My Dad - The Italian Trojan Sr. - played softball and football in work leagues...as a New York court officer, and primarily a father of ultimately eight children.
My Dad aided thousands of people across the Brooklyn Bridge on September 11th, 2001, and heroicly helped identify many other children's fallen heroes during the days that followed.
My Dad has overcome countless neck, back, and shoulder surgeries in his quest to provide endless guidance and love for his family, which still trumps any gift he can wrap or badge he once sported.
My Dad is a Good Guy.
This passing Father's Day, the two of us resided around my grandparents' pool, digesting a Sicilian barbecue and homemade honey biscotti courtesy of yours truly. I asked him what he wished the topic of one of my next articles should be. He told me he couldn't really think of anything. He also failed to remember all 32 NFL teams when sat down with pen and paper. Those pesky Atlanta Falcons...
It did not take long for the conversation to steer itself towards a football icon that Dad or anyone else will never forget even if they consumed a lifetime's supply of Grandpa's gin raisins. A figure that warrants his scheduled appearance in the sports-oriented debates of every family get-together. A player whose standing and accomplishments, whether on or off the field, up to this point in his collective career are incomparable to history.
The quintessential "good guy" in his own right, who further proved it by earning the Professional Football Writers of America's 2012 Good Guy Award merely two days later. The most talked about man in football!
The New York Jets' current backup quarterback has victoriously led the football universe into an overtime period of national recognition, from Heisman performances to inexplicable fourth-quarter comebacks and press conferences. His latest accolade can be credited to his poise, professionalism, and accessibility in the faces of hysteria and adversity, and that is a subtle summary of Tebow Mania.
Sure, Tebow's persona, style of quarterbacking, and practice of religion all polarize locker rooms, and recent recollection indicates that the love-or-hate barometer's glass has shattered. Seeing as though he isn't selling marijuana in Detroit, placing bounties, or devouring household pets - and considering athletics' timeless goal of bringing society together through diverse interest
in their products, none of it should in any way be deemed bad publicity for the NFL or the display of Tim Tebow "the human being".
When in doubt of which pose to assume in photos with our favorite childhood characters, theme park guests instinctively result to Tebowing (since studies have shown that Planking dirties your clothes faster). What's more, the guy has a sandwich named after him! How many villains can say just as much?
No matter what your perception is of the person/quarterback hybrid and his stolen credit for the Denver Broncos' 2011 campaign, whatever your speculation of his upcoming regular season role may be, and whether or not you agree with Tedy Bruschi's claim that the "reserve" should lay low, Tim Tebow is good inside and outside of football.
Of course, some fans only truly care about winning. His run-first delivery could suggest the hurl of a shotput or the toss of a frisbee, but up to this point Tim Tebow has undeniably won games, and eminently fan bases.
How exactly has he pulled this off? Here are Tim Tebow's top ten best game-winning drives so far:
10. 2008-09 Florida Hardware
Unlike Auburn's Cam Newton, Tebow's collegiate time spent with the Gators is more adequately remembered for his individual body work and the surrounding SEC talent (Percy Harvin, Aaron Hernandez, etc.), rather than any one signature late-game moment. Such is the case when reminiscing their Championship bout with Sam Bradford and the Oklahoma Sooners.
Tebow orchestrated a clutch 24-14 victory, but it was an overall team effort. Then again, who knows if they would have been granted a BCS invite without...
9. Florida Immortality
An inexcusable 31-30 loss to Ole Miss ended up being the lone blemish on their Title resume. An embarrassed and blame-filled Tebow made a certain promise that motivated the program to a string of blowouts all the way into the postseason. The university memorialized his speech faster than any of Notre Dame's posted 40 times.
8. Matt Prater the Boy Wonder
On to Denver, where Tebow Time and the Broncos' unprecedented winning streak were in their prime. Tebow's rematch with the short-circuiting San Diego Chargers in Week 12 turned out to be one of retribution, as a third-quarter 13-7 deficit was followed by three drives concluding in field goals, including the overtime combination of Tebow's resourcefulness, the aid of Willis McGahee and Prater's 37-yarder with 29 seconds remaining.
7. "Broncos Time"
This Week 14 game was the one that solidified how Denver's success was both Tebow's doing and the team's doing. Tebow was absolutely abysmal for 55+ minutes against Chicago, but with 4:34 to go, he threw a perfect 7-7 for 63 yards on a drive that was capped off by a 10-yard scoring pass to Demaryius Thomas. After that, Marion Barber imploded, and Prater delivered in yet another overtime, finishing an ugly 13-10 comeback.
ESPN's obsession with ludicrous press conferences transformed into the reason why the No. 2 quarterback will wrestle the starting job from Mark Sanchez by Week 5's Monday Night Football matchup with the Houston Texans. Only Santa Claus can win over the New York media more seamlessly.
5. 2011 Coach of the Year: Mile High
s benching of Kyle Orton come the bye week almost made this list on its own. The comeback craze was patented immediately, as Tebow erased the Miami Dolphins' 15-0 lead with a [challenged and upheld] 28-yard completion to Daniel Fells, a three-yard touchdown throw to his tight end two plays later, and game-tying two-point conversion on the ground.
He proceeded to kick the game-winning field goal in overtime...I'm overplaying my hand, aren't I?
4. 2-8, 69 passing yards, 1 fourth-quarter 56-yard TD
Tebow's stat line from a Week 10, 17-10 defeat over the Kansas City Chiefs was barely enhanced by the W, but as Eric Decker and James Bond will each tell you, 50 incompletions and a yes...means yes.
3. Pre-Tebow Time
The Broncos' first-round Draft pick started the final three contests of their lost 4-12 season in 2010, and tallied his first professional triumph in Week 16 - minus all of the hoopla that would've accompanied it a year later.
After trailing the Texans 23-10 by the end of the third quarter, Tebow's inaugural come-from-behind victory was soon notched; the rookie went 3-7 for 45 passing yards during the game-clinching drive, along with 23 rushing yards and the 6-yard scoring scamper. Houston would miss the playoffs again, while the Colorado stars unknowingly aligned.
2. The Immaculate 80-yard Touchdown Pass
You would predict that a postseason battle with the Pittsburgh Steelers' Yellow and Black defense lasting into overtime would result in a Mile Heartbreak or possibly yet another boot by Prater. Tebow instead decided to avoid the NFL's new postseason overtime rules - what a hero - with what might as well have been the most tight-knit spiral of his career, thanks largely in part to Thomas. Tebow's 316 passing yards was less of a fluke.
1. John Elway + Michael Vick = Tim Tebow
The 12-play 95-yard drive and intangible command was Elway-esque. The 20-yard touchdown scramble as time expired was Vick-worthy, and is the poster image for 2011's most overpowering story - yes, ahead of Peyton Manning. Now that Manning is at the helm in Denver, and Tebow is rebuilding the city he crumbled in Week 11, 17-13, it appears as though this outcome could not have been more Hollywood.
Although he will never surpass Dad in my Good Guys rankings, I'm sure the family would have no problem setting a placemat for Tim Tebow at our dining room table. May bickering and sauce-splattering ensue.