NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NFL Kickoff issue of GQ magazine has hit newsstands in New York City, and guess who’s on the cover.
Hint: he’s not even a starter.
That’s right, we’re talking about Tim Tebow. The Jets backup quarterback is up close and personal in one of two different covers — Carolina Panthers star Cam Newton graced the other — for GQ’s special September edition.
A shirtless Tebow, who is known for his strong Christian beliefs, appeared in a pose similar to Jesus on the cross — arms out, head tilted and legs slightly crossed — on the magazine’s website.
The image, apparently altered from a previous GQ photo shoot, was a hot topic of conversation Tuesday on WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” morning show.
“How do you do this? … You’ve gotta draw the line somewhere,” one caller said.
“He gets it, he plays the role,” co-host Craig Carton responded. “He’s typically very, very sincere and very, very consistent about who he is and what his beliefs are. You just saw a little inkling into what he thinks of himself.”
The cover story was less about the quarterback as a football player and more an exploration of Tebow-mania and one Jets fan’s struggles to accept it. Author Devin Gordon, who doesn’t like the acquisition, gave his simple argument: “(Tebow-mania) has nothing to do with football.”
“It’s a sales pitch—a sensation built on evangelism, not ability, powered by people who see a chance to turn the NFL into the next front of the culture war,” Gordon wrote. “And now that culture war is coming to my team.”
Tebow has taken his share of lumps, both before and after his trade from Denver to New York this offseason. The 25-year-old was ripped in the pages of GQ earlier this year by Brady Quinn, his former backup with the Broncos, and Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs.
Recently, WFAN radio host and former Jets quarterback Boomer Esiason said he’d cut the unconventional quarterback.
But Tebow, during the second day of minicamp at Florham Park, seemed to at least slightly win over the skeptical writer.
“I think if they’re a Jets fan, hopefully they’ll be rooting for me,” Tebow said of his detractors. “I’ll do whatever I can to help this team win football games. I’ll give my heart and soul whenever I step on that field and even when I’m on the sidelines. And at the end of the day, that’s really all you can ask of someone.”
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