“I’m the best now that I’ve ever been.” Tim Tebow has been described as many things: humble, loyal, devout — but perhaps no label has proved more apt than self-confident. Despite enduring nearly two years of trials and tribulations since leading the Denver Broncos to a 2011 playoff victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, the unsigned quarterback tells Sports Illustrated he plans to be ready when the NFL calls.
The 14,000-word profile also delves into the fateful night in 2007 when Tebow joined then teammate and former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez at a bar in Gainesville, Fla.:
Hernandez apparently believed the drinks were free. The manager believed otherwise. He waved the bill around, saying, ‘What about this?’ He got in Hernandez’s face. A woman tried to pay the bill, but the manager ignored her. Tebow tried and failed to make peace. Hernandez punched the manager, bursting his left eardrum, and ran away so fast that he left behind one black sneaker.
Tebow’s struggles with the New York Jets in 2012 were a consistent source of fodder for back-page tabloid headlines, but the Gang Green coaching staff did little to help their newly acquired quarterback:
You could argue he had nothing to lose by starting Tebow. But the opposite was true. Ryan had nothing to gain. Tebow could have made him look good in Week 1, or Week 5, or even Week 10. Now, with the playoffs out of the question, Tebow could only make him look bad. The better he played, the worse Ryan would look. Everyone would ask why he hadn’t gone with Tebow sooner.