Dear Football Gods,
I come to you today with a burden. The stories of two different players are weighing heavily on my mind. These are two quarterbacks, your chosen position, that have very polarizing careers. In their own way, they are two of the most notable players in recent SEC history. What they mean to their respective schools is different than any other. Their names are Tim Tebow and Jonathan Crompton.
You guys have shined on Tim Tebow his whole career. I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded, but just for fun, let’s review. First of all, you guided him into the most perfect situation in college football history. It’s amazing how you made it all come together for him, really. It began in 2001 at Bowling Green State University, where you oversaw the hiring of Urban Meyer as head football coach. Taking over a team that went 2-9 the previous year, you look on as Meyer miraculously leads the Falcons to an 8-3 record. After another stellar season at BGSU, you send Meyer to the Mountain West Conference’s Utah Utes. There, he inherits a quarterback named Alex Smith (whose skill set is an awful lot like…oh sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself) and designs a revolutionary new spread offense around him. It’s incredibly productive, because, well, it’s the Mountain West, and Meyer goes 22-2 in two seasons at Utah. Of course, he’s Coach of the Year after an undefeated 2004 season. Meanwhile, in Florida, Jeremy Foley is getting ready to make a coaching change. Also, the Phillipine-born, home-schooled Tebow wins the state’s high school Player of the Year award. Ron Zook gets fired and Meyer is named as his successor, just in time to begin recruiting. After flirting with Alabama, Tebow chooses Florida, where his parents just happened to have met as students. He arrives on campus as three-year starter Chris Leak is entering his senior year. Because he’s such a great coach, Meyer successfully plugs Tebow in throughout the season, and the freshman becomes “that guy that comes in and runs for five yards and fires up the whole team in the process.” That year, you look down as Florida goes on an improbable run to a national title. They win two games by a point (Tennessee and South Carolina) and need a phantom celebration penalty to beat VANDERBILT. Before he ever even started a game, you guys bestowed Tebow with national championship #1, and put him in prime position to win another and a Heisman. You’ve taken this guy, who, because of his mother’s dysentary, was expected to be a stillborn baby, and matched him up with a man who jumped from the very bottom rung of the college football coaching ladder to the very top in FOUR YEARS. Two national championships, Heisman Trophy. Let’s just face it: you guys love Tim Tebow.
Now I’d like to present to you the case of Jonathan Crompton, a.k.a. the Anti-Tebow. Here is a kid who began his career as a Parade All-American in high school. He was a big-time recruit, like Tebow, and he chose the college everybody thought he would, also like Tebow. Then, sometime before he set foot on UT’s campus, Crompton must have offended you guys in some way. There has to be some explanation for how ya’ll have treated this guy. Like Tebow, Crompton arrives with an experienced starter (Erik Ainge) in front of him on the depth chart. Unfortunately, he wasn’t playing for an imaginative coach that would get him in the game. He takes a redshirt and doesn’t get handed the reigns until his junior year. By that time, he’s learning his THIRD new offense since he’s been a Vol. Of course, the season is a disaster, and Crompton becomes the scapegoat of a 5-7 team that gets Phillip Fulmer canned. Because of how bad he is, Crompton receives death threats and is one of the most hated people in the state of Tennessee. Seriously. I mean, you guys have beaten this kid up so bad that it affects his everyday life, the stuff you Football Gods can’t control. I thought you might have eased up, however, when Lane Kiffin was hired. You see Crompton through, what is by all accounts a great offseason, and it appears things are turning around for him. You even give him a great game to start the season, allowing him to throw for more touchdowns than all of last year combined. Then, what do you do? You guys all but kill Jonathan Crompton on a Saturday evening in Neyland Stadium against UCLA. It’s last season’s nightmare all over again, and you simply watch the carnage unfold. Lane Kiffin’s talented young squad loses a tough one, and guess who’s fault it is. Let’s face it: you guys hate Jonathan Crompton.
Gods of the Gridiron, haven’t we had enough? People are already calling Tebow the greatest college football player of all time. Are you really going to give him another Heisman and/or national championship? I just don’t believe you would do that. Furthermore, how much worse are you going to make it for Crompy this year? You’d think the death threats would be enough, but you had to pile on with this UCLA performance.
My plea is that you would make something happen this Saturday when these two quarterbacks’ paths collide in Gainesville, Florida. You see, I’ve been watching your great sport for a long time now. I’ve realized that football is cyclical. The good guys always lose one they shouldn’t, and the bad guys always win one they shouldn’t. PLEASE, DEAR FOOTBALL GODS, LET THIS SATURDAY BE THAT TIME. These two that I’ve lifted up before you, they’ve led bizzaro football careers. Too many Florida fans have watched Tebow win. Too many Tennessee fans have watched Crompton lose. It’s a 28 point spread at the moment, Football Gods, and Florida is supposed to win. But “supposed to” means nothing in your arena. If it did, Jonathan Crompton would already be a star. If “supposed to” meant anything, Urban Meyer would still be coaching in the Mid-American Conference. It’s Tebow vs. Crompton, Football Gods. If there was ever a time to prove “supposed to” wrong, it’s now.