Florida Gators site pulls Tebow story after quotes generate attention

Getty Images

On Monday we published a story about Jets backup quarterback Tim Tebow saying that he’s not rooting for starting quarterback Mark Sanchez to fail. Our story attributed the quotes from Tebow at an event for University of Florida boosters to GatorZone.com, the official site of Florida athletics.

Now the story about Tebow’s appearance at that event has vanished from GatorZone.com.

So what gives? It’s not entirely clear. I called the Florida sports information department but couldn’t get anyone on the phone who would talk about it, and I sent e-mails to two members of the Florida football communications staff, but they didn’t reply. Chris Harry, the writer whose byline was on the Tebow story, told me via e-mail that he will try to find out what happened.

The most likely explanation would seem to be that the quotes from Tebow generated some unwanted attention, and the Florida site decided it didn’t want anything published online that could cast its golden boy in a negative light. Although his comments about Sanchez were nothing controversial, he did make a few comments about other issues that raised some eyebrows, including some trash talk toward former teammate Brady Quinn and some banter about the New York media getting gossip stories about him wrong.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the careful crafting of Tebow’s image included scrubbing something from the Internet. As I noted last month, an actress in the musical Rock of Ages on Broadway was asked to remove a picture she posted on Twitter of Tebow posing with her and some other actresses after taking in the show.

When I wrote about the picture of Tebow and the actresses, I wrote that you’d have to be awfully uptight to think Tebow had done anything wrong in that situation, and the same is true of the GatorZone.com story: Yes, he lightly criticized Quinn and the New York media, but those criticisms were clearly playful. Quinn has surely heard far worse trash talk from teammates and opponents alike (not to mention fans), and every New York gossip columnist surely hears worse every day. Whoever made the decision to pull the story off GatorZone.com overreacted to an absurd degree.

And whoever made the decision to pull the story also apparently doesn’t understand how the Internet works. Just because the story isn’t up at GatorZone.com anymore doesn’t mean it has been forever erased: It’s still right there on the Google cache, and a quick search of Google News will yield plenty of stories about Tebow’s comments toward Quinn and Tebow’s comments toward the New York media. Once something is published online, you can’t just press the “delete” button and make it disappear.

Some people love Tebow for his clean-cut image, while others think his aw-shucks demeanor comes across as phony. Those in the latter group will only find their views bolstered by the fact that every time anything even remotely unflattering comes out about Tebow, his handlers are there to try to make it disappear.

33 responses to “Florida Gators site pulls Tebow story after quotes generate attention

  1. He’s been blessed with many gifts, but in a way you have to feel sorry for Tebow considering he will NEVER know what it is like to live a normal life away from microscopic attention.

    The media is going to wring this kid dry until they’ve squeezed every possible story out of him for their own benefit. How about you remember to let the kid breathe every once in a while…

  2. Despite the Merrill Hoges’, Shannon Sharpes’, the Stephen A Smith’s and the other like-minded Tebow haters, this kid has done a FABULOUS job of keeping his image clean. Id be willing to bet that the comments were taken down at Tim’s request. He already has way too many people working against him, he doesnt need those that adore him working against him as well.

  3. All of those statements by Tebow, plus the Broadway photo were so minor, that I find it hilarious that his handlers think it necessary to try to scrub. But this has been the Tebow story since even before his Florida days. He and his people have been promoting him and crafting his image. However, good luck with that, it will be much harder to control in the bright lights of the NYC media.

  4. I don’t think image has anything to do with the criticism Tebow gets from the likes of Hoge, Sharpe or anyone else. It’s the utter lack of discernible passing skills.

  5. Tebow’s comment about Notre Dame was funny as hell.

    ‘’Your whole team had one guy who ran under a 5.0 40. Our kicker ran under 5.0.”

  6. Can’t wait for this guys NFL career to be over. For someone who has accomplished so little, he sure does get an inordinate amount of press. Not hating, just being real.

  7. captainwisdom8888 says:
    Jun 26, 2012 2:17 PM
    He’s been blessed with many gifts, but in a way you have to feel sorry for Tebow considering he will NEVER know what it is like to live a normal life away from microscopic attention.

    The media is going to wring this kid dry until they’ve squeezed every possible story out of him for their own benefit. How about you remember to let the kid breathe every once in a while.
    ______________________________________________________________

    Tebow has actively sought out media attention as a way to further his personal agenda(s). Writing a book, appearing in controversial pro-life media campaigns, speaking engagements, television interviews and so on and so on.

    Tebow is a polarizing figure who is not a victim of the media circus, he has created it and continues to fan the flames.

  8. why would anyone feel sorry for Tebow? its clear he loves the attention he gets. his people will learn though that you can’t exactly whitewash his image in the internet age.

  9. I don’t think it’s fair (un-Christian, even) to include Hoge & Sharpe in along with the “Stephen A. Smith’s of the world”.

  10. ebbycalvinlaloosh says:
    Jun 26, 2012 2:25 PM
    Nobody “hates” Tim Tebow. Those guys you mentioned simply don’t believe that he is or ever will be a good NFL quarterback, and they’re right.
    ==========

    You said it, Nuke.

    I’m getting pretty tired of people assailing anyone who dares doubt that TT will be a great QB.

    Anyone who opens their eyes and looks at the data can see that he most likely will not.

  11. Tim Tebow looks like a terrible QB that trips and falls and “wins” games… whatever. I don’t hate him. No one does.

    What I dislike about him is the attention he gets from the media, including PFT – who’ve been accused of doing a little scrubbing of their own by default. (People comment, guys. Sometimes, their comments are critical of your coverage. Sometimes… you just don’t post them. If a tree falls into a black hole on the internet… it still fell, it’s just that no one saw it posted.)

    Now here’s Tebow and the media, doing their usual circle jerk. He’s got a story, right here on a football website, when there are so many other players we know nothing about, and maybe – just maybe – some of them are doing some great things. We’ll never know. Why? Because you’d rather tell us about this. SO WHAT Tim Tebow has carefully crafted his image? WHO CARES? “Oh no, he’s at it again… branding himself and doing a good job of it!” (unlike the wonderful and angelic Cam Newton, who’s never done anything questionable… right? Smile for the camera.)

    You guys cover this like it’s breaking, earth-shattering news. It’s not. It just… isn’t. He’s a crappy NFL QB who happens to be around when weird stuff happens… let it ride.

  12. i don’t care what people say about him, but that sure was a great TD pass in OT to win a playoff game against the steelers….suck on it, pittsburgh fans….

  13. Why doesn’t he just give up on being an NFL QB he has no chance…and do what he’s really wanting to be…on TV opposite Joel Osteen preaching the word…

    I’m not Tebow hater I just hate that he’s getting far more pub than he deserves for a backup QB who everyone knows will never be a true NFL caliber QB.

  14. I’m completely in favor of less Tebow in the Gainesville media. The baseball team was the #1 seed in the CWS and Billy Donovan just won a gold medal but none of that matters if Timmy opens his mouth for a few seconds. Someone needs to tell the Hogtown media that NY can handle Timmy and they should focus more on what’s happening in Gainesville.

    Go Gators!

  15. Here’s the issue with Tebow. While loudly proclaiming his religious beliefs, he also manages to find every camera in the world. It looks on the outside that camera time is as important to him as food and water are to you and me. It comes across as hypocritical.

    You want to loudly proclaim your beliefs in interviews and kneel for a quick prayer in the end zone? Fine. I have no problem with that as long as you aren’t doing an equal amount of self-promotion as God-promotion.

  16. “captainwisdom8888 says:
    Jun 26, 2012 2:17 PM
    He’s been blessed with many gifts, but in a way you have to feel sorry for Tebow considering he will NEVER know what it is like to live a normal life away from microscopic attention. ”

    That is his own doing. Him and his parents have put him out there and opened himself up to the critics. He could easily have kept a low profile but they chose not to do it.

  17. Tebow brought whatever comes at him on himself, by keep opening that hole under his nose.
    God has much more important issues in the world than football games played by multi-millionaires. Shut your piehole and play football.

  18. Seems simple to me. When he talked about the game winning drive against thee Jets…he talked about the Bronco fan running into the field giving him time to catch his breath (he was exhausted)….he said then Rex called a timeout which game him more time to rest…..which ended up leading to a score.

    He was making his coach look like an ass (not deliberately) and I am sure he asked them to take it down.

  19. I couldn’t care any less for Tim Tebow than I already do. But I wish he’d quit lecturing children on ‘If you don’t believe in God, you’re going to hell,’ bit.

    He’s forgetting that this country was built on religious and political freedom. Not everyone is Christian or Catholic or whatever. He needs to keep his religious proselytizing to himself.

  20. “Here’s the issue with Tebow. While loudly proclaiming his religious beliefs, he also manages to find every camera in the world. It looks on the outside that camera time is as important to him as food and water are to you and me. It comes across as hypocritical. ”

    Yes, because clearly the mainstream sports media doesn’t hound the kid like there’s no tomorrow. They are just going about their business, suckling on Lebron’s teat until Tebow comes and BEGS for their attention. Right.

  21. Hey PFT…who said that Tebow or “his handlers” had anything to do with the story coming down? Just more wild speculation on your part in order to fuel this Tebow hating agenda. As for the guys talking about Tebow showing off for the camera…no…he’s really not. He likes to pray before/after games and the cameras follow him. Did you see the camera man racing up to Tebow after the wildcard game? It’s not Tebow’s fault. There are just a ton of people who resent open Christians in this country. The media is well aware of that. Where are all these “Tebow-maniacs”? Judging by the thumbs up/down, it’s almost nothing but Tebow-haters.

  22. Yawn, so much attention for someone thats a 2nd or 3rd string player with so little skills in the art of passing a football.

  23. With all this care in the image that is being crafted you have to wonder if there are political aspirations in this kids future.

Leave a Reply