Tim Tebow was one of the most polarizing college football players of all time. Even those who don?t like him have to admit they?d enjoy watching him take the field on their TVs again. But just which field?
Tebow had an opportunity to play football again by joining Steve Spurrier and the Orlando Apollos in the new Alliance of American Football league. To the dismay of millions of sports fans, he apparently turned it down to keep pursuing his dream to play in MLB.
Spurrier told PFT Live this week that he reached out to Tebow about a possible return to football. The former Heisman Trophy winner and two-time national champion quarterback at Florida appears to have his sights set on spring training with the New York Mets, however.
?No, and I don?t blame Tim. Tim?s got a chance to go to Major League Baseball. I think Tim?s probably headed in the baseball direction. I don?t blame him. If I were in his situation I?d probably do the same thing.?
— Orlando Apollos head coach Steve Spurrier
Spurrier also told ESPN?s Paul Finebaum last June he sent a text to Tebow about a chance to play pro football again before the league began.
Clearly, Spurrier wants Tebow badly. He?s a proven winner and would be a huge magnet for TV ratings, especially in the state of Florida, which is monumental for a first-year league competing with other professional sports leagues in viewership.
Tebow?s knock in the NFL was that he didn?t fit the mold of an NFL quarterback. Under the ever-creative Spurrier, I don?t think that would be an issue. We saw in the Apollos? debut that he wasn?t afraid to bring out the “Philly Special” for a touchdown in their 40-6 opening season win. Imagine the possibilities with a running and passing threat like Tebow.
Then again, maybe that ship has sailed for Tebow. He accomplished more than a lot of college and NFL players ever do. Maybe he wants to prove he can do the same in baseball.
A 6-foot-3, 250-pounder doesn?t exactly fit the description of your average outfielder, but he?s performed better in the minors than people realize. In Double A last year, he hit .273 with six home runs in 84 games.
Tebow reports for spring training in Port St. Lucie, Florida, on Friday. I still think it?s a long shot he ever makes it out of the minor leagues, but it is Tim Tebow and anything is possible.
Props to him for sticking with his dream, even if we all want to see him bulldozing linebackers on the gridiron again.