1 » The SEC Network launches in less than a month, and former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow is signed on to be a featured analyst on the channel. While Tebow, by all accounts, is prepared for his new gig, he has certainly not given up on his desire to play in the NFL this season. According to a report from FOX 10 out of Phoenix, Arizona, Tebow has been spending plenty of time in Scottsdale training with Ian Danney in the scorching sun. The video clip below shows Tebow playing Danney-ball, a game in which players toss a 10-pound heavy ball over a net on a sand volleyball court.
In other Tebow news… A new poll has Tebow out of the top 10 when ranking the most popular athletes in the nation; he came in No. 8 just year ago while prepared to enter training camp with his third NFL team. Tebow is also prepared to open his third PDQ restaurant chain, this one at the Oakleaf Town Center in Jacksonville, Florida. He has already cut the ribbon at one location in Ocala and has plans to open another in Gainesville in the next six months.
2 » As if more detail needed to be provided as to why former Gators forward Chandler Parsons hoped to land with the Dallas Mavericks instead of the Houston Rockets after signing a three-year, $46 million offer sheet with the former team, moves made by a former and future teammate this weekend made his mindset even more apparent. It was revealed by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Thursday that Dirk Nowitzki’s decision to take a salary of $7.97 million next season, down $14.73 million from what he earned the previous year, was due in large part to creating enough space for Dallas to sign Parsons. Nowitzki originally chose to accept a three-year, $30 million contract, “but when the Mavs discovered they needed more cash … he agreed to sign a three-year contract worth $25 million.”
Meanwhile, in Houston, Dwight Howard downplayed the loss of Parsons, ignoring the fact that he cited Parsons’s recruitment as one of his deciding factors in choosing the Rockets during his own free agency one summer ago. “It won’t affect us at all,” Howard told the Associated Press. “We have myself and James [Harden]. We have the best center and the best two guard in the game on the same team. It’s on us.” Not only did Parsons fill up the stat sheet for Houston last season, he was seen by teammates and coaches as a glue guy in the locker room and the best recruiter on the team.
3 » For the second time in three weeks, University of Florida graduate and 23-year-old Big Brother contestant Zach Rance delivered his eviction vote on Thursday with a Gator Chomp. Rance, who is seen in nearly every episode sporting the Florida logo shirt he is wearing in the video below, was nominated for eviction two weeks ago and therefore unable to vote on the CBS program.
4 » Speaking of Gator Chomps, a fan was caught on camera delivering one during WWE’s Battleground pay-per-view on Sunday. The event, which was held in Tampa, included a match between Russev and Jack Swagger. Russev’s “Russian” manager, Lana (pictured in the animated GIF below), is a actually a 29-year old Gainesville native named C.J. Perry. Though from Gainesville, Perry actually graduated from Florida State University and was one of the infamous “cowgirls” along with the more-popular Jenn Sterger and Fabiola Romero. As noted in the caption of the file, “That may be the smartest fan in the building.” (h/t @AlligatorArmy via @ValleyShook)
Extra BIT » While still on the subject of Gator Chomps, here is a shot published on Twitter over the weekend with four former Florida soccer players – Abby Wambach, McKenzie Barney, Erika Tymrak and Kathryn Williamson – all performing the maneuver together (one of them incorrectly).
— OnlyGators.com (@onlygators) July 19, 2014