Tim Tebow may not have won the Super Bowl, or any other pro sports championship. He hasn’t won any Olympic medals either.
Heck, he doesn’t even have a job.
Yet, the recently released backup quarterback for the New York Jets topped Forbes magazine’s list of America’s most influential athletes of 2013, which utilized surveys of U.S. fans by Nielsen and E-Poll Market Research.
The athletes he beat out included three 2012 Olympic gold-medal winners (No. 2 Michael Phelps, No. 3 Usain Bolt, No. 7 Gabby Douglas), three Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks (No. 5 Peyton Manning, No. 6 Drew Brees, No. 8 Aaron Rodgers) and three athletes who have won titles in other pro sports (No. 4 Derek Jeter, No. 9 LeBron James, No. 10 David Beckham).
Of course, it should be pointed out that Tebow accomplished quite a bit -- two national titles and a Heisman Trophy at Florida, a playoff win with the Denver Broncos -- before spending the season mostly on the bench with the Jets last year.
And it’s no secret that Tebow is a devout Christian -- and an outspoken one at that. He has a huge following, many of whom could probably care less whether he ever plays in the NFL again.
So, sorry Nos. 2-9 -- so much for those 30 Olympic medals and 11 championships. Chances are, many of the people who said they were influenced by Tebow probably weren’t referring to athletic success at all.