Tim Tebow, So Utterly Un-New York, Perhaps He’ll Live in New Jersey

By John Berman

Mar 26, 2012 6:16pm

Tim Tebow’s big introduction to the Big Apple can be summed up very simply — he is “excited” to be here.

During his press conference today, the newest big name player added to the New York Jets roster said more than 30 times that he was “excited” to be a part of the team.

The former Denver Broncos quarterback seems so incredibly hopeful, so genuinely optimistic, so devoid of any cynicism — so completely and utterly un-New York.

As far back as “Casablanca,” people have been warned about these grimy city streets. “There are certain sections of New York, major, that I wouldn’t advise you to try to invade,” Humphrey Bogart tells the Germans in the 1942 classic film.

But can Tebow survive here, with the big spotlight, the big media and, most of all, the big temptations? What will Tebow’s New York Story be?

Well, as everyone knows, the 24-year-old quarterback is not shy about saying he is a follower of Jesus Christ and that is the most important thing in life to him. In the past, Tebow has said he is saving himself for marriage, so it seems doubtful his New York Story will be much about, say, “Sex and the City.”

But Tebow wasn’t born yesterday.  He’s been in the NFL for two years, he led the Broncos to the playoffs this past season and he knows what the critics are whispering about him out there, and yet, even today, he says, “I’m just having fun with it and making the best of whatever situation that I’m dealt and I’m so honored to be here and it’s such a blessing for me.”

Tebow looked plenty comfortable in New York City this weekend when TMZ snapped him cruising around town in a lavish limo van and eating out at the high-end Scarpetta restaurant. Still, the word is that some in the Jets camp would like to see Tebow set up residence not in New York, but New Jersey, where the Jets’ stadium is actually located and where it might be a little less overwhelming, even with the table-flipping, cursing ladies of the “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

But truthfully there would be something profound about setting Tebow’s New York Story in New Jersey. It’s not just that he is as cut as “The Situation.” No, more than anything he is the “Sopranos” of all athletes, not because of mob ties or whackings, but because he is controversial. He is a living, breathing “Sopranos” finale — discussed and debated and never really resolved.

Of course, we don’t know if Tebow ever watched the “Sopranos” finale, but if he did, he would most likely say he was “really excited about that.”

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