When I was the Democratic Leader in the Florida House, Tim Tebow made a ceremonial visit to the floor of the Legislature after leading the Gators to a national championship. My colleagues fawned on him, grabbing photographs and autographs. The Speaker at the time, Marco Rubio, was the most excited. Marco, a football player himself and mega-fan couldn’t contain his joy. Tebow made his way through the chamber and ultimately settled at my desk which, as protocol demands of the minority leader, was in the very back row of the Chamber. Tebow was handed a football and asked to throw it across the Chamber to Marco Rubio.

Marco took off his jacket; steadied himself and prepared for what would unquestionably be the softest pass ever thrown by Tim Tebow. Tim tossed it like a softball pitch and Marco easily caught it, but made the mistake of asking for another throw. Now Marco had done nothing to personally wrong me (other than advancing a totally right-wing political agenda), but sometimes your lesser instincts get the better of you. I leaned toward Tebow and told him that Marco confided to me that he thought Tebow threw like his grandmother.

Tebow showed only the slightest of smiles, and then proceeded to hurl a bullet at our unexpecting Speaker. Rubio tried to corral it but fumbled. Mission accomplished. Sorry Marco.

Lots of folks have tried to create controversy around Tebow and his strong expressions of faith on and off the field. No matter your religious beliefs, this exceptional young man who draws inspiration from his faith and his family should put no one off. Tebow seems authentic about his good works, and his humility and selflessness stand out especially among so many other athletes who seem to lose themselves in the shadow of their own self-importance. Hard to argue with that.

Good luck Tim.