Tim Tebow is known to be — by just about every reasonable standard — a good and decent man. He handles himself with class and dignity. He's gracious with his time to the less fortunate. In what we know about Tebow, which is to say what we have been allowed to know about Tebow, he treats people the right way.
While he is also supremely athletically gifted compared to the general population, he never quite got to the 1% of 1% of quarterbacks or baseball players.
It is widely understood and agreed upon that his celebrity (which was driven in part by his open Christian faith and genuflecting), his athletic talents and his good nature have combined to offer him opportunities in two of North America's major sports.
Soon he will sign a one-year contract to play tight end for the one NFL team, coached by the one NFL coach, who would ever consider inking the soon-to-be-34-year-old to such a deal. It's unheard of. It is quite possible that if the Jaguars were any other team and if Urban Meyer were literally anywhere else, Tebow would not be getting this opportunity and I would not be writing this column.
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Tebow is getting this opportunity because of this incredibly rare occurrence. What are the odds of being killed by a falling coconut while being chased by a loose tiger in a Houston neighborhood? Those were about the odds last fall of Tebow getting a shot at tight end in the NFL.
Meyer is clearly making this move because he feels Tebow will be good for the team on and off the field. He has a vision of what "Jaguar football" will look like, and the former college coach believes it involves a whole lot of what Tebow brings to a locker room.
Tebow may very well fail, though there's no evidence that he fears failure. His presence will surely take up a lot of space in the locker room, which can be interpreted one of two ways. Either he relieves some pressure off Trevor Lawrence and the rest of Jags to focus on ball, or the daily circus will overwhelm the pursuit of getting in the best position possible to win football games.
Is Meyer doing it for ticket sales? I can't rule out the possibility of it as a secondary motivation, especially since he's so closely tied to a team owner who's probably hoping to recoup lost revenue from the pandemic season. But the Jags were already tracking to be on par with their most financially successful season of all time, so a gimmick isn't totally necessary.
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Are you, a fan, mad that Tebow is taking up a roster spot? No, you really aren't. This is not something on the professional level you've ever been mad about before. You have never once truly, deeply cared about the bottom of an offseason roster. You've never found it to be a crime against humanity that one guy with a connection to a coach got an opportunity because of that connection.
After following along for Twitter updates on the fourth-string tight end from your team's beat reporters for a few weeks of camp, it normally takes you about a month before you realize that What'shisname didn't even make the practice squad.
Tebow is getting this shot because of who he is and who he knows. He could surprise us all and make the final roster based on merit. Or he could fail spectacularly and have this blow up in Meyer's face.
Or his play could be just good enough, and when combined with whatever he's perceived to bring to the "locker room culture," he makes the practice squad.
After all, football is a meritocracy. Right?