Appearing in his weekly role as a SEC Nation analyst Saturday on SEC Network, Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow took a full minute to speak directly to his former team’s fan base and suggest how it can best support the team going forward this season.
Specifically, Tebow wants Florida fans to “rise above” booing the Gators and instead support their team each week, regardless of how they feel about the state of the program or head coach Will Muschamp.
Florida’s success over the last two decades gives its fans a chance to be “better than these other universities that boo their student-athletes,” Tebow explains. It gives the Gators the ability to “show character” and “stand up” for the players on the field.
“This goes out to the Florida Gator fans. And it’s personal for me because I’ve been a Florida Gator fan since I can remember, since I was a little boy. Over the course of the last 20-something years, we have been blessed to have a much success as any university out there – three national championships, a lot of amazing seasons. So as a Florida fan, I’m saying to the rest of you Florida fans, it’s OK to have your own opinion. It’s OK to call the Paul Finebaum Show and say whatever you want. I’m not saying anything about that.
“But when you’re at the game, let’s be better than these other universities that boo their student-athletes. Remember: These guys are 18, 19, 20 years old. We can be better than that because we have been so successful. We are blessed. So if there is one season where we’re not putting up points, it’s OK. Let’s rise above that. Let’s show character as fans that we are Gator Nation and we can stand up and we are better than booing our student-athletes.”
After being as loud as ever against LSU a couple of weeks ago, Florida’s home crowd began turning last week as Missouri jumped out to a 42-0 lead over the Gators due to an avalanche of UF miscues.
Tebow on Saturday also discussed Florida at length, noting that the Gators need to find an identity offensively while developing some leaders on that side of the ball.
“I think the University of Florida team has a lot of talent. I think they have a lot of good coaches. I don’t think they’ve played up to their potential. I think this team has a chance to be pretty good. Right now, they have the number three defense in the SEC. But, offensively, I don’t think they have an identity. I don’t think they have a leader that is taking people together saying let’s do our job, focus on doing your job, getting better and making everyone around them better.
“But, I also know Will Muschamp, when he was at Auburn, he had one of the best game plans I’ve ever played against in college. This guy knows how to coach. A few years ago, they went to the Sugar Bowl; they were 12-1. He knows how to lead a team. He knows how to be successful. But to do that, they have to find a way to score points, and they have to have better leadership offensively.
Florida will next take on Georgia in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on Saturday, Nov. 1 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.
Tip of the hat to Saturday Down South