Nobody, absolutely nobody, could be more excited to be a New York Jet than Tim Tebow.
"Excited" was the word Tebow used frequently and relentlessly at a press conference Monday as he was introduced as the Jets' second-string quarterback and first-string media sensation and quite possibly, the most soft-spoken, humble and likeable guy ever to grace an NFL uniform.
"I'm so excited about being a Jet," he said as he stood alone at a podium in the team's fieldhouse, used for the one-man news conference because of the crush of media that wanted to attend.
“I’m so honored and humble to be a Jet," he continued. "I’m so thankful they wanted me.”
Tebow came to the Jets last week in a trade with the Denver Broncos, who jettisoned Tebow after signing free-agent superstar Peyton Manning.
The Broncos let Tebow go after he took over their starting quarterback position during the 2011 season, and led the team to the playoffs and a victory over the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers in their first playoff game. Surely the trade would have rankled the Heisman Trophy winner from the University of Florida.
"There’s no ill will to the Broncos, their coaching staff, Peyton Manning or anybody,” Tebow said. "I'm always gonna root for those guys because we went through a lot together."
"We'll have a lot of great memories for a long time from last season."
Now he seems, well, excited, to make memories in New York.
"I just want to make this team a little bit better because I'm here," he said.
And how will he do that behind starting quarterback Mark Sanchez? He's excited to do whatever is asked of him, even if that doesn't mean getting behind center on Sunday afternoons.
“I’m a football player first and then a quarterback," Tebow said. “I will give my whole heart to being the best Jet I can possibly be.”
And that includes being a great teammate for Sanchez.
Tebow said he and the Jets starting QB are good friends who get along well, and should make each other better.
"We'll be stronger together than we would be apart," he said.
Meanwhile, New York is, you guessed it, excited to have Tebow.
First, New York had Linsanity. Now it's Tebow Time. Fans in New York are fickle after all.
After a few hours of on again, off again wrangling, Tim Tebow inked a deal with the "city that never sleeps" and is now a member of the New York Jets. Is Tim Tebow the answer to Jets fans prayers? Will Tim Tebow be accepted by New York City's large liberal and secular population?
New York sports radio was aflutter yesterday with comments from listeners both for and against the trade. Jets legend Joe Namath, who took New York by storm when he led the Jets to become Super Bowl champions in 1969, called the trade a "publicity stunt" on ESPN Radio and said, "I'm sorry I just can't agree with this situation. And I'm a Tim Tebow fan, but I'm a bigger Jet fan than I am a Tim Tebow fan."
Tebow, many say, is the polar opposite to the flamboyant ladies' man Namath. Neither Mark Sanchez, the current Jets starting quarterback nor his head coach Rex Ryan made any public comments about the trade.
The news of Tebow's departure from the Denver Broncos to the New York Jets may have left a sour taste in Broadway Joe's mouth, but do all Jets fans feel the same way? How will Tebow fair in a city with so much flare?
The New York tabloids seized the moment with a full Tebow blitz with front page headlines reading, "Amen" and "God Him." Even Lady Liberty herself took a knee and "Tebowed."
When asked about the Tebow trade, New York City Archbishop Timothy Dolan chose to remain neutral, saying, "we are going to stay away from this one at this time."
On the New York Jets' official Facebook page, fan reaction was mixed. One fan who was clearly in favor wrote: "Can't wait to start cheering on the Jets!! Treat Tebow well. He is a great role model for all the young and not so young men as well as girls. You will not be disappointed! God put him on your team for a reason. Just have faith and Believe."
Not everyone was as positive on the Facebook fan page, with one comment saying, "The only people that like Tebow here are women, kids, and the Tebow Cult lol sad."
CNN took to the streets of New York to get the pulse of the people. Outside the New York Jets store in Manhattan, many of the fans we spoke to had mixed emotions.
New Yorker Andrew Rubin said, "I think that the trade was terrible. I think, if you get Tebow without giving out a fourth round pick, you shouldn't have done it because that locker room is gonna be Tebow guys, and there's gonna be Sanchez guys, and the Jets have so many holes to fill that giving up that fourth round pick, it’s terrible."
Julio Moran, a Jet fan visiting New York who hails from Florida, said: "I love it. It’s great. I think it’s good for publicity and I just think ... he’ll bring fire to the team. Even though Sanchez will be No. 1, he’ll light a fire under his butt."
When asked if Tebow can handle all that New York has to offer and stick to his religious morals, Jets fan James Colasanto said: "He’s different than most guys who come into the NFL, you know, where he sticks by his religion. He seems like there’s nothing fake about him, so he shouldn't have any problems, I don't think, handling New York in that sense."
Some are calling the move sheer genius from a marketing perspective. Ronn Torossian, CEO and president of 5W Public Relations, said: "I think Tim Tebow can be the King. ... He comes to New York already a celebrity."
Torossian added there is a lot of rewards in New York but also lots of risks. He points out that Tebow has lived a relatively sheltered and private life and that will most definitely change in New York.
"Tebow needs to be careful of the liberal media, who he gives access to and how. One mistake in New York off the field can make his brand change very,very quickly," Torossian said.
CNN spoke to former New York Giants player Amani Toomer about Tebow coming to the Big Apple and the temptations he faces.
"Whatever type of person you are, New York City is not going to change you," Toomer said. "New York City is not that place where it turns you into something you are not. I don't see him having any problem being in New York City."
Whatever side of the discussion you’re on, one thing is certain, Jets fans in New York will have to wait until next season to see what type of Hail Mary passes Tim Tebow throws and if he is in fact their new "savior."
Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was so seriously injured in Saturday's playoff loss to the New England Patriots that he probably wouldn't have been able to play in this weekend's conference final had the Broncos won, according to news reports.
Tebow suffered torn cartilage where his first rib attaches to his sternum, a bruised lung and fluid buildup in the pleural cavity, the space between the lungs and the membrane that surrounds them, ESPN first reported, citing an NFL source.
The Denver Post also reported the injuries, citing an NFL source, and said Tebow would have been unlikely to play in the AFC conference final.
Pittsburgh's mayor knelt down in defeat on Tuesday, donning a Denver Broncos No. 15 jersey and "Tebowing" in front of the Steel City's skyline to pay off a bet he made with the mayor of Denver over the Steelers-Broncos playoff game.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's Steelers lost as Denver quarterback Tim Tebow (No. 15) threw an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime for a 29-23 victory Sunday.
Tebow's gesture of kneeling in prayer after great plays has become a national phenomenon, but for Ravenstahl it wasn't a craze he wanted a part of.
"This is not something I ever thought I'd have to do, and it certainly wasn't something I was looking forward to," Ravenstahl said. "However, we're good sports here in Pittsburgh, and I want to congratulate Denver on a great win."
If Denver had lost, Mayor Michael Hancock had pledged to wear a Steelers jersey and wave a "terrible towel," SBNation Pittsburgh reported.
Some say Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow pulled off another miracle Sunday night, leading his team to a 29-23 overtime victory over the heavily favored Pittsburgh Steelers. They say "another miracle" because it was the fourth time this season Tebow led Denver to an overtime victory. And they say Tebow, a devout Christian, may need an even bigger miracle come Saturday in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where the New England Patriots will be an even bigger favorite to end the Broncos season than the Steelers were.
The Boston Herald on Monday morning is calling Saturday's game "a heaven-sent matchup," and the paper says that because it knows quarterback Tom Brady has made a career of taking the Pats to the promised land while Tebow has just gone through his first communion.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."
The number two and three searched terms on Google? Tebow and Tim Tebow.
It's surely all coincidence, but how many yards did Tebow throw for as he led the Denver Broncos to a 29-23 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL's divisional playoffs on Sunday night?
And what did Tebow have on his eye black as he led the Florida Gators to victory in the 2009 national championship game three years ago to the day of his performance in Denver Sunday night?
Answer: John 3:16.
And while were looking at numbers, let's look at dates, like December 25, the birth date of Jesus Christ and the man who caught Tebow's overtime pass and scored the winning touchdown Sunday night, 24-year-old Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas.
In the next round of the NFL playoffs, Tebow, Thomas and their Broncos travel to New England to face the Patriots, a team that dominated them in Denver late in the regular season. The Patriots figure to be even bigger favorites than the Steelers were to defeat the Broncos Sunday night.
But don't count out Tim Tebow to produce some amazing numbers of his own.
The astounding story of Tim Tebow added another chapter Sunday as the controversial quarterback led his Denver Broncos to a stunning 29-23 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in an NFL wildcard playoff game.
On the first play from scrimmage in overtime, Tebow heaved a pass 18 yards to receiver Demaryius Thomas, who stiff-armed Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor and sprinted down the right sideline for an 80-yard touchdown.
The Broncos led 20-6 at halftime, but the Steelers - led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's 289 yards passing - clawed their way back to tie the game at 23 with time running down in regulation. Neither team could get close enough for a winning field goal, and the contest moved into overtime.
NFL insiders and fans don’t think enough of Tim Tebow to put him in the Pro Bowl, but a decent portion of the American public might be OK with him barbecuing next door.
The Denver Broncos quarterback, who has made a name for himself in part through his outspoken faith in God and a number of comeback wins this season, is the most desirable celebrity neighbor for 2012, according to a survey from the Zillow real estate information company.
The annual survey asks more than 1,000 U.S. adults which celebrity or celebrity couple they’d most like to be their neighbor next year. It should be noted that respondents were given only seven from which to choose, plus “other.” But Tebow topped that list, garnering 11% of the vote.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt (10%) were runners-up, followed by Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux (9%). A plurality of respondents - 42% - said “none of the above,” and “other” got 11%.
The survey results were released Wednesday, a day after USA Today announced that Tebow was the United States’ 11th most-admired man for 2011 - two spots behind Bill Gates but ahead of the Dalai Lama - in a USA Today/Gallup Poll.
Two "Tebowing" high school students have been suspended for blocking the hallway while mimicking the quarterback's famous prayer pose.
The boys were two of four students to trigger a wave of some 40 students kneeling in between classes, Riverhead High School Principal David Wicks said. The students caused a safety hazard, he said. The incident was captured on a smartphone and posted to YouTube.
"It was basically just a tribute to Tim Tebow," The New York Post quoted one of the boys as saying. "It was more than a religious thing. There was some of that involved obviously, because he prays. I guess it was basically like a moment of silence."
The two students received in-school suspension because they had been warned before about pulling disruptive stunts in the middle of the hallway, Wick said. The others received a verbal warning.
"This is about students causing an unsafe situation by blocking the hallways," Wicks said. "This has nothing to do with Tim Tebow or punishing the students for their religion beliefs. If they'd been sitting in the hallway with their legs crossed they'd receive the same discipline."
Tebow mania is sweeping the nation, inspired by the Denver Broncos quarterback's overt religiosity and knack for winning despite less than stellar stats.
"I think it’s wonderful that our students look up to sports heroes such as Mr. Tebow, but we can’t allow students to create unsafe situations in school," Superintendent Nancy Carney said in a statement.
"The students stated that there was nothing religious about their actions and that they were just having fun. We hope that these students and all of our students continue to look up to the positive role models in public life; we just encourage them to do it in a responsible way."
A Boston sports talk show host has apologized for likening former Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow's NFL draft-night party to a "Nazi rally."