We can vigorously debate Tebow's place in college football history as a player. What's not up for debate is his unparalleled ability to provoke the deepest of feelings in fans of the sport.
He said afterward that he wants the fans to remember him for "how much I cared." The fact is, fans have never cared so much about a player before.
"I've never seen anything like it," Florida coach Urban Meyer said. "… He's made unselfish kind of a cool thing."
None of us has seen anything like it. What makes Tebow unique in the 140-year history of this game is not just his unquenchable spirit. It's his generosity of spirit.
The numbers and awards are all impressive and voluminous, but they're not what have made the quarterback a historic figure in Florida and beyond. That's due to the winning attributes, the leadership qualities, the endless acts of charity performed off the field, the ability to graciously lead a heavily scrutinized life.
You just don't find all those things in a single college-aged package.
Tebow long ago entered another dimension of stardom, as his impact went viral. He is the most polarizing college athlete ever, by a wide margin, engendering the deepest of feelings across the culture.
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