Speaking to a packed of house of more than 2,000 people Wednesday night at the Flathead County Fairgrounds in Kalispell, Tim Tebow told the tale of his path from Florida farm kid to NFL starting quarterback.
The Denver Broncos quarterback was in town for a Stillwater Christian School fundraiser called “For Such a Time as This, an Evening with Tim Tebow.” About 1,400 people purchased banquet dinner tickets and another 800 bought bleacher tickets. Roughly 100 people worked the event.
Sitting on stage with former Flathead Valley television sportscaster Darnay Tripp, who asked the quarterback questions throughout the evening, Tebow advised the many kids in the crowd not be deterred from chasing their dreams by doubters or other obstacles.
“Go out and don’t let anything get in your way,” Tebow, 24, said. “Don’t let critics get in your way.”
Tebow touched on a variety of topics in his discussion with Tripp, including his farm days in Florida and the origins of his competitiveness. Growing up with four older siblings, Tebow said he learned to be competitive to the point where he also had to learn how to relax his competitive streak at a young age.
As an example, he talked about playing tee-ball and being perplexed by the kids picking grass in the field. He felt an urge to get them to kick into gear to win the game.
“You have the kids who are like, ‘I just can’t wait to get a snow cone after the game,’” he said.
Clearly Tebow wasn’t one of those kids. His competitive nature, along with his athleticism, fueled him throughout high school until he finished his prep career as a highly sought recruit. He told the story of choosing between Alabama and Florida for college, a decision that wasn’t made until literally the last second.
Heading into the much-awaited press conference to announce his college decision, Tebow still didn’t know which school he wanted to go to. Even when the big question arrived during the interview he was still unsure. The University of Florida just came out of his mouth.
“I could have easily said Alabama,” he told the Kalispell crowd.
In the end, Florida was the right choice and he said the story is a reminder for him of the importance of trusting his faith.
“Just because God doesn’t always show you doesn’t mean he’s not leading you,” Tebow said.
Tebow also spoke about Kalispell native Brock Osweiler, who declared for this year’s NFL draft after finishing up his junior season.
“I think he’s going to do a great job in the NFL,” Tebow said. “He’s talented but best of all he’s open to learning.”
Toward the end of the evening, the quarterback said people ultimately find “peace” in knowing they tried their best, not just racking up accomplishments.
“The biggest question isn’t whether you succeed or not,” he said. “It’s how much you put into it.”
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