Even before he took an NFL snap, there were many who believed that Tim Tebow might be better suited as a fullback or H-back-type player if he wanted to have a career in the league. Once Tebow was drafted and he struggled as a signal-caller – he couldn’t make decisions quick enough and he was inaccurate – the calls for him to switch positions, or maybe try his hand in the Canadian Football League, only grew louder.
But Tebow refused. It was quarterback or nothing. So nothing it is; Tebow spent training camp with the New England Patriots in 2013 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, but the 2010 first-round pick hasn’t played a meaningful snap in the league since 2012.
So now Tebow has turned his attention to baseball. He hasn’t played the game since his junior year of high school over a decade ago, but he’s been working out on the diamond, and feels he’s ready to try out for teams.
On Tuesday, multiple reporters tweeted that Tebow will hold a showcase in Los Angeles on Aug. 30, and there’s enough curiosity in what the now-29-year-old Tebow can do that more than 20 Major League Baseball teams are confirmed to be sending personnel to watch the workout.
Tebow is of course willing to pursue whatever he’d like, and if he can find folks willing to indulge him, all the better. But as noted by The MMQB’s Albert Breer, it’s curious that after refusing to consider other positions and options with the sport (we assume) is his first love, Tebow is now willing to grind it out in baseball.
If he’s signed, Tebow isn’t just going to jump onto a Major League roster; he’ll be in the minors, the antithesis of glamour. In the NFL, games are played in front of 65,000 fans, teams travel to road games on chartered planes and have police escort their buses from hotel to stadium.
That’s not life in the minors. Tebow is from Florida and played in the SEC with the Florida Gators, so let’s say the Tampa Bay Rays sign him. Their advanced Single-A team is the Charlotte Stone Crabs in Port Charlotte, Fla., in the Florida State League. That means traveling all over his home state, to cities like Bradenton and Dunedin, and the biggest stadium is 11,000 seats for the Tampa Yankees.
Assume the Rays place Tebow with their Double-A team, the Montgomery (Ala.) Biscuits. The Biscuits are in the Southern League. You know the other teams in the Southern League? The Chattanooga (Tenn.) Lookouts, the Biloxi (Miss.) Shuckers and the Pensacola (Fla.) Blue Wahoos, among other teams. Again, biggest stadium is 11,000 seats. And the bus rides are a lot longer.
Keep in mind, too, those leagues wrap up their respective regular seasons by Sept. 5, though maybe he will play in the Arizona Fall league.
For the teams interested in Tebow, signing him is worth it if you believe that he’ll help boost attendance. That makes business sense.
Maybe Tebow is prepared for the reality of life as a minor leaguer. It seems odd that he wouldn’t change positions in football but now he’s all in on a baseball career that will almost certainly start in some small city, in front of small crowds, with a paltry per diem as he spends hours and hours on a bus between series.