Tebow wants fans to ‘rise above’ booing Gators

By Adam Silverstein
October 25, 2014

Appearing in his weekly role as a SEC Nation analyst Saturday on SEC Network, Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow took a full minute to speak directly to his former team’s fan base and suggest how it can best support the team going forward this season.

Specifically, Tebow wants Florida fans to “rise above” booing the Gators and instead support their team each week, regardless of how they feel about the state of the program or head coach Will Muschamp.

Florida’s success over the last two decades gives its fans a chance to be “better than these other universities that boo their student-athletes,” Tebow explains. It gives the Gators the ability to “show character” and “stand up” for the players on the field.

“This goes out to the Florida Gator fans. And it’s personal for me because I’ve been a Florida Gator fan since I can remember, since I was a little boy. Over the course of the last 20-something years, we have been blessed to have a much success as any university out there – three national championships, a lot of amazing seasons. So as a Florida fan, I’m saying to the rest of you Florida fans, it’s OK to have your own opinion. It’s OK to call the Paul Finebaum Show and say whatever you want. I’m not saying anything about that.

“But when you’re at the game, let’s be better than these other universities that boo their student-athletes. Remember: These guys are 18, 19, 20 years old. We can be better than that because we have been so successful. We are blessed. So if there is one season where we’re not putting up points, it’s OK. Let’s rise above that. Let’s show character as fans that we are Gator Nation and we can stand up and we are better than booing our student-athletes.”

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After being as loud as ever against LSU a couple of weeks ago, Florida’s home crowd began turning last week as Missouri jumped out to a 42-0 lead over the Gators due to an avalanche of UF miscues.

Tebow on Saturday also discussed Florida at length, noting that the Gators need to find an identity offensively while developing some leaders on that side of the ball.

“I think the University of Florida team has a lot of talent. I think they have a lot of good coaches. I don’t think they’ve played up to their potential. I think this team has a chance to be pretty good. Right now, they have the number three defense in the SEC. But, offensively, I don’t think they have an identity. I don’t think they have a leader that is taking people together saying let’s do our job, focus on doing your job, getting better and making everyone around them better.

“But, I also know Will Muschamp, when he was at Auburn, he had one of the best game plans I’ve ever played against in college. This guy knows how to coach. A few years ago, they went to the Sugar Bowl; they were 12-1. He knows how to lead a team. He knows how to be successful. But to do that, they have to find a way to score points, and they have to have better leadership offensively.

Florida will next take on Georgia in the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party on Saturday, Nov. 1 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Florida.

Tip of the hat to Saturday Down South


  1. Sharon Milner says:

    Get rid of Muschamp. No more booing.

  2. adamsbombs says:

    Right on, I just wish he had been more careful about singling out Westbrook (not by name but crystal clear) and then suggesting that if the Gators had beaten LSU the Mizzou disaster might not have happened. He said he wasn’t relying to single anyone out but then in the next breath he brought up Westbrook again and unintentionally heaped the Mizzou loss on him as well as LSU. He’s a god to most recruiting age players in the state – it would be bad for him and UF if his careless words while standing up for Muschamp make him less popular in locker rooms.

  3. josh dillard says:

    You he is correct Sharon just hush I’m tired of hearing fire I was feeling that way myself I dunno let’s let the season play out sharon keep your trap shut

    • Sharon M says:

      Gee should I stop stating my opinion because Josh doesn’t like it?

      I don’t think so. I had a leadership job at UF and also got my PhD here thus I have quite a bit of experience working with upper level administrators.

      My experience they don’t change until forced.

      Maybe if more players would step up(end of LSU game) there would be more appreciation.

      Mark my words no change of change under Muschamp. He may be a nice guy but not a successful head coach.

      What experience do you have to offer except aggressjon in your speech?

  4. boston_gator says:

    yeah. booing a bunch of 18-22 y/o kids seems to me in bad taste. Mr. Two Bits started his tradition because he didn’t find it appropriate either.

  5. Luke says:

    I want a change in the coaching staff pretty bad. I’ve been skeptical ever since a great D Coordinator couldn’t do much of anything at UT got a top 3 job as a HC. BUT, I agree that if gator fans want the coaches and players to be better, they can also step up and be better fans.

    My bro and I went to the FSU game last year when the season was beyond done, and we seemed like the only fans still cheering out team on. When the stadium looks more garnet and gold then orange and blue, you wonder how many true fans we really have. Stay on the band wagon, show some class, and be a better fan. ‘Champ will be fired, but until then, let’s act like we have some class.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      “True” fans? really? All of these conversations blaming the fans or considering the fans to be “fair weather” are ridiculous.

      I’m sorry if I or others don’t measure up to yours or some of the other commenters posts about this, but someone is not a “true” fan if they have no interest in watching an inferior product get decimated for 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon?

      A fan isn’t a “true” fan if they choose to criticize and, god forbid, boo a coach or the results of his decision after that same fan has seen the same result over and over again from the same decision due to limited creativity?

      A fan isn’t a “True” fan if instead of suffering through another 2 quarters they decide to go do something else when the score is 42-0?

      Why do you have to be a masochist to be considered a “true” fan? In fact, walking out on the inferior product or doing other such things to me are making the statement that “true” fans find this unacceptable. If “true” fans are happily filling the stadium and setting huge Nielsen ratings just because their team is on TV, what urgency is there to improve the product being offered to these fans?

      I actually find these holier-than-thou attitudes very condescending, so I must not be a “true” fan because I choose not to cheer loudly for every dropped pass, I shake my head and curse at constant 3 and outs, and find myself choosing to do other things rather than suffer through more hours of something that is just going to make me feel miserable watching it.

      Granted, personal attacks on the coaches and athletes that are trying their best, as incompetent or underdeveloped or unprepared or whatever may be the cause isn’t positive and shouldn’t occur, but complaining about the product being offered is not just our right, but is also our only way to voice our displeasure with the state of affairs.

      Those that aren’t “True” fans are the ones that revel in our mediocrity, not the ones that complain about it and insist that either those responsible fix it or we refuse to spend our time and money on it until they do because we care about the product that is provided.

      • 305Gator says:

        You are right Ken, heck I even refuse to watch the game on TV anymore let alone go to the stadium. I am glad I did not tune in for the Mizzou debacle, why waste 2 or 3 hours watching that garbage only to get mad and frustrated.

  6. Sharon M says:

    This is the second year in a row. Don’t think fans should boo players but fans can only take so much.

    Much more fun watching South Carolina now!!

    • Razzlegator says:

      Talk about going from bad to worse. Spurrier has had how long to make things happen in Comumbia? If anything, he’s gone backwards this year. Check out the Cock boards, and you’ll see those fans are not so happy either.

  7. Gatorgrad79 says:

    The problem I see when fans boo is that the PLAYERS can’t tell that the fans are unhappy with the COACH. Is the offense unproductive – hell yeah, but the COACHES are calling the plays and the COACHES are responsible for developing players (and teaching/reteaching fundamentals). When we were 1st and goal on the 2, the COACHES called the plays that resulted in no score. I sat behind Carol Muschamp in Tennessee, and I can assure you, the COACHES know that the fans are fed up – why take it out further on the kids. As a Bull Gator, I pay as much or more for tickets and travel as nearly anyone else on this forum, so believe me – I AM NOT HAPPY and have had discussions with the Boosters office. BUT I will not boo the team, and when they are on the field, that is what the players hear (and Oh yeah – the RECRUITS), regardless of to whom it is directed. (and sure, I’ll probably be pissed at the coaches again in Jax, but I won’t take it out on the kids!)

  8. mod8 says:

    This has all got blown out of proportion in my opinion. Personally I’m going to support the staff and the decisions they make because historically they have been pretty good. Some are not going to do that and they have a good argument to back them up. It’s funny though that people keep trying to eloquently say “you can do both just don’t be an asshole”. I think it’s as simple as that. No one likes an asshole. Booing from the fans in a home game does not reflect well on the school or fan base regardless if it’s justified or not.

  9. ntcrze says:

    Tim Tebow needs to get a clue. Football fans have a right to boo when they see an inferior product on the field. They have paid money to be entertained, not be happy with an amateur act. It’s not the coaching, it’s the players. If they suck, they should not be immune to hearing the fan’s displeasure. They get cheered when they perform well, it seems a bit ludicrous that they shouldn’t be booed when they are awful. This stuff about “true fans” is nonsense. If you chose not to boo, that doesn’t qualify you as any better than the fan who chooses to let his displeasure be known vocally. Get over it Tim, those are big boys on the field. If they can’t handle the heat, they should get out of the kitchen or actually do something to change the boos to cheers.
    On another note, this is the second time in a week that I’ve heard someone at ESPN say, incorrectly, that UF won twelve games in 2012. The other one was Tom Luginbill. These guys actually get paid to at least have a semblance of knowing what they are talking about. If you don’t know, don’t say anything, it’ll make you look more intelligent than saying something that is factually wrong.

    • NYC Gator says:

      These players are amateur athletes, not professionals making millions of dollars a year. It’s one thing to chant “Fire Muschamp”, which is perfectly acceptable, but booing student athletes is disgraceful. They owe you nothing. If you can’t see the difference, then you need to seek professional help. You were probably one of those idiots who booed John Brantley when he was on stage at graduation too.

      • Michael J. says:

        There’s nothing wrong with booing the players. It’s not the coaching that makes them drop a ball, miss a tackle, or throw it to the other team. The players need to be held responsible and if they suck, it doesn’t help them to be cheered for sucking. As for Brantley being booed at graduation, that is going over the line because he’s not on the football field. If the players can be cheered, they certainly can be booed. If you don’t want them to be booed, then the expectations for Florida football need to be lowered. Perhaps that is the real problem. The fans have unrealistic expectations. They are actually gullible enough to think that how many stars a has has coming out of high school translates to how well they should play on the field. Here’s a clue for that unimformed crowd, Brantley and Driskel both suck, and no amount of coaching is going to change that fact. Until UF actually gets a decent quarterback, the offense is going to continue to be bad. Maybe Harris or Grier will be good quarterbacks, but it is folly to expect that to be true based on the number of “stars” they had coming out of high school.
        If you choose not to boo, great for you. But don’t pass judgement on those that do, you don’t have any right to do so.

        • Michael Jones says:

          I think it’s definitely okay to boo you. Hopefully the other commenters understand how much you despise UF and that any advice you give would always be intended to encourage the worst thing that we could do for UF.


  10. Ziggy says:

    Ok, for all you guys that got your feelings hurt by Tebow’s comments, let me put it to you like this. If you are a “true” fan and really care about this program, then you need to keep your mouths shut and cheer on your team no matter what. Why? Because what great coach or what great recruit wants to come play for a team with such such a poor fan base that brews the negativity that currently surrounds this great program. If not out of human decency, do it for the future. Your words now are dooming future teams before they even play.

  11. Aligator says:

    We are not booing the athletes or the school, we are booing the coach and choices. We have every right to do so. I don’t think all of the cheering in the world will cover up the choices the coaches are making. They empty stands are also a way for fans to state their feeling. I don’t see anyone saying fans need to suck it up and show up to the games and so forth. We have probably lost the amount of money for a buyout several times over from the money we have lost on games the last several years.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      Actually, they are saying exactly that. Just keep buying your tickets, show up or the game, cheer for every play and player, root for the coaches, or else you are not a “true” fan and you will be scaring away possible recruits and coaches. Everything is just perfect here, don’t look over your shoulder, everything is fine, just sign your LOI and come on in to this perfectly run program that is winning 4-5 games a season, but we will be playing for the national championship with you here and him coaching us!

      • Ziggy says:

        Some people just don’t get it. What good comes from being negative? You just make the fan base look like a bunch of spoiled rotten brats. You’re proving all of the haters right and I’m tired of being lumped into the stereotype that people like you are making this great fan base. I take pride when our coaches say we have the best fans in the country. Do you think they can still say that?

        • 5wideU says:

          You hit it Ziggy … some sad people who put all their self-worth in how the Gators perform each year. Most obviously have other issues going on in their life that they feel the need to spew the venom at their supposed favorite team. It’s not good enough that he clearly will be fired by the end of the year … no … we have quite a few fans that need to show how classless they are and demand the firing right away and act like children !!

  12. Timmy T says:

    Gators upset the pups next week. 24-21.

    Write it down, remember it, take a photo of it, copy and paste it, whatever the hell it is you whippersnappers do these days because it will happen. BELIEVE IT!!!!!!! Go Gators!!!!!

  13. Michael Jones says:

    It’s nothing about being a true fan or an untrue fan. True fans can get frustrated with a coach or an AD or a school president and it’s probably okay to express themselves accordingly.

    But it’s bush league to boo 18-22 year old kids. Plain and simple. No excuses.

    They are kids and they are amateur athletes. You want to boo a professional athlete? Fine. Have at it. But not college kids. That’s no class, I don’t care who you are, how you defend it, and I sure as heck could care less about how much you spent on your football ticket. It’s not okay to boo 18-22 amateur kids who play sports for your school.

    Imagine if it was your kid? Imagine if you yourself were that 18-22 yr old kid? Only a classless jerk would boo them.

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