The next leg of what can only be described as the Tim Tebow machine landed in New York last weekend as the Broncos QB obligingly dressed matchy, matchy to his Jockey billboards to view a fashion show in front of Macy’s.
After posing with some underwear-clad models, Tebow took a front-row seat to view his sponsor’s wares.
When a model walked out in her briefs with a clear plastic overlay, Tebow confessed, “If anyone’s wondering, that’s the dress I want my future wife to wear someday” — which was actually all sorts of disturbing considering it looked remarkably like the plastic coat worn by Christian Bale in “American Psycho” before he axed a guy.
Tebow then cracked jokes about tucking his undershirt into his underwear and getting a free beach ball with every purchase (as if meeting him wasn’t incentive enough) before ducking into the basement of the massive department store to greet his legions of fans who snaked around the mannequins in order to get a picture with the second-year QB.
The adoring crowd, mostly wearing his Florida No. 15 jersey, waited patiently while happily talking about their devotion. There was a woman from the Delta Gamma sorority who remembered when Tebow hugged her mom at The Swamp, the Seton Hall sophomore who is drawn to Tebow’s “beliefs and moral values,” and the group of “Gotham Gators” who brought him balloons and wanted to thank him, because he made them “better Gator fans” — which, of course, helps when you’re winning.
So goes the Tebow-mania that’s sweeping the country.
And for every idol, you need a statue. Oh, yes. Last month, he got that, too.
Tebow’s remarkably hokey “staycool” Jockey commercial is also in rotation, with the perma-grinning Heisman winner wandering between sweaty extras as images of surfers and snowboarders cut across his torso.
He also has deals with Nike and FRS energy drinks, but between his holier-than-thou image, his now NCAA-banned eye-black bible messages, and his pro-life Super Bowl XLIV ad, the squeaky clean Tebow can also be quite polarizing.
While landing in the top 10 of Forbes‘ most influential athletes, 13 percent of those polled said they either disliked or really disliked Tebow, with only LeBron “I’m bringing my talents to South Beach” James understandably higher at 15 percent. By comparison, only 3 percent dislike everyone’s favorite big-haired safety, Troy Polamalu, who checked in as the sixth most influential.
Still, more than 1,000 fans followed Tebow around TPC Sawgrass at his foundation’s Golf Classic last week, with the mob in tow resembling that of Tiger Woods while walking up to 18 at Augusta.
Tebow has also co-written a memoir about his 23 years on this planet called “Through My Eyes,” out on May 31. Ever the man of the people, two of the stops on his book tour include a Sam’s Club in Colorado Springs, Colo., on June 5 and a Wal-Mart in Gainesville, Fla., on June 9.
As for whether he can actually succeed in the league, it won’t be for a lack of trying. Tebow trains two to three times a day — even dragging his brother, Robby, out of bed at midnight to toss him the football and take reps under center in his efforts to edge out Kyle Orton and prove he can be a pocket passer.
He might. And whether or not Tebow has God on his side, he does have the support of former Broncos legend John Lynch. Lynch invited Tebow to his annual charity event last month and bestowed on him a Leadership Legend Award. When asked why he wanted him there considering Tebow’s young career, Lynch told CBS Sports that it was because, “I needed good weather.”