When I first heard the news that Kingsley-Pierson (Iowa) High student Rachel Bird took a cardboard cutout of New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow to her senior prom instead of a real-life human, I was a bit disturbed.
Was Bird really that upset that Tebow didn't respond to her Twitter request to take her to prom that she felt the need to do this?
You only get one senior prom in your life, and it's a moment that is supposed to be special. It should be shared with a high school sweetheart, or at the very least, a close friend.
My senior prom was an event that I'll never forget, as the memories of that night will truly last a lifetime. I'll always remember what I was wearing, who my date was, the food we ate, the slow songs we danced to and the friends we met up with afterwards.
I wouldn't change that night for the world, and I can't imagine going through with that night without a date.
When I first heard about Bird, my heart sunk with the feeling that this was the story of a young girl who took her obsession with Tebow just a bit too far.
By all accounts, Bird is a pretty, athletic teenage girl who could have easily brought a "real boy" instead of a cardboard cutout of a celebrity.
The Yahoo! report states that she was a cheerleader, varsity volleyball star and varsity girls' basketball player.
So why would she creepily fish a piece of cardboard from the trash behind a local hardware store, glue a photo of Tim Tebow to a piece of cardboard, and then call it her prom date? Was this a desperate cry for attention, a practical joke or just a teenage girl having a little bit of fun?
"It was awkward, but people asked me to stop for photos during the grand march," Bird said in a report by the Sioux City Journal. "Believe me, this isn't something I ever thought I'd be doing. He was a cheap date, and he didn't talk much. And when I asked him to stand in a corner, he did. I don't think it even hurt his feelings."
Bird's comical, fun-loving comments in the Sioux City Journal made me second-guess my intial thoughts. She obviously had a blast at the prom, and she quieted her harshest critics by earning national media exposure for her school.
Not bad for a high school senior from Iowa, a state that doesn't typically get tons of coverage from national media outlets.
The only losers in this story are the senior boys from Kingsley-Pierson High School who didn't get the opportunity to take her to the prom.
What are your thoughts on Rachel Bird taking a cardboard cutout of Tim Tebow to her senior prom? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Jets fan and Tim Tebow supporter. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
- Tim Tebow