Professional baseball player Tim Tebow's fruitless tenure with the New England Patriots represents a missed opportunity in his life -- in more ways than one.
"I remembered when I had signed with the team in June [of 2013]. Then I'd had an offer on the table to make a one-day appearance endorsing a product for a million-dollar paycheck. I'm sure you'd agree that a million bucks is a lot to make in just twenty-four hours. But I wasn't quick to say yes."
"So when the offer for the one-day commercial turned up, I was sure to discuss the opportunity with him. 'I want to know what you think, Coach,' I said. 'I respect you and I want to fit in. I want to be one of the guys. Should I do it?'
Belichick, wary of turning Tebow's audition with the team in the circus that came to define his brief tenure with the Jets, advised Tebow to turn down the offer.
"He thought for a moment and then shook his head. 'Timmy, I would really appreciate it if you didn't.'
"Highly respecting the man, I turned down the deal. I didn't even think twice about it. I wanted the chance to impress Coach Belichick more than I wanted the money. I'll say that if I were on any other team, I would have probably said yes to the offer. But the thoughts he offered in our initial conversation mattered to me -- even more than a million dollars."
On one hand, this obviously sucked for Tebow. But before we rush to demonize Belichick here -- and trust me, I understand more than anyone how fun that can be -- let's remember a) Tebow is stupid rich and b) Tebow wasn't beholden to Belichick just because he answered a question.
Of course, Belichick should have just let Tebow go shoot the stupid commercial. But football guys -- even the genius ones, perhaps especially the genius ones -- operate on a highly micro level.