Tim Tebow made his name in football, winning college championships and high-quality individual awards. He then joined the NFL where he spent five years before he retired from the sport because he failed to impress. He joined the MLB thereafter and played for five teams in the lower league before he moved on to the major league to play for the New York Mets.
Amidst the rollercoaster of his sporting career was the navigation of a public reputation as a staunch Christian. Along with marriage to a beauty queen, they all combine to make an interesting life story for the Makati, Phillippines-born baseball player.
The Journey to Sports Stardom
Tim Tebow is a miracle child. His mother, Pamela Elaine, faced a lot of crisis while she was pregnant with him. Her doctors advised that she aborted the child, but Tebow’s mom kept her hopes high, and on the 14th of August 1987, she gave birth to Tim Tebow in the Manila, Philippines. Tim’s dad is Robert Ramsey Tebow II.
Tim spent his formative years at Jacksonville, Florida. He is the last of the five children born to his parents. Despite getting diagnosed with dyslexia, the footballer looked beyond his limitations and has described his deficiency as a gift from God. Throughout his elementary days, his parents homeschooled him, and when it was time for high school, he attended Trinity Christain Academy.
It was also where he started his football career, playing as a tight end. He subsequently continued his football career at St John County and played as a quarterback for a football program at Allen D. Nease High School.
An Impressive High School and College Career Led Him to The NFL
The footballer’s throwing and running abilities differentiated him from his peers, and within a short time, he became one of the finest players in his junior year. In a game during this year, he broke his fibula and insisted on finishing the game, despite the pain.
With a broken fibula, Tim Tebow recorded a 29-yard rushing touchdown. After that game, he was kept on deck until he healed. Also, that same year, he emerged as Florida’s player of the year.
In his senior year, his contribution to the Nease Panthers football team qualified them for a state title. He earned the All-State honors as well as Florida’s Mr. Football and Player of the Year. He became notable for his skills and was a subject on ESPN, Faces in Sports documentary. Tebow subsequently enrolled at the University of Florida on an athletic scholarship.
His freshman year was beautiful, he spent the year as a backup and bagged a lot of accolades. He later became his team’s captain and led them to several wins. He spent four years in college, during which he won multiple awards, including the Heisman Trophy and two BCS National Championship in 2006 and 2008.
The largest and most prestigious accolades of his football career came in college, totaling 19 accolades. Some of them are Manning Award, two Maxwell Award, AP Player of the Year, and two-time SEC Player of the Year.
The footballer joined the big football league (NFL) in 2010 after the Denver Broncos selected him in the first round of the draft as the 25th overall pick. He penned down a five-year contract with them, which included $8.7 million guaranteed.
The Disappointments of His NFL Career
Unfortunately, the success of his college career was difficult to replicate in his professional career. He had a decent rookie season, playing nine games and starting three of them. He made 654 yards of passing, completing 50% of them. Things improved in his second season. He played 14 and started 11 games. Tebow threw 1,729 yards but recorded 46.5% accuracy.
His sophomore season ended up being the peak of his career. The Broncos traded him to the New York Jets, where he played 12 games, starting two of them. The Jets released him after a season, and he was picked up by the New England Patriots.
Tim Tebow failed to impress during the Patriots’ preseason, and they cut him off the team. His last attempt at an NFL career came after one year of being a free agent. He signed with the Philadelphia Eagles but faced the same challenge. Unable to impress in preseason, the Eagles released him.
After playing a total of 35 games with 16 starts, and completing 2,422 passing yards with an accuracy of 47.9%, Tebow said goodbye to the NFL and charted a course for a career in Major League Baseball.
Tim Tebow’s Second Attempt at Sporting Glory With Baseball
After exiting the NFL and football in general, he announced in August 2016 an interest in pursuing a baseball career. He later held a tryout in the presence of scouts from 28 teams in the MLB. None signed him to the MLB, but the New York Mets signed him to a minor league contract.
Tim Tebow first played in the Mets’ instructional league before he joined the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League. Over the next four years, he played for Columbia Fireflies in the Class A South Atlantic League, and St. Lucie Mets in the Advanced Florida State League. He also played for the Double-A team, Binghamton Rumble Ponies, and the Syracuse Mets in the Class AAA International League.
After years of impressing in the minor leagues, the New York Mets promoted Tebow to the major leagues. In February 2020, he made his first major league spring-training home run against the Detroit Tigers. Aside from the promotion, he also joined the Philippines National Baseball team. Tim Tebow will represent the Philippines at the 2021 World Baseball Classic.
Tebow’s Faith Has Been at The Forefront of His Public Reputation
Tebow is a Christian, and that is a fact that has been a part of his public image since he was in college. He is an outspoken Christian who has preached in schools and villages, supported over 40 national evangelists, and has preached in prisons and schools.
His outspoken nature in regards to his faith has sparked a few controversies. One of them involves his advocacy for faith-based abstinence and the eradication of abortion. He is also the head of an organization, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, that believes sex outside of marriage and gay acts are sins.
Tim Tebow’s support for abstinence is equally personal, he once related that he was maintaining his virginity until he got married. Tim’s celibacy sparked gay rumors, as at least one ex-girlfriend broke up with him out of his refusal to have sex.
His Faith May Have Led To a New NCAA Rule
On a lighter note, the expression of his faith has led to a rule change in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In 2010, the body started The Tebow Rule, which bans players from writing messages on eye paint. Tebow had gained notoriety for writing Bible verses on his eye black, including an infamous John 3:16 verse in the BCS Championship game.
The move made the verse the highest-ranked Google search term within 24 hours at the time, with more than 90 million searches. On another occasion, a Proverbs 3:5-6 verse generated more than 3.43 million searches.
While the NCAA denied creating the rule because of him, media nevertheless, termed it The Tebow Rule and it has stuck to date.
His Prayer Stance Sparked a Viral Meme
Also, Tebow’s kneeling in prayer on one knee with his head bowed while he rested his arm on his bent knee went viral in a neologism called Tebowing. A fan, Jared Kleinstein, coined the word after posting a picture of himself in the position on Facebook. Since then, the position has gone viral.
The website created by Jared Kleinstein for fans to send pictures of themselves tebowing received more than 20,000 photos and over 20 million views in two and a half months.
It was made into a sticker, that sold hundreds of thousands, and it was a feature in the Madden NFL 13 video game. Since the virality of the name and stance, Tebow has trademarked it, becoming the primary beneficiary for any commercial use.
He Is Married To a South African Model
After years of failed relationships with Olivia Culpo and Camilla Belle, he got married to Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters in January 2020. The two met at a Super Bowl party in 2018. At the time, Demi was in a longtime relationship, but it ended shortly after.
After reuniting at an event by his Tim Tebow Foundation, Night To Shine, the couple began their relationship. They got engaged in January 2019 and married one year after in a 30-minute ceremony in South Africa.
Nel-Peters Was Crowned Miss Universe 2017
Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters is a Sedgefield, South Africa-born model who won Miss Universe in 2017 after representing Western Cape and winning Miss South Africa 2017.
Her victory sent her on official visits around the world to countries like the US, Egypt, Malaysia, France, Mexico, Indonesia, India, and a couple of others.
Demi-Leigh is a graduate of North-West University. She had a half-sister named Franje, who suffered from cerebellar agenesis. Franje died in May 2019, and Demi met Tebow during a 2018 event in celebration of those with her condition.