Monday, November 30, 2009

Comparing Tim and Danny

Let me start by saying that comparing Tim Tebow and Danny Wuerffel is extremely difficult for me because I love them both more for what they have done off the field and for the type of men they are than for what they have done on the field. There are others who can and will compare their stats. The wins, the losses, the yardage, the completion percentages, third down conversions, Touchdown passes, SEC championships, and even National Championships can all be quantified rather easily by anyone who really cares to see the numbers.

There are both really Godly men who live by the values they publicly proclaim. Both were genuine in their faith during their college careers both on and off the field. Both inspired their fellow Gator students to do greater things on behalf of their values and their God. Both made significant contributions to the lives of their coaches and fellow players while they were in Gainesville. Both went beyond themselves on behalf of others more times than they could count during their four or years at the University of Florida. Although I was personally closer to Danny than I have been with Tim, I can say that I knew them both at least well enough to recognize my face in Tim's case, and well enough to spend time in my home in Danny's case.

But there is a difference in Tim and Danny's legacy at UF. Part of the reason Tim is at UF is because of Danny's legacy. He grew up wanting to be like him. Tim grew up a Gator fan in part because of the type of person Danny was and is for that matter. While Danny was widely covered in his day, the coverage was enough for his influence to spread to a kid in Jacksonville and others like him in places all over the United States. That's the extent that most media went in 1996. Now with Tim, that influence has been expanded around the globe. The explosion of information sharing media has produced the hype that culminated last Saturday night with a display that I have never witnessed at Florida Field in almost 20 years of working on the sidelines. With Florida driving for what would likely be the last score directed by Tim, the camera's were flashing and glowing like I've never witnessed personally. It was greater than the effect at Yankee Stadium when Roger Clemons was going for his 300th win. I know because I was at both!

Was it because Tim is more beloved than Danny? I don't really think so. Was it because Tim has given back more to the fans than Danny? Nope, I don't think that is it. I believe the outpouring of photo love given to Tim has a much more practical genesis. Everyone now has a digital camera or a cell phone that takes pictures. Had that technology been available during Danny's last game in the Swamp, I think you would have seen a very similar expression of love and appreciation. Now everyone is a photographer just like everyone is a columnist. This writing is a prime example. I had no way to express my appreciation publicly to Danny back in the 90's. So I would like to thank both Tim and Danny for the way they have represented the body of Christ both on and off the field. I am proud to call them my brothers! I look forward to others stepping up and carrying on the tradition. I remember people saying "we'll never see another player like Danny!" and they were right. Now I hear people saying "we'll never see another one like Tim!" and they will be right. I'm just excited about who the Lord will send next to extend this legacy of faith filled, winners who live for Jesus, son's of preachers who quarterback the University of Florida to championships!

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