As a life long Gator fan, I've heard the name "Tebow" a lot over the past few years. Perhaps some of you, even more so for the non-Gators, have a little "Tebow Fatigue." There's only so much you can hear about one topic or person before you start to resent the word itself.
I feel ashamed to admit it, but I'm a Tebow Fatigue sufferer. I love what he's done for my University, but I can't take much more of that name. So many articles. So many Lundquist-Daniels love-ins.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Yes, you too may suffer from Tebow Fatigue, but not like I do. You see, the name Tim Tebow did not enter my lexicon in 2006, when he was Florida's choice battering ram. That name has been jammed down my throat since 2003.
I grew up in St. Augustine, Florida. You may recognize that as either the nation's oldest city, Brandon James' hometown, or Tim Tebow's hometown. It is only listed as Tebow's hometown occasionally, and that fact is accompanied by a fairly legitimate local scandal, the result of which casts the Tebows as cutthroat moneybags who would pay for anything to get Tim a better situation. By anything, I mean a condo in a different county just so Tebow could change his legal address (without actually moving) and play for a school where he would start at QB. Yeah.
Back to the point, Tebow "attended" Nease High School, my high school's arch rival.
Nease and St. Augustine High are a mere ten miles apart, and the battles between the two schools are legendary in this area. From the time he transferred to Nease in 2002/3, I have been relentlessly inundated with Tebow articles, Tebow radio topics, Tebow shirts, Tebow jokes, Tebow anger, Tebow hate, Tebow love, Tebow, Tebow, TEBOW!
Six years ago, I helped make shirts that spelled out "TBLOWS." His named reigned supreme over my high school football watching life. Our class skits always included at least one Tebow impersonator, and we were merciless. I hated him with as much vigor and bloodlust as any UGA fan does now, if not more.
So, when Tebow made the inevitable decision to play for the Gators, I knew I was going to have an awkward four years on my hands. How do you cheer for someone you've hated for three years? Can you put away all the "GOT RECRUITS?" (referencing the condo situation) t-shirts, and put on a "HE15MAN" t-shirt?
The answer is no. I have never accepted Tebow as every other Gator has. I no longer hate him, but I will never use him in an avatar or signature. Never buy a poster. Never seek his autograph. I've come to terms with this, and mainly I stay quiet about it, but I can't take much more of that name.
One person, one man-child turned grown ass man, one amateur football player has lorded over my sporting obsession for nearly a decade. How the hell is he not in the NFL yet? This weekend is my 21st birthday, and this guy who still isn't a professional first started invading my consciousness when I was 13. I've got the Tebow Fatigue, no doubt about it. All that's left to say is thank the Lord for eligibility limits.
Oh, look, my Jacksonville Jaguars are talking about drafting him. I attended the very first Jags game (yes, I was 7), and had season tickets for 10 years. Tebow. Jags. Nease. Gators. Another decade.
*Reaches for gun*