I always assumed ex-Yankees (and others) pitcher David Wells would be difficult. Shoot, I remember him rumbling with countless tabloid reporters when I was growing up in New York. So, it’s always a crapshoot when you approach a guy like that for an interview at a celebrity event.
But Wells was more than gracious in South Lake Tahoe yesterday, sitting down on a random rock to chat with me… though he did reprimand this fan who interrupted us to ask for an autograph. Classic.
Anyway, Wells was a NYC mainstay, one guy who really got how the city worked. He didn’t always play along, but he did understand the bright lights.
Who better to ask than Wells about what new Jets QB Tim Tebow will face?
“Well, people don’t know him and they jump on the bandwagon, (calling him a) Bible thumper-type guy, but you know what? You are what you are,” Wells told me yesterday. “And this guy doesn’t have a bad bone in his body. He’s going to get criticized a lot, he’s going to get made fun of a lot, but he’s a professional. He knows what it’s going to take to do his job. He focuses on one thing and he’s really good at just shutting out the world and doing what he has to do.”
Sure, Tebow will get ripped. He already has. He already did in Denver. But Wells predicts the typical Tebow reaction.
“People say, ‘You suck, you do this,‘ ” Wells said. “He’ll probably say, ‘Thank you very much.’ You kill ‘em with kindness and that’s his MO. I think people should be more like him. You don’t have to be very religious like he is, but have that mentality and that approach just on life. His values are pretty freaking good if you ask me. He just does his business and he’s one of the hardest workers in the NFL and in sports period. He takes all that negative and turns it into a positive. A lot of people fight the system like I did. I fought the media constantly and I think if I had that approach, I think I’d have been better off. But different strokes for different folks.”
Wow. Wells thinks he should’ve been more like Tebow. Awesome. Can’t say I expected that. Or that I believe it could ever happen. But regardless, Wells thinks Tebow will thrive.
“I think he’s great,” Wells said. “I met him last year and I was pretty stoked. I got starstruck a little bit. (Smiles) Yeah. I did. Got to meet him, and you can’t help but pull for the guy. You really can’t… He’s going to shut these people up. Because when he does get his opportunity to shine without all these conflicts going on, he’s going to rake ‘em. He’s going to tear it up. That’s my opinion.”