Saturday, December 8, 2007

Up, Up and Away

Excitement, exuberance, excellence.

If you've had the pleasure of seeing Tim Tebow play in his first two seasons at the University of Florida you understand just how synonymous he is with those three words.

After Saturday night however his name will forever be preceded by these three words: "Heisman Trophy winner".

In a season of upsets and shockers, where no favorite was safe, it was the guy most thought would take home the game's most coveted individual award that did just that and in the process became the first sophomore to win the Heisman.

While everyone will of course point to the ridiculous touchdown numbers both rushing and passing, what impressed me most with Tebow was his ability to lead and motivate with passion and sincerity.

Watching the 20-year-old's mile-a-minute acceptance speech in which he thanked everybody but myself and maybe two other dudes, you got a glimpse into why teammates call him a dream to play with and his coaches gush when his name comes up.

He's college football's Peyton Manning complete with all the "gee, gosh and heck" that football fans love and marketing people covet. An unassuming superstar with all the talent and charisma necessary to win over any crowd.

At this point it would be easy for Tebow to big-time people, shun the media and act the fool on a campus full of coeds falling over themselves to be the Lois Lane to his Superman.

Instead you get the feeling he'll be that guy on a sweltering August day at an NFL training camp, standing around for an hour making sure he signs every last autograph.

On the field it's impossible to ignore his ultra-unique style that's equal parts broad sword and battering ram. Maybe it's a lefty thing, those guys are always quirky, but mostly it's an all-out approach to the game that makes you think if he ever stops playing quarterback he might have a future as a linebacker.

Like very few before him (Michael Vick and Vince Young come to mind) it's Tebow's inability to be compared to his professional counterparts that ultimately makes him such a compelling figure on the football field.

With a National Championship and now a Heisman on his resume, Tebow's status as the next big thing has officially been overtaken by his current status as college football's "it" player.

A big shout out to Ms. Ann Malling for her support for and downright obsession with Tim Tebow. At least one more year on campus Ann and then you can make him your fantasy team's number one draft pick.

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