(EDITOR'S NOTE: To access this podcast please connect to the following link:https://vokalnow.com/audio/1801)
The Alliance of American Football is a developmental league scheduled to begin its first season early next year … and, with Steve Spurrier, Mike Martz and Mike Singletary on board as head coaches, it's already proven it can attract marquee names.
But will it attract fans, especially when it plays most of its games in the spring?
"Well," said Spurrier on the latest Talk of Fame Network podcast, "let me ask you this: If we can get Tim Tebow going against Johnny Manziel on Saturday night in February I think a lot of people in the nation would watch."
But Tebow hasn't played pro football since 2013, taking a crack at minor-league baseball instead, and Manziel is trying to make a comeback in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Nevertheless, both are former first-round draft picks who would be popular acquisitions and fan magnets for the Alliance if they were willing to join the fledgling league.
If we can get Tim Tebow going against Johnny Manziel on Saturday night in February I think a lot of people in the nation would watch.
Of the two, Tebow is the more interesting choice. He won a division championship with Denver and beat the defending AFC champions in the playoffs. But he never started another NFL game and finally gave up on football in 2016, signing a minor-league contract with the New York Mets.
He currently plays with the Class AA Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
But Tebow was a charismatic football player who won national championships, a Heisman and legions of followers, and the logical question -- especially to a former star quarterback, Heisman Trophy winner and head coach at Tebow's alma mater, the University of Florida -- is this: What was the NFL missing in Tim Tebow, and could we see him in the Alliance with Spurrier?
"I really think Tim Tebow is a lot like Danny Wuerffel," Spurrier answered. "They were both fantastic college quarterbacks, and maybe in practice their ball doesn't look as pretty when they got to the NFL as some of the other quarterbacks' (passes) going through the air. But, obviously, those two young men are winners.
"Danny Wuerffel, the Heisman Trophy; Tim Tebow, the Heisman. Danny was on four conference championship teams and one national, and Tim was on two and two -- two nationals and two SECs.
"Bear Bryant … one of his great quotes was: 'A really good coach has the ability to recognize winners, and they come in all sizes and shapes and forms.' I think we would all agree that Tim Tebow and Danny Wuerffel were certainly winners … and I think Tim's got a lot of football left in him if that's what he wants to do."
That sounds like an open invitation to join Spurrier in Orlando. And while "the Head Ball Coach" didn't come out and say it, he made it clear he would leave the door open to Tebow if he chooses to return to football. With Orlando owning his territorial rights, that would make perfect sense -- especially with Spurrier as his head coach.
"Now he's pursuing baseball," Spurrier said, "and I certainly agree he should continue doing that. But if, for some reason, that doesn't work out, he may want to come throw the ball around and play some football. We just have to find out."
For more from Steve Spurrier on Tebow and the Alliance of American Football League, connect to the following link: https://vokalnow.com/audio/1801