Though Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow isn’t currently signed by any of the 32 franchises in the National Football League, that doesn’t mean he’s without support from one of Hollywood’s all-time great action heroes.
Chuck Norris penned a WND column in which he argued the “ultimate clutch player” in all of sports is Tebow, and then he made a case for why the Jacksonville Jaguars should sign the man Forbes magazine dubbed the “the most influential athlete in 2013.”
One of the most popular Internet destinations couldn’t resist publishing an analysis of Norris’ column, with NFL.com’s Dan Hanzus writing:
“Chuck Norris has shared his feelings about Tim Tebow. Finally.
“The martial arts legend, Hollywood action star, random fact-generator inspiration and occasional bearer of very bad news recently wrote an opinion column – a manifesto really – on his remarkably deep well of feelings for Tim Tebow.
“Seriously. Chuck Norris really likes Tim Tebow. He needed 1,463 words to express his admiration for the free-agent quarterback. It reads like he could have [gone] on for a few thousand words more.
“As a writer, Chuck Norris is noticeably fact-driven (‘In 2010, the first-round draft pick out of the University of Florida, signed a five-year contract with the Denver Broncos’), though he leans heavily on the opinions of others, including our own Akbar Gbajabiamila, who is cited as gospel in multiple passages here.
“Understandably, this is something of a life pinnacle for Akbar – who ironically moonlights as a co-host of the show ‘American Ninja Warrior,’ which Chuck Norris basically is.”
Though Hanzus’ piece drifted in hyperbole, the commercial appeal of Tim Tebow and the intrigue of where he’ll inevitably sign has prompted NFL.com to create a watch-list titled “Tebow Tracker” to analyze the needs of the various franchises in the NFL and which team his particular skill-set would best mesh with.
Norris wrote this about Tebow’s ability to play quarterback in his May 19 WND column:
“I know what you are thinking: Tebow has only been in the NFL for three years. True, but Tim’s 2011 season with the Denver Broncos was one of the most remarkable in football history.
“In 2010, the first round draft pick out of the University of Florida, signed a five-year contract with the Denver Broncos. His rookie season he played back up to then starter Kyle Orton. Orton remained the starter the following season, but after a 1-4 start, Tebow replaced him at halftime against the San Diego Chargers. After attempting to rally his team from a 16-point deficit against San Diego, Tim was named the starter for the upcoming game against the Miami Dolphins. It was in that game that we got to see Tebow work his fourth-quarter magic. Tim came back from a 15-0 disadvantage to the Dolphins and led the Broncos to an 18-15 overtime victory.
“And what sportsman can ever forget how that amazing rookie quarterback then led the Broncos to six wins in their next seven games and into the playoffs, beating the highly favored Pittsburgh Steelers in a wild-card game? After finishing the game tied and going into overtime, the Broncos won the coin toss, and Tebow threw a perfect 80-yard pass on the first play to win the game 29-23. It was the Broncos’ first playoff victory in six years.
“When the Broncos decided to go with another clutch player in Peyton Manning, Tim joined the New York Jets. He was brought to New York to be the backup quarterback to Mark Sanchez and run some wildcat packages.
“Personally, I think the formula of rotating quarterbacks is ultimately a recipe for disaster. That system never works. There can only be one quarterback leading the team. As the old adage goes, anything with more than one head is a monster.
“I have been following Tim since he became a quarterback for the Florida Gators, and I have never seen a more determined and inspiring athlete play the game of football. And I’m not alone in that sports assessment.
“Akbar Gbajabiamila, analyst for NFL.com and NFL Network, explained last week in his article, ‘Tim Tebow’s history as a proven winner should not be ignored’: ‘Training camps are still a few months away, and already, every team in the NFL has made a major mistake: They’ve overlooked the winning record of Tim Tebow. … Pundits have tried to erase the success Tebow had in 2011 with the Denver Broncos, but make no mistake: it all happened. He did mount multiple fourth-quarter comebacks and notch four overtime victories; he did rush for 118 yards and throw for two touchdowns in one game; he did complete 66 percent of his passes and throw for two touchdowns in another. … In the locker room we had a word to describe that kind of personal highlight reel: ballin.’
“Michael Strahan, Super Bowl champion, Fox football analyst, and now morning show host, recently commented on ‘The Late Show with David Letterman,’ ‘You can’t measure heart. And you can’t measure how hard a guy’s going to work when a guy starts making money.”
“Tebow has proven that he plays with all heart, and his hard work and determination is unprecedented.
“Tebow is a player who rises to the occasion and delivers big in critical game moments. He reminds me of myself when I used to compete in martial arts. I would spar with my black belts in class, and sometimes they would outscore me. Yet in the tournaments, I would defeat them. My students used to ask me, ‘Why can we contend equally against you in class, but we can’t beat you in the tournaments?’ My answer was always the same, ‘When it counts, I rise to the occasion.’”
As a starter in the NFL, Tebow has a record of 9-7. In his three-year career, he has passed for 2,422 yards and thrown 17 touchdown passes; he has rushed for 989 with 12 touchdowns.
In two playoff games, Tebow has a record of 1-1.