This past football season belonged to Tim Tebow. With the odds stacked against him and with the media, fans, opposing players, and even his own coach and GM lining up to knock him, it definitely became the best story of the year when he became the Bronco’s starting quarterback and led them to the playoffs. Tebowmania swept the nation and a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon. He quickly became not just one of the most sought after athletes around, he became one of the most sought after celebrities.
The group hosting him in Missoula was a local Christian community center (City Life). It is a long, drawn out story but supposedly a girl for her high school senior project wrote a letter to Tebow asking him to come to Missoula to help raise funds for the center. The quarterback agreed and a storm of publicity came with it. As it was a fundraiser, tickets were sold for $100 for a lower level seat and $50 for an upper level seat.
I don’t think twice about paying inflated prices for premium tickets to concerts and sporting events. I also am a big fan of Tim Tebow. But while I dump a lot of money into tickets and while I also admire #15, I could not bring myself to pay triple digits to hear him talk. I would cough up twice that amount of money to see him play…but not talk.
Tim Tebow was scheduled to speak at noon last Wednesday. I started working the event at 11am right when the doors opened. I played a bunch of feel good, non-suggestive music such as U2’s “Beautiful Day,” Katy Perry’s “Firework,” Garth Brooks “Standing Outside the Fire,” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing,” etc. Come noon Tebow had not arrived at the Adams Center yet so after one of the City Life representatives stalled for the audience a little bit, I played more music. Probably about seven minutes past noon, Tim Tebow himself walked down the vehicle ramp in the northeast corner of the arena right where my music table is set up. He stood a foot away from me as the City Life Pastor greeted everyone and then one of our former football players and one of our current assistant coaches introduced him. No, I never said anything to him. Surrounded by a few members of his entourage and then a throng of “official” (#sarcasm) looking City Life security guards in orange t-shirts, I decided to play it cool.
Tim Tebow handing off a football at the Adams Center.
The City Life Pastor/Leader person first took the seat of honor next to Tebow and started asking him questions. It was pretty entertaining. He asked him rapid fire general interest questions such as “Do you prefer the Grizzlies or Bobcats?” (Grizzlies), “BCS or Playoffs?” (Playoffs), “Skiing or snowboarding?” (can’t remember what he said), etc. The questions were good and Tebow’s answers were funny.
Next the girl who had written the letter to Tebow inviting him to come to Missoula took the chair. That whole Q&A period really centered on how important it was to go on a mission overseas in an impoverished country. Tebow and the girl traded stories and I simply lost interest.
Tebow rushing out of the Adams Center.
Just a few notes on the whole “Tebow Time.” I was so happy I did not spend $100 to watch that. The whole deal was much more boring than what I thought it was going to be. Again, credit City Life for trying to appeal to everyone in the audience by keeping the session lighthearted and not one-sided but I was just not captivated. Secondly, Tim Tebow did not come across as “straight laced” as I have found him to be on national interviews. He was definitely witty and even sarcastic at times. Finally, he definitely did not come across as larger than life. Sometimes when you see celebrities in person you can feel a certain aura or special presence. Even though I thoroughly respect the man and cheer for him, I did not get that from him.