You may notice that a fanpost has been removed written by an author named "BroncoGator". The reason for this is that it took me this long to realize BroncoGator was not a funny photoshop by a Gator fan who wanted to follow Tebow to the NFL. It was someone looking to make some coin. Very rarely do we give someone a ban hammer. But slurs or self-promotion are two easy ways to do it. I usually allow people to comment outside the confines of polite society, but do one of those two things and you are d-u-n done.
That said, the fandom of people who are Denver Broncos fans because of Tim Tebow bothers me for a few reasons;
1. Tebow, as good as he was, needed NFL quality backs and an historic defense. Percy Harvin, Brandon Spikes and Joe Haden were not backup singers.
2. If people can pick their NFL team based on their favorite college player moving there, they probably were not NFL fans. I don't understand how you can not be an NFL fan when there are three NFL teams in Florida.
3. This is most important; if you can jump on the Broncos bandwagon because of Tebow, you might have jumped on the Gators bandwagon because of Tebow too. In that case, you are not a fan. Just someone passing through.
I also understand there are people who admire Tebow because he is a faith-driven person. But unless those people were Gator fans prior to 2006, they are bandwagon jumpers too. (My Catholic guilt prompts me to apologize for bluntness.) Those fans are not sticking around for John Brantley or Hurricane Leon Orr and they sure as hell won't buy any more Gators shirts, tickets or donate to the school. Thanks for your four-year contribution.
For those of us who have invested through years of fandom or education, Johnny Brantley is our quarterback now. Tebow is as good as a ghost (or statue or plaque or Heisman sign). The quicker you invest your time and energy into the new era of Gator football, the better off you will be. As good as Tebow was, college success is spent by each year's spring practice. Unless he pulls a Reggie Bush, returns to coach, or donates back to the team, Tim Tebow will have no impact on the success or failure of the Gators. John Brantley will.
Brantley is the kid who was groomed for this and can trace his family tree through Florida Field. He was a schoolboy hero too. Brantley turned down Texas for the chance to sit behind Tebow, because it was in his blood to be a Gator. This isn't someone who parachuted into Gainesville or is a hired gun. Maybe he doesn't have the hype machine behind him or doesn't spend his summers saving souls, but he is your quarterback.
There is a good chance I'm 100 percent wrong on everything. I could be wrong in calling out the bandwagon jumpers, especially when North-South Drive was renamed for the biggest bandwagon jumper in UF history. My 14-year old sister thinks I'm crazy for saying Tebow doesn't factor in the Gators' future success, but she gets a pass since she's been fed Gator propaganda since she was six.
For me, it just comes down to not getting it. I never rooted for Tebow the man, just like I never rooted for Harvin the man. I rooted for them because they represented my school. I didn't root harder for Tebow because he was a good Christian boy or harder for Harvin because he came from a working-class background. As long as they wore orange and blue, they were my boys. I was proud of Harvin's tremendous rookie season and will be proud of Tebow if he can manage a tenth of what Percy did. But I will be far more proud of John Brantley if he has a good first season because he is my quarterback now.