Welcome to the brotherhood of misunderstood quarterbacks, Tebow.
Tebow, 25, was unceremoniously released by the Jets Monday and greeted with one of the snarkiest statements from either "Mean Girls" writer Tina Fey or his former coach, Rex Ryan. Ryan said the team had a "great deal of respect" for Tebow and he was an "extremely hard worker, evident by the shape he came back in" hinting at Tebow dropping a few pounds during the offseason. Ryan then wished him the best moving forward.
If that isn't the corporate middle finger of all middle fingers, I don't know what is.
This is undoubtedly the darkest moment in Tebow's professional football career, and it's easily the most interesting part of this entire obsession with the Tebow story. Now we get to witness what faith looks like when it is tested.
You see, Tebow doesn't send Google trends haywire because the world is fascinated by his effective usage of the wildcat offense. I'm convinced there is a contingency of Tebow apologists who don't even watch football.
Tebow has become a modern-day cultural icon for religion. Specifically, Christianity.
He's the Billy Graham of sports and uses his platform to promote a larger message of faith to the world. Tebow certainly isn't the first Christian in sports, but he's the arguably been one of the most influential in using his platform, which has drawn the praise and ire of a nation that's been embattling religion since the Pilgrims landed in America to, in part, pursue religious freedom.
Tebow believes God gives him his gifts, his opportunities and, now, his ability to overcome his struggles.
This is where we learn who Tebow really is and what he is really made of. And, perhaps, we'll all get to witness a deeper exploration into the meaning of the word faith.
We've become conditioned to watching athletes or entertainers thank God after the Super Bowl victories or Oscars, but what happens when things don't work out?
Personally, I'm far more interested in watching how someone handles adversity than victory. Surely, Warren Moon or Doug Williams can teach Tebow a thing or two about faith and character in the midst of unfair circumstances.
Moon had to play six years in the Canadian Football League before getting a shot to compete in the NFL, where he set numerous passing records before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2006. Williams took the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – who had never been the playoffs – into the post season three times in four years, and was the lowest-paid starting quarterback in the league. The man had to leave the NFL for the USFL before getting a shot to lead the Washington Redskins to a Super Bowl championship after initially coming to the team as a backup.
Anyone who breathes oxygen knows this is an unfair world. Sometimes you can exhibit the right attitude and work ethic like Tebow, and the opportunities don't break your way. Sometimes, the right person can work in the wrong system.
Let the record show that the Denver Broncos brass gave Tebow an opportunity to choose between the Jets or the Jacksonville Jaguars before the trade. Tebow chose the Jets and the Jets chose Greg McElroy, David Garrard, Geno Smith and Tebow's mother.
Tebow wanted to be a starting quarterback on the stage of New York. But maybe, just maybe, God has a bigger, better plan beyond stardom in the NFL.
Destiny is the intersection of adversity and opportunity. I have faith that Tebow has greatness in him beyond football. Perhaps, now we will see if he feels the same.
Follow Shannon J. Owens on twitter at @shannonowens or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org