FOUR Tebow BITS: Elway, book, support, Vatican

1 » Interviewed Thursday on the Boomer & Carton radio program up in New York, Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations John Elway spoke at length about quarterback Tim Tebow and his NFL career. Asked first if he thought Tebow could succeed in the league long-term, Elway admitted that it was a possibility. “I think in the right situation – he wants to and his drive to play and that’s what he wants to do – in the right situation, I think it’s a possibility. He’s got to be in the right situation,” he said. Furthermore, Elway addressed Tebow’s immense fan support and said that he had to push that aside when deciding what was best for Denver going forward. “Tim has a loyal fan base behind him. It’s a lot of people that really want to see him,” he said. “I think Tim Tebow has a lot of fans. … I went with what was best for the Denver Broncos, and Peyton Manning was best for the Denver Broncos.”

Elway was also asked about the report that the Broncos gave Tebow the option to choose his trade destination. He confirmed that the situation was reported accurately but also praised Tebow for what he did during his time in Denver. “We had two options – Jacksonville or the Jets. We laid it out to time and said, ‘It’s up to you.’ I’m not going to tell you which deal I liked better, but I will tell you that we did give him the option. He ended up picking the Jets, thinking that was the best opportunity for him,” Elway said. “As I’ve said about Tim, he’s a good kid and he works his tail off. He did a lot of good things for us in 2011. We were 1-4; when he came in, we won seven out of eight games after that, won a playoff game. So, he did a lot of good things for us.”

2 » The Nielsen Company this week released “State of the Media: 2012 Year in Sports” which, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, included plenty of mentions of Tebow. Per the Nielsen list, Tebow had the best-selling sports biography of the year with his “Through My Eyes” selling 116,000 copies (not including sales through Wal-Mart) or more than three times the next person on the list (R.A. Dickey – 39,600 copies). Tebow also checked in with an N-Score (endorsement potential rating) of No. 4 among mothers and No. 2 among people 65 years of age or older.

3 » It’s always interesting to see which random athletes support Tebow. Enter Philadelphia 76ers point guard Jrue Holiday, who told 94WIP radio in Philadelphia, PA that he is a big fan of the player. “I mean, how can you not [like him] though? His trophies. I guess everybody says he’s not a quarterback, but when he’s played quarterback even for the Broncos, he’s won games which is all that matters,” Holiday said. “I don’t know man, it’s about winning games right? I’m not saying skill-wise he’s the best one, but he got the wins. Well, he used to get the wins.”

4 » According to the Catholic News Service, the Vatican has asked Tebow and Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin to appear at a sports conference with the hope of encouraging athletes to compete in a moral manner. The sports conference, titled “We Believe in Sports,” is being put together by the Pontifical Council for Culture. “We want to work with the big sports bodies to give new value to sports,” Monsignor Melchor Sanchez de Toca Alameda said. “[We want] to help put healthy values back into sport and counteract the current market logic, because if the current state of affairs continues, all is lost.” As noted by the Christian News Network, neither athlete has yet to accept the invitation and it is unknown if either will as “some Christians refuse to work with the Vatican because they believe that its traditions and teachings are unBiblical.”

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FOUR BITS: Tebow fulfills a wish, signed book special offer, Vogelbach gone?, Tucker back

1 » Former Florida Gators now Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow is one of a handful of athletes who recently participated in ESPN’s collaboration with the Make-A-Wish Foundation titled My Wish. These segments, which will air on SportsCenter, feature athletes fulfilling the wishes of ill children by meeting them, hanging out and sometimes participating in an activity. Tebow’s segment, in which he meets up with 16-year-old Adam Hubbs (“who suffers from a rare immunodeficiency disorder known as MonoMac”) will air on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Below is a preview of Tebow’s segment:

2 » Speaking of Tebow, HarperCollins, the publishers of his memoir Through My Eyes, got in touch with OGGOA to make you all aware that there is currently a contest being run in which 10 lucky fans can enter to win a limited edition signed copy of Tebow’s book. All you have to do is click here and enter your e-mail address! Head over and let us know if you are one of the lucky winners. Contest concludes July 20.

3 » According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Cubs are making a push to pluck first baseman Daniel Vogelbach from the Gators. A second-round pick by Chicago in the 2011 MLB Draft, Vogelbach has already signed with Florida to play college baseball next year should he not work out a professional contract. However, the Tribune reports that the team’s scouting director “normally likes ultra-athletic players, but he fell in love with the 5-foot-11, 240-pounder’s big-time power and was impressed that he dropped about 40 pounds from his junior to senior year.” The Cubs may end up paying Vogelbach nearly $1 million more than recommended for a player drafted at his position in the second round.

4 » Former Gators six-time All-American and four-time Southeastern Conference track champion Erin Tucker (1994-99) has been hired by the University of Florida as an assistant under head coach Mike Holloway. “It’s kind of surreal,” Tucker said in a school release. “When I was at Florida in 1994 it was definitely not the team that it is now. During my time working with athletes at other schools I have seen the program grow and I’d like to think that I had a little something to do with that as an athlete in terms of the ideas that we left when we were done running and helped set the foundation. It is like a dream come true, but I’m hesitant to say that because I know that ‘once a Gator, always a Gator’ and I’ve never not been a Gator. It feels really good to come home again and do what I love.”

Extra BIT » Four members of Florida’s impressive 2011 softball recruiting class will be participating in the Under Armour All-American Game this weekend in Orlando, FL. Pitchers Alyssa Bache and Lauren Haeger will be joined by third baseman Bailey Castro and infielder Jessica Damico as four of 30 players invited to the game.

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Tebow’s Through My Eyes media tour continues

Former Florida Gators and current Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has been making the rounds recently, appearing on numerous television programs to promote the release of his new memoir, Through My Eyes. Already having stopped by The 700 Club and FOX News‘ The Sean Hannity Show, Tebow continued his media tour Thursday and Friday with four more appearances.

Thursday, Tebow appeared on Comedy Central‘s The Daily Show with Jon Stewart:

Friday, he made a trio of early morning visits to FOX News‘ Fox & Friends, MSNBC‘s Morning Joe and ESPN2‘s First Take (videos are in order below).


UPDATE: Tebow ended up staying at FOX News for a bit, appearing on The O’Reilly Factor in the evening and Huckabee on Saturday night.

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Tebow hid headache before 2009 LSU game

The No. 1 Florida Gators were 4-0 and hoping to repeat as national champions heading into a tough Southeastern Conference road contest against the No. 4 LSU Tigers on Oct. 10, 2009. Just two weeks earlier, Heisman Trophy winning starting quarterback Tim Tebow went down with a severe concussion that had him under intense treatment every day leading up to the game.

The talk of the college football world was whether Tebow should, could and/or would end up playing in the game with plenty of talking heads providing their opinions one way or another. In the end, it came down to doctor evaluations and the presence or absence of headaches that would decide if he would be allowed to step on the field.

Though head coach Urban Meyer said publicly as the game approached that Tebow would play as long as he was medically cleared by Florida’s team of doctors, the decision went down to the wire.

In his memoir Through My Eyes, released on Tuesday, Tebow details his final conversation with Meyer on the topic and how he felt leading up to the game:

For me, it was easy. I was going to do everything I could to get out there—by doing what the medical professionals were telling me to.

After a number of tests, the doctors cleared me to play the morning of the game, but Coach took me aside before we got on the bus to Tiger Stadium.

“I’m not going to let you play,” he said. He had tears in his eyes—he knew how much it meant to me.

“I have to play,” I responded.

He cut me off. “I keep asking myself, if you were Nate, would I let you play? I keep saying, ‘No.’ I can’t let you play.” He really wanted to win, but he was unwilling to take a chance with my health.

“But they cleared me, and I haven’t had headaches in days,” I countered. “There’s no reason for me not to play.”

“No headaches?”

“No, Coach. No headaches.” A headache had been starting to set in, but for all I know, it was from stress or a migraine, not the concussion. […]

I was praying in the locker room that the headache, which had been getting worse and worse, would simply go away. It didn’t. I could barely see by the end of the pregame warm-ups, it was hurting so badly.

Meyer told the media on Oct. 5 that Tebow had been headache- and symptom-free for several days, a statement that has been confirmed by the player and was undoubtedly true at the time. In fact, speaking with a concussion specialist not associated with the team or school, OGGOA was told that once an athlete is fully recovered, the risk of him playing is no different whether they return to the field in 10 days, two weeks, six months or a year. The key – the doctor said – was remaining asymptomatic up until kickoff.

Whether Tebow’s headaches were caused by stress – like he suggests – or were a symptom of his concussion two weeks prior, he relates in the book that the pain went away and his head cleared the moment he stepped on the field. More importantly, he says it never came back and did not affect him at all.

The Gators’ defense stole the show that night in Death Valley, holding the Tigers to 162 total yards. Tebow ended up carrying the ball 17 times for 38 yards and completed 11 of 16 passes for 134 yards, a touchdown and an inexplicable interception late in the game.

Through My Eyes, in which Tebow “writes about life as he chooses to live it, revealing how his Christian faith, family values, and relentless will to succeed have molded him into the person and athlete he is today,” is available in bookstores nationwide and on Amazon.com in hardcover and digital editions.

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TWO BITS: Jenkins fined, Tebow interviewed

1 » Former Florida Gators cornerback Janoris Jenkins was adjudicated and fined $421 (so close to being ironic) for his plea of no contest to misdemeanor marijuana possession. The charge, which got Jenkins kicked out of the Florida football program, was his second in less than 90 days. He is believed to be leaning toward transferring to North Alabama (Division II) to play in 2011 before declaring for the 2012 NFL Draft, but he could enter the 2011 NFL Supplemental Draft if one ends up being held in July.

2 » Out promoting his new memoir Through My Eyes, which OGGOA is currently in the process of reading for a review, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has already made a pair of television appearances. He was on FOX News‘ The Shawn Hannity Show on Tuesday and appeared on The 700 Club last week (in an episode that was replayed Tuesday evening). Check out the videos below to watch Tebow’s interviews in full.

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FOUR BITS: Tebow, Johnson, Heat, Macklin

1 » Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow’s new memoir, Through My Eyes was released Tuesday, but the number of fans who camped outside (yes, spent the night) waiting for him at a Books-A-Million absolutely stunned the Heisman Trophy winner. “It’s extremely humbling,” he told The Florida Times-Union. “I take it as a huge responsibility that people care that much about me and [I] really try to make it worth it for them, really try to make them feel special for doing it.” Tebow also spoke with the paper a little bit about the content of the book, which OGGOA should receive from the publisher for review on Tuesday. “It wasn’t just about football stories,” he said. “Hopefully, it’s more about inspiring kids to go out there and try to live their dream, and go after it and live with passion. That’s a lot of what it’s about, so hopefully, people will take it that way.”

2 » Back in Gainesville, FL after suffering a minor concussion during the No. 2 Florida Gators baseball team’s elimination game in the 2011 Southeastern Conference Tournament in Hoover, AL, sophomore left-handed pitcher/designated hitter Brian Johnson is doing his best to recover quickly and get back on the field. Speaking with Florida Today, Johnson’s father said his son “is fine” and underwent a number of tests on Monday to evaluate his post-concussion symptoms. He is considered day-to-day for the Gainesville Regional portion of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, which begins on Thursday. The paper reports

He had base line testing while playing for a U.S. all-star team last summer so doctors are able to do comparisons, to make sure he returns to normal before playing again. UF is also consulting with noted Pittsburgh neuropsychologist Michael Collins.

3 » Discussing with Miami Heat power forward Udonis Haslem and guard Mike Miller their time playing for Florida, the Palm Beach Post’s Ethan Skolnick got the duo to open up about how head coach Billy Donovan ended up helping them form a bond. It all started when he called both players into his office. “Coach Donovan, was like, ‘You know, if the season started today, I couldn’t play neither one of you guys,’” Haslem told Skolnick. “That wasn’t the exact words he used. You got to get your, um, ‘S’ together. Because I just thought I was doing the best academic job in the world, and obviously I wasn’t. And neither was [Miller]. I don’t know what his excuse was. But, at that point, Mike and I bonded from there.”

Haslem even had Miller’s back when an incident occurred with an unnamed football player. “I had a football player that, um, that didn’t really like me,” Miller said with a smile. “For unknown reasons. And UD put an end to that.” Haslem remembered, “Yeah, I just let the guy know, if you got a problem with Mike, you got a problem with me. The guy never bothered Mike again.”

4 » Talk surrounding the 2011 NBA Draft from a Gators perspective has mostly focused on forward Chandler Parsons, who could be picked anywhere from the teens to the mid-second round. Parsons, who has been going around the country doing private workouts after successfully competing in the NBA Combine and select group camp in Minnesota, is not the only former Florida player eligible to be selected. Center Vernon Macklin, according to the Indianapolis Star, is one of six former college players working out for the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Macklin is projected to be a late second-round pick or go undrafted.

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Tebow talks about “Through My Eyes” memoir

A new promotional video has been released featuring Denver Broncos and former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow discussing his memoir, Through My Eyes, which will be released nationwide on May 31.

Companies like Amazon.com have begun taking pre-orders with a release date of May 31. HarperCollins will initially print 200,000 copies of the memoir, and an audio book will also be available. Through My Eyes will be released for the Amazon Kindle as well. You can pre-order it by clicking here.

Tebow will also be participating in a five-city book tour from May 30-June 11. For more information on where he will be appearing in Florida and Colorado, click here.

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Tim Tebow book tour coming to a city near you

In order to promote his new memoir Through My Eyes, Denver Broncos and former Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow will take part in a limited book tour making three stops in Florida and two more in Colorado. The dates and locations are as follows:

May 30 – Jacksonville, FL (2-4 p.m.)
Books-A-Million
738 Marsh Landing Parkway
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250

June 4 – Denver, CO (4-6 p.m.)
The Tattered Cover
1628 16th Street
Denver, CO 80202

June 5 – Colorado Springs, CO (4-6 p.m.)
Sam’s Club
1850 E. Woodman Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80920

June 9 – Gainesville, FL (6-8 p.m.)
Walmart
3570 SW Archer Road
Gainesville, FL 32608

June 11 – Orlando, FL (2-4 p.m.)
Barnes & Noble
2418 E. Colonial Drive
Orlando, FL 32803

Companies like Amazon.com have begun taking pre-orders with a release date of May 31. HarperCollins will initially print 200,000 copies of the memoir, and an audio book will also be available. Through My Eyes will be released for the Amazon Kindle as well. You can pre-order it by Clicking Here.

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