself -- that the season was about relationships even more than championships.

That’s where you come in: More than anything else, I have been honored that you have given me and this site your time and attention. I appreciate your comments and emails. I appreciate the support, both from readers and from bloggers and reporters who linked to the site. I appreciate that we could create a community around this topic, this person, and the larger things at play when it comes to football and fandom.

We have navigated territory way beyond football -- the expectations of fandom, the depths of disappointment, perceptions and realities of marketing, and even religion and its cultural impact, a topic I was (and continue) to be nervous about discussing here... but not in the thoughtful way we have tried to explore it. Through quite a bit of personal reflection, I experienced some profound humanist revelations -- and that’s admittedly too loaded of a word -- that tested, evolved and strengthened my own belief system.

I cannot thank you enough for the time and attention and interest in digging into all these topics, whether all you were looking for was a take on the latest twist in the Tebow football story or more.

So what next? The post-college insanity from the pre-draft workouts until the Draft itself -- and beyond, into mini-camps -- proved that Tebow as NFL player will have every bit the fan interest as Tebow in college. Perhaps more, if the NFL-leading jersey sales and national-magazine profiles are any indication.

What kind of impact Tebow has this season -- and, as you all know, I think that impact will be so much greater than the “experts” are predicting (see #timtebowcant) -- will be one of the biggest storylines of the NFL season. I am already figuring out how to get to Jacksonville for Week 1. (A friend in Denver told me if I really wanted to see Tebow play to come out to Denver for a preseason game. He might not be wrong, but the Jacksonville debut is just too dramatic.)

I fully expect to continue blogging here throughout the NFL season. I am also trying to put everything that has happened over the past year into something more tangible -- yes, the “TeBook.” (No, that’s not the actual name, just a convenient shorthand.)

You all can (and will) have a part to play in that, too. I will try not to be too coy with the details, as I am still working them out.

The larger point is this: It has been an incredible year. Thank you for being a part of it, and let’s all look forward to the next few months -- and the next year of

Thank you again,

-- Dan


  1. No Dan, thank you for letting me (and the rest of us) go on that ride with you.

    For me, it's not just that you have generously devoted time and cyberspace to a worthy topic, you have helped reinvigorate my Gator pride.

  2. Thank you! and please be sure to thank your wife for sharing you and your knowledge of all things Tebow with all of us!

  3. as another favorite blogger of mine would say...1 million cocktails to you sir. keep it up.

  4. Dan, it's been an honor to come here and read your postings. I look forward to it whenever I see a new one has been posted. Keep up the good work and can't wait for the book!

  5. Your blog is one of my homepage tabs. Keep up the great work!!!

  6. Thanks for all the hard work. It's been a fun ride and your perspective and content has made it all the better. Go Gators! Go Tebow!

  7. Your blog has been my one consistent read all year. Thanks for everything and thanks for continuing it.

  8. Thank you for the blog, Dan. It's one of my must-see-blogs every weekday & has been my homepage at various times this year.