During his time at Florida, Tim Tebow got his name in the record books, won two national championships and earned the 2007 Heisman Trophy. Said trophy, however, is not actually in his home. The former NFL player, now college football analyst, has been auctioning it off to raise money for charity.
In an interview with the Dan Patrick Show, Tebow talked about how the idea got started and the journey the trophy has been through. The last client was a high-profile figure, and also a little mischievous.
"It just left Luke Bryan's house," Tebow said when asked about the whereabouts of the trophy. "Luke Bryan, the country singer...Leading up to Florida-Georgia, because he is such a Georgia fan, he would put a Georgia jersey on it. He would put peanut butter on it and let his dog lick it off. He would do all sorts of stuff and I was like, this isn't fair."
Tebow received multiple photos and videos from Bryan, and eventually he decided to get revenge. Tebow asked Bryan's wife to help him get one of the singer's CMA Artist of the Year Awards. She came through and the payback began.
Tim Tebow doesn't have his Heisman Trophy. He actually hasn't had it for the last 8 years, as he's been auctioning it off for charity. Most notably to country star @LukeBryan and @KathieLGifford.— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) September 20, 2022
For Tim's full appearance: https://t.co/RfYjoweg34 pic.twitter.com/IHtQc6h6Gl
"I started sending him videos of me using it as like a sparkling water opener or a jack for a car to lift it up," Tebow recounted. "We kept going back and forward. I think CMA got upset by it. I didn't actually hurt it, it just looked like we were using it that way."
Tebow said that through the last eight years, the auctions for award have raised almost $1 million and that the trophy has been getting a new home every year or every six months. Indirectly, Alabama head coach Nick Saban was the inspiration for this idea.
Years ago, Tebow was a guest at a gala in Connecticut that was raising money for soldiers who lost their lives during battle. He went there with good intentions, but then he saw that Saban was contributing to the auction. Tebow said there was no way he was going to let the Alabama head coach raise more money than him, so it soon became a competition.
"I hate losing to Nick Saban and Alabama. It only happened once and it was one of the worst days of my life," Tebow said. "So I'm thinking, you know what, I wanna help, but I also want to beat coach Saban."
At that point, Tebow was trying to brainstorm ideas for something the wealthy attendees didn't already have. The perfect idea popped into his head and he walked to the host to ask if he could auction off the Heisman for a year. The host was surprised but he agreed. That night Kathie Lee Gifford left the gala as the first temporary owner of the trophy.
Tebow said the trophy is very special and valuable to him, but also that he is glad it can be used to make a difference for those less fortunate.
"Why have it in your garage when it can be in someone else's living room and now a lot kids are being helped with it?" he said. "My goal with that is it could be the most impactful Heisman one day, not by sitting on a shelf and just looking at it, but by being on a bunch of other people's shelves and making an impact in a lot of kids' lives."