The Furey Factor: Tebow's self-promotion campaign draws in pricey memorabilia for hometown fans

Spinnaker

Tim Tebow, a legend at the University of Florida, had his first-ever autograph signing during his transition from college to professional football March 6 at the Avenues Mall here in Jacksonville

I think it’s safe to say he made quite the profit for his very valued John Hancock.

He not only sold autographs for a large wad of green at $160, but he also flashed those pretty eyes and pearly whites of his as he posed for photos at the price of $75 a piece.

I wouldn’t even pay $160 to see my favorite player, nobody is that important. But what do Gator fans think? “I was born and raised a Gator fan, and as much as I love the Gators and their players, past and present, I think what Tim Tebow did was wrong,” said Keith Jaudon, a UNF nursing sophomore. “No one should charge that much money for an autograph and/or a picture. Yes, he is considered by a lot of people to be one of the greatest college players of all time, but he is not God.”

A large portion of the proceeds was said to go toward the Tim Tebow Foundation. The foundation’s Web site says its goal is to bring faith and hope to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need.

The only foundation I can spring for is my own. After all, I’m a journalist.

Tebow traveled back to his hometown, after finishing up his final season as a college quarterback and playing in the Senior Bowl, to officially launch the Tim Tebow Foundation in advance of his first public autograph event, the foundation’s Web site said. But there are better ways to get people involved with your foundation.

“I know that the proceeds were given to the Tim Tebow Foundation, which is a great cause, but he could have raised money a different way,” Jaudon said. “I think charging less, a lot less, for an autograph or a picture would have generated a much larger turnout.”

Rather than charging an outrageous price for an autograph from a player, who isn’t even a professional football player, he could have hosted a charity eventTebow could have started a football camp or even created a racing team for a 5k race.

Usually when people help with an organization, they want to get involved and be a part of something they are passionate about helping. They don’t just want to write out a check.


I do understand why he did a signing. A lot of college athletes with promising professional careers do everything they can to promote themselves before they enter any type of draftTebow was just following suit before his big day in April.

The annual NFL Draft is from April 22 to April 23 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and you can expect Tebow and his new throwing technique will drop jaws, just like mine did when I saw the prices of his autograph signing.

I’m sure the 1,500 people who travelled from all across the United States and stood in line starting at 6:45 in the morning at the Avenues Mall March 6 and many more will be anxiously awaiting the day Tebow could join the NFL. Well, maybe Uche Nwaneri, an offensive lineman for the Jacksonville Jaguars, won’t be too excited.

The three-year veteran didn’t hold back on his opinion of Tebow’s future in the NFL. Nwaneri posted a few comments referring to Tebow and the fact he doesn’t think Tebow isn’t NFL material on the Jaguars’ official message board.

“He can’t throw. PERIOD,” Nwaneri said in his comments on the Jaguars’ message board. “… The QB wildcat WILL NOT WORK IN THIS LEAGUE. PERIOD.”

Now that’s a man devoted to periods. It looks like Nwaneri is one of those football players who only plays and doesn’t talk to the media because you know these comments had the Jaguars’ public relations managers shaking their heads. But does he have a point?

I guess we’ll find out in April.