Am I the only one who thinks it’s OK for Tim Tebow to be… a person?

Jets QB Tim Tebow huddles up with his teammates (Associated Press)

Tim Tebow’s image has taken on a life of its own. When he speaks, thousands show up. When he gets traded, he has the kinds of press conferences that are usually reserved for Super Bowl week. None of this is news.

The Jets QB is pristine, right down to the commonly accepted thought that he is a virgin. It’s kind of amazing. And it’s also time to let go. It’s time for his people to take their hands off.

It’s time to allow Tebow to be (gasp) human.

I bring this up now because of a post on The Big Lead that brings you Tebow’s comments about Notre Dame and ex-teammate Brady Quinn. Tebow, who went to Florida, took a light-hearted swipe at the Fighting Irish.

He was in front of a group of Gators peeps and joked that he would tell Quinn, “I’d say, ‘Your whole team had one guy who ran under a 5.0 40. Our kicker ran under 5.0.” 

It’s funny, it’s probably true and it’s amazingly human. It’s something some dude would say to rip on another dude who was a little too holier than thou. It’s like something I would’ve said to a buddy who was trying to get under my skin. It’s simply a good line that a normal person would say.

So why did it vanish from Gator Zone’s website, as The Big Lead reports?

Is this another attempt to make sure Tebow’s image is clean and perfect and non-human? Was it like the time Tebow took a picture with a Broadway actress, only to have it disappear? Facts are a little shaky (the folks at Gator Zone haven’t responded to the website), but I hope not.

Allow me to issue a very humble plea to all of Tebow’s people: Please, please, please let him be a person. Please.

I know his popularity is like nothing we’ve seen before. I know there are some who believe he is infallible. He isn’t. No one is. Watch him throw a few times during quarters 1 through 3 and you’ll realize that. He’s actually a real person. Let him be one.

If he takes a picture with an actress backstage, don’t worry that Us Weekly will say she’s his girlfriend. People will always say things. If he tweaks Notre Dame, don’t worry that people will be insulted. Way more people will cherish the fact that he has a sense of humor. They will be able to relate to Tebow just a little bit more. He will win more fans than he loses.

I remember being sad when Tiger Woods’ people went nuts after that fantastic Esquire profile by Charlie Pierce, freaking out because he came across as so real. Bad jokes and all. This kinda reminds me of that, the micromanaging of his image. No, I don’t think Tebow is headed for a Woods-style fall. Not even close. REPEAT — Not even close. There aren’t any other similarities that I know of, except for how carefully he is managed.

But there will be a time when the public understands he isn’t perfect. That he has thoughts like you and I. That he’s more regular than we are led to believe. He works in New York City. Someone will write something. Might as well find out who he really is now, right?

So please, let Tebow be human. Thanks.

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