By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — On Tuesday in Los Angeles, former Heisman Trophy winner and collegiate national champion Tim Tebow will take to the baseball diamond and try to prove to 20 or so MLB scouts that he’s worth their time.
The odds are not in his favor.
He’s reportedly already received offers from an independent league team and a Venezuelan winter ball team, but those came from teams that have never seen the man play baseball. When he hits the field for Tuesday’s workout, the pressure will be on.
Given the circumstances, there’s no better time than the present to take a brief trip down memory lane to a simpler time when all Tebow did was inspire tweets of a full 140 characters that just screamed, “TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW!”
Well, OK, maybe we won’t go back that far. Those tweets came when Tebow was in Denver, inexplicably winning football games in the fourth quarter and slowly driving John Elway into a state of utter madness. Those were some good days.
Instead we’re going to go back, appropriately, to the fourth week of the preseason back in 2013. This was a time when Tim Tebow was still believed to be an NFL quarterback. Barely. The year before with the Jets, he threw just eight total passes, and his career with the Patriots wasn’t off to a great start. In two preseason games, he was 5-for-10 for 54 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. In his first game, he took three sacks. In the second game of the preseason, he managed to go 1-for-7 for … negative-1 yards. That’s difficult to pull off, but Tebow did it.
I remember standing at his locker after that game and almost feeling bad for him, because he just could not explain why or how the interception happened. He had no idea. He had stared down his receiver, overthrown him by a good 5 yards, and then all of a sudden the ball was coming back the other way. An hour later, he still didn’t know what had happened.
That grisly performance earned him a week off for the third game, but he was back out there for Week 4. Boy, was he ever.
Tebow completed six of his 11 passes for 91 yards, and he threw two touchdowns to someone named Quentin Sims, and he also rushed for 30 yards on six carries. The Herculean effort was enough to lead the Patriots to a critically important preseason victory over a Giants team quarterbacked by Curtis Painter, Ryan Nassib and David Carr in the second half.
It was, truly, unforgettable.
Obviously, the hyperbole here is laid on thick, and that’s plain to see with the benefit of retrospect. However, not everybody at the time was so level-headed and reasonable at the time.
There it is, folks. The greatest tweet ever written.
And yet, there’s more! Yes, behold, the greatest Instagram post ever shared!
Oh yeah! That’s the good stuff!
(Considering we’re now in Week 4 of the preseason, please keep the aforementioned tweet and Instagram post in mind when considering any and all analysis of the games this week.)
Obviously, it’s kind of too bad that the NFL career didn’t work out for Tebow. He’s as genuine a person as one can come across in professional sports, and it’s a bit bewildering how all of that success in college couldn’t translate to a long career at least as a backup. But his weaknesses showed up in a hurry in the lighting-fast NFL, and so that career ended with a whimper. He was cut by the Patriots just two days after that “All he does is win!” tweet, and his efforts to make the Eagles last year fizzled as well.
Now, it’s on to baseball. He may just become the first athlete in history to “win” a workout.