When Tim Tebow does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up; he's pushing the world down.
ATLANTA – The lines were mostly stolen from an old Chuck Norris gag, but they started showing up all over the Web not long after Tim Tebow arrived at Florida and was declared the Superman of college football.
Wait, Superman? Scratch that.
Superman's only weakness is Kryptonite. Tim Tebow laughs at Superman for having a weakness.
Superman wears Tim Tebow pajamas.
OK, so Superman is the Tim Tebow of superheroes, or so the Tebowisms say. And perhaps this explains why Superman didn't really have many friends, but Tim Tebow does.
When all you do is super things – be faster than a speeding bullet or win Southeastern Conference championships – eventually all the praise becomes, well, a little sickening.
After all, did you hear the CBS broadcast of Tebow and his Florida Gator friends defeating Alabama 31-20 to almost assuredly secure a spot in the BCS Championship next month? There are sororities in Gainesville that gush less over the guy.
Sure Tebow ran for 62 yards, passed for 216 and accounted for three touchdowns, five scoring drives and countless big plays.
"Every time [Florida] needed to make a play, Tim Tebow made a play," Alabama coach Nick Saban said.
If you listen to the media talk about this guy though, you'd think he spent his offseason preaching to prisoners. Or hosting a powder puff game not to pick up chicks (too busy for a girlfriend, he says) but raise $10,000 for charity. Or baptizing third world children.
Oh right, he did all of that. Tebow the Baptist. Which isn't even his most, ah, memorable act. One time on a mission in the Philippines he performed some circumcisions.
"The first time, it was nerve-racking," Tebow told reporters later. "Hands were shaking a little bit."
You think carving up the Crimson Tide secondary is a big deal after that?
When Tim Tebow walks on water, his feet don't get wet. The water gets Tebow'd.
You can lead a horse to water. Tim Tebow can make him drink.
You can try to hate Tebow for being so perfect. Then he does something perfect. Or everything. Only he doesn't think he's perfect.
He's humble. Of course, how many times have you heard that about an athlete? Sometimes athletes will even tell you they're humble while speaking in the third person.
Tebow says none of this. Saturday he repeatedly brushed off suggestions that he was the critical reason UF won the game. He didn't want to discuss how he engineered the offense even with star receiver Percy Harvin out due to injury.
Instead he thanked the Lord, his parents, his coaches and the Gator fans. Mostly though, he talked about his teammates – "great group of guys" he said more than once.
That's all well and good, but here's the proof that Tebow is, indeed, legitimate. You know that circumcising the baby in the Philippines story? He didn't even tell his teammates about it. Some found out from the media, others didn't know about it at all. To Tebow, it wasn't worth mentioning.
"That's the first I've heard of it," said receiver David Nelson, laughing. "I knew he went to the Philippines. What did he do? He uncircumcised some kid?"
Actually, it only works one way. Although, this is Tim Tebow we're talking about.
Essentially Tebow gets more than his share of attention, yet his teammates don't seem to mind. They actually heap more praise on him. It's perhaps the greatest testament to him.
"He's just a one of a kind guy," Nelson said. "It's not about him, it's about other people. It's an honor to play on the same football field with him."
See, this is why everyone speaks glowingly about Tebow. You try writing a column about him. In fact, don't try writing it, try imagining what he would write and then copy that.
Tim Tebow doesn't actually write columns, the words assemble themselves out of fear.
So what would they say about the fourth quarter, when UF trailed 20-17, Alabama had all the momentum and he promptly led the Gators on two clutch touchdown drives to win the game?
"That fourth quarter was vintage Tim Tebow," is what Urban Meyer said. "I don't know the entire history of the University of Florida but I can imagine that fourth quarter will go down as one of the greatest ever."
"I just wanted to find some way that this team could get a victory," Tebow said.
What's the worst thing you can say about Tim Tebow? He didn't get a Rhodes Scholarship. Florida isn't playing in the Champs Sports Bowl though.
When the bogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks the closet for Tim Tebow.
You don't hit Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow hits you.
Don't think Tebow is all hearts and flowers. He might spend a lot of time considering "what would Jesus do" off the field but on it he's straight Old Testament. With Harvin out, the Gators' offense was fairly conservative and there were stretches that mostly consisted of snapping to Tebow and seeing who he could hit.
At 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, Tebow is like no other running quarterback. While he occasionally gets shifty, he clearly prefers lowering a shoulder and hammering someone. He makes linebackers nervous and collarbones crack.
Last week, after Tebow manhandled Florida State, Bobby Bowden compared him to Bronko Nagurski. Bronko was a defensive tackle and fullback at Minnesota in the 1920s.
He's also credited as the subject of the old joke that a coach, lost while recruiting another player, drove by the Nagurski farm to find Bronko plowing the field. He asked where he could find the other kid and Bronko lifted the plow up and pointed the way. The coach signed Bronko on the spot.
Tim Tebow is the not the Bronko Nagurski of 2008. He wouldn't need a plow to turn a field. He'd do it by hand.
When Tim Tebow holds the Heisman, it puts down its stiff arm.
Tebow won the Heisman Trophy last year as a sophomore. The Gators finished just 9-4 though. Tebow wasn't as vocal of a leader as he is now, according to his coach. He also wasn't as good of a passer.
"They scored two touchdowns, man, we had them covered about as well as you can cover them," Saban said wistfully. "That ball is in a small space."
"I had a lot of help from our receivers," Tebow countered.
Despite all of this, he might not repeat as the Heisman winner. One of the quarterbacks in the Big 12 might beat him out. They've put up incredible numbers and won lots of games also. That usually impresses voters. Tebow's numbers aren't as good.
Tebow doesn't mind. It's all about the team, naturally. If there were a reason he should win the Heisman again, it isn't his stats but his speech after the Gators' lone loss of the season. He stood in front of the media (and later his teammates), took 100 percent of the blame, apologized and then made a promise.
"You have never seen any player in the entire country play as hard as I will play the rest of this season and you'll never see someone push the rest of the team as hard as I will push everybody the rest of this season, and you'll never see a team play harder than we will the rest of this season," he said.
Sure enough, he lived up to his word. Florida hasn't lost since. Now it's all about winning the BCS Championship.
Forget the Heisman, Tim Tebow will spend every waking hour preparing for Oklahoma.
Tim Tebow does not sleep. He waits.
- Tim Tebow