FOUR BITS: Tebow, WNBA, Muschamp, Embree

By Adam Silverstein
May 10, 2013

1 » Is former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow being “blackballed by NFL teams because of [his] cult-like following [and the] media frenzy” that follows him? That’s the headline of Yahoo! Sports writer Mike Silver’s most recent article, one that is perhaps not that far off from reality. Silver spoke to an NFC head coach who said as much. “He seems like a great guy to have on a team, and I’d be tempted to bring him in as our backup, but it’s just not worth dealing with all the stuff that comes with it,” he said. Silver also learned that New England head coach Bill Belichick, believed to be a fan of Tebow’s, “hates” Tebow as a player, that according to an “organizational source.” “No chance. Plus they wouldn’t like the circus that comes with it,” the source added.

If the fans and media are legitimately the reasons that Tebow is unemployed at this moment, the absurdity of that fact cannot be understated. In the NFL – and most professional leagues – talent is supposed to win out. If you are talented enough to play the game – and smart enough to stay out of the gutter off the field – coaches say you deserve a spot in the league or at the very least a chance to compete. The school you attended, spot you were drafted (if you were drafted at all), race, religion and sexuality are not supposed to matter. Now the message is that if fans like you and the media cover you (too much), you are not welcome. Even if one does not believe Tebow is a starting-caliber quarterback at this time, there are 32 NFL teams, which means there are 64 backup quarterback spots in the league. Try making an argument that Tebow is not talented enough to be a top-32 backup in the league or even deserving of tryouts with teams to showcase his abilities while second-round bust John Beck – a colossal bust of a second-round pick entering his seventh year as a professional with a 3-7 record and QB rating of 67.6 – is working with New Orleans this weekend.

2 » The WNBA may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but the Los Angeles Sparks have been one team that Gators fans have been able to pay attention to over the years. In this picture taken on Thursday, former Florida head women’s basketball coach Carol Ross (now Los Angeles’ head coach), current Gators assistant coach Murriel Page (UF alumna and former Sparks player) and former Florida guard Bridget Pettis all pose for a picture while doing the Gator Chomp.

Read three more Florida Gators news BITS…after the break!

3 » Gators head coach Will Muschamp had plenty to prove in his first two years with the program. Miraculously leading Florida to 11 wins during the 2012 campaign answered many questions that lingered after his first year with the team but there are still fans out there that wonder whether he is the right man for the job. The Orlando Sentinel‘s Mike Bianchi contends that Gators fans should be thrilled with Muschamp by noting the other head coaching offers Muschamp has turned down and outlining how he could be the first choice for Texas or Alabama should their head coaches depart for one reason or another. Then Bianchi makes a much better point. Like Steve Spurrier and unlike Urban Meyer, Muschamp is a true member of Gator Nation.

If anybody is a Gator, Muschamp is. He grew up just a mile from Florida Field. He and his brothers walked to games on Saturday afternoons and dreamed about playing for the Gators someday. Muschamp, of course, ended up playing for Georgia, but only because the Gators weren’t interested in him.

“This is the only place where my sons can play at the same Boy’s Club I used to play at,” Muschamp says. “I grew up a Gator in Gainesville. This is where my childhood memories are.”

When asked if UF is his dream job, he replied without hesitation: “Absolutely. No doubt.”

4 » The Orlando Sentinel’s Edgar Thompson penned a fantastic feature on Florida senior Lauren Embree, one of the most clutch student-athletes in school history and one who is looking to lead the Gators to a third-straight national title. “It would be a great way to go out,” she told Thompson, “but we’re taking it match by match and day by day. It’ll be a challenge, but I’m excited about what’s in store for me.”

Extra BIT » Muschamp teaches middle field coverage and football drills (below).

4 Comments

  1. SaraGator says:

    I would think Florida is a “dream” job for all coaches. We have the best damn AD and administration in the country.

  2. VO2max says:

    The term blackballed generally refers to a vote or a boycott, being shutout by a group. I don’t think the NFL is collectively going against Tebow. I think that teams, singularly don’t want him because of the circus and his suspect skills. So I don’t think the term blackball is appropriate here.

  3. Michael Jones says:

    Tebow’s skills aren’t “suspect.” I’m not drinking that coolade.

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