An Open Letter to Tim Tebow: What's next?

Subject: An Open Letter to Tim Tebow: What's next?
From: Tim Watson
Date: 5 May 2015

Dear Tim Tebow,

Let me be clear as it relates to my overwhelming support of the Human Being you are, and the passion with which you have played the game of football over the years, I am a Tim Tebow supporter! Most pertinent, I'm a fan of positive behaviors and character traits in young people. You're a refreshing person in a world where a number of kids feel overly entitled; they're disrespecting parents and authorities like never before; and even finishing high school has become optional. So, I get the attraction, and even the polarization over the years created by the bold displays of your beliefs. I was raised my entire life in a home with parents who introduced me to Jesus Christ and nurtured His virtues in me. You would think that most people would consider those as the character traits to be most admired. But, I will admit to not being quite as resolute in my faith in my early years as you have been. So, in my own NFL career, let's just say I, and others, appeared to be most admired when we behaved contrary to our professed beliefs (i.e. "making it rain" in the club, flaunting expensive cars and jewelry, and cavorting with all the beautiful women we could), than through displays consistent with our faith. When I did put those aforementioned conflicting behaviors aside as a man professing Jesus Christ should, I was more ostracized than treated as one of the guys. So, first and foremost, I salute the man you are!

However, you are not an NFL caliber quarterback under the systems proven to have sustained success in the league today! Even though I, like many others, shared my support of your success during that miraculous run as a starter for the Denver Broncos during the 2011 season, I felt there was a greater purpose being served while you were on one of the world's biggest stages. I felt God used the platform to share His message in what happens to be an extremely popular sport with millions of fans. It had little to do with supporting the notion that we were witnessing the success of a quarterback with legitimate NFL skills at that time. It truly appeared to me that God just used you as one of His faithful servants. Though you did not have the skill set or production numbers most thought were needed to be a success in that arena, you were nevertheless being successful. So, through this success that defied logic, a barrage of attention was brought to the Gospel message. So, it sparked lengthy debates and conversations. Whether considered a coincidence or miracle, in the astonishing win over the Steelers during the 2012 Playoffs you threw for 316 Yards Passing, for a 31.6 Yard/Catch Average, and there was a 31.6 Television Rating in Overtime. The following week during the game against the New England Patriots, for the first time in the history of the NFL, there was a commercial broadcasted with the primary premise being the Gospel message of Bible verse John 3:16! But, if we really look back over the entire regular season, you had relatively poor passing production: 1,729 yards passing with a 46.5 completion percentage, 12 TD's, 6 INT's, and a 29.2 QBR. That's just not going to get it at quarterback in the NFL!

I will admit that for decades the NCAA, NFL, and every other sports organization have touted the characteristics of what makes a great leader and player in team sports: with competences/virtues like integrity, altruism, great work-ethic, durability, adaptability, intelligence, coachability, passion, confidence, leadership-skills, performance results, and of course athleticism. So how do you measure up to these desired traits? In my personal opinion of what I've gotten to see, you are the epitome of most of them, as a football player. Not to mention that you are arguably the best 4-year college football player to ever play. It appears that you have done all that you've been asked to do. In deciding upon The University of Florida as your choice of college, you performed at an extremely high level in the system you were asked to run. I remember bringing my son to the Urban Meyer Football Camp at Florida and seeing your name at, or somewhere near, the top in every category of measurement on the performance charts of the Gator players in the workout facilities. You have a Heisman Trophy (and probably should have had three), and two National Championships. In all of this you give God the praise. These are all commendable traits. However, none of the above has given us any indication that you have the ability to play the position we're being told that you insist on attempting to play in the National Football League. From throwing motion, to release, to accuracy, to reading defenses, we just haven't observed NFL quarterback qualities in your play. What most of us see is someone who might possibly have the tangible and intangible characteristics to contribute as a football player at another position.

I, and probably most others watching the NFL closely honestly thought you had moved on and committed to your career off the field. However, in the midst of a number of quite frankly surprising moves this off-season, Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles added your signing to the list. Of course none of us are privy to the conversations between you and Chip on how he plans to use you in the Eagles' offense. Interestingly, this move reunites you with your ex-Jets teammate Mark Sanchez, as well as the guy who led the team you all beat for the 2009 College National Championship in Sam Bradford. However, I just hope for your sake that the Eagles do not plan to use you as a conventional quarterback. That would set you up again for failure. As an NFL quarterback, It is my opinion that your purpose has been served. That 2011-12 season was an amazing run of success that defied logic. But, I believe it served a positive purpose bigger than football by sharing a great story and the Gospel message with masses of people who may have never gotten it otherwise.

Now, It's time for you to move forward! You are a young man with excellent character as far as we know, who is also a pretty decent athlete. But, you've been attempting to play a position not suited for your current skill-set and athletic ability. At this point, I would have thought someone close enough to you for whom you have respect would be honest enough to tell you to move to either TE, HB, or LB so you can actually have a better opportunity at a productive NFL career. Maybe they have, and you will with the Eagles. We shall all see come this preseason. Unfortunately though, if you don't, and remain intent on playing quarterback, as was evident through your hiatus from the league over the last two seasons, you will soon be out of the NFL for good, and we'll all be asking "What's next?"

Fraternally yours,

Tim Watson