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MORNING BRIEFING

Steve Spurrier takes blame for snub of Tim Tebow

South Carolina coach says he 'messed up' when he didn't vote the Florida quarterback to SEC's preseason first team.

July 26, 2009|Mike Penner

He has been called the most popular football player in Southeastern Conference history, but for a few hours last week, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow was not even a unanimous pick on the coaches' preseason all-conference first team.

Who was the killjoy who dared not to name Tebow to the first team?

By process of elimination -- coach after coach saying, "It wasn't me" -- it was determined that former Florida and current South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier was the culprit. But not for long.

Claiming "miscommunication," Spurrier changed his vote to Tebow. The miscommunication involved South Carolina director of football operations James Speronis, who handled Spurrier's ballot but later checked with the coach for approval. So Spurrier's ballot originally carried the name of Ole Miss quarterback Jevan Snead, before Spurrier vetoed himself.

"That's my fault, I take full responsibility and I messed that up," Spurrier told reporters. "And I apologized to Tim Tebow. We should not have messed that up. We screwed it up pretty badly, and I am embarrassed about it. I feel badly about it."

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Trivia time

Mark Buehrle faced only 27 batters, of course, in his perfect game last week. What 40-year-old left-hander also faced the minimum number of batters while pitching a no-hitter in 1961?

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All Tebow all the time

Tebow made news at the SEC football media session by telling reporters he was a virgin and saving himself for marriage.

Wrote Clay Travis of Fanhouse.com: "We already knew Tim Tebow had the ability to kill a man with a forearm and get popcorn to pop by staring at kernels, now he's given yet another example of his superhuman powers.

"The most popular player in SEC history is saving himself for marriage. Unbelievable. I asked him this afternoon, and he didn't even blink before responding. He handled it masterfully, deftly. He even said he wasn't surprised to get the question. Talk about unflappable."

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Tweet sensation

A couple of tweets making the rounds last week: From Shaquille O'Neal: "Dear david beckham, I kno u heard about my shaq vs show, anyway u will never score a goal on me, I challenge you lil man."

From the Newark Star-Ledger's Steve Politi: "Nets enlisting investors for move to Brooklyn. Tooth fairy, leprechauns express great interest."

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Winging it in Scotland

From golfer Boo Weekley, to BBC Sport, on why his British Open diet rarely ventured beyond chicken wings: "I only stick to things I can spell."

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Trivia answer

Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves in beating the San Francisco Giants, 1-0. The two walks he issued were erased by double plays.

(Question and answer provided by reader Jerry Clark of Glendale.)

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And finally

Brenda Calcavecchia, who frequently carries husband Mark's bag during golf tournaments, once gave him the ultimate motivation for reining in his famous temper.

"He did throw one club one time at the Tour Championship," she told TNT during the British Open. "It almost hit my ring. I said, 'If you break the diamond, you buy a bigger one.' And that was the end of that."

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mike.penner@latimes.com

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