Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Post Practice Interview Wednesday

Maurkice Pouncey and Coach Charlie Strong

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Urban Meyer and Jeremy Foley write Open Letter to Kentucky

Chip Cosby of Kentucky dot Com has the story.

Letter below:

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank the University of Kentucky Athletics Department for its generous assistance and overwhelming support extended to the Florida football program and in particular, Tim Tebow and his family during our visit to Lexington this past weekend.

From the moment Tim was injured on the field, the Kentucky support team
moved into action. The game operations’ staff, medical and athletic
training staff, as well as the police and emergency personnel, were all
quick to respond and operated as one efficient unit.

Mitch Barnhart and his staff should be commended for their
professionalism and commitment to excellence during this time. In
addition, a special thanks should be made to Coach Rich Brooks and his

The exceptional care and service we received at Commonwealth Stadium
was also extended by the staff at the University of Kentucky Medical
Hospital. We are very grateful for their efforts in making sure Tim and
his family was taken care of.

A heartfelt thanks to the University of Kentucky, the local community
and the entire Wildcat family, whose outpouring of support was very much


Jeremy Foley Urban Meyer
Athletics Director Head Football Coach
University of Florida University of Florida

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Eye Black Challenger - Rita

We are beginning to post responses to our "eye black challenge." The first "challenger" is Rita, a Gator living in Germany.

I live in Germany. Two of my children graduated from UF, so we are fans. We are thrilled with how God is using Tim Tebow to spread the gospel and keep up with games and news as we can over here. The week of the Kentucky game, I was writing for a women's conference at which I will be speaking in Stuttgart in October. I was writing on Psalm 103. Verse 5, speaking of the strength of the Lord reflected in an eagle, reminded me of Isaiah 40:31. So I used that scripture as a supporting reference. While looking at Isaiah 40:31, Tim came to mind and how he has used Phil 4:13 to share with the world the source of his strength. So, I decided to share with these ladies about Tim and how God has been his strength. I didn't know at this time that Tim and many of the UF team had been ill that week.

We had to watch the game via a tape delay(living in Germany it is not always available) the day after, but we had already heard that Tim had been injured and were anxious to see what happened. When my husband saw a close up of Tim's face, he could only see one side and the eyeblack with 40:31 on it. When he told me the chapter and verse, I immediately said, it's Isaiah. Then I realized just how neat God is. He confirmed with me that what I was sharing with the women in Stuttgart was from Him, but I also felt He was preparing Tim and those watching the game to see God is omnicient, He numbers our days and was assuring Tim and us all to know that Tim, his illness of that week and this concussion was already taken care of. Praise be to our on-time God!

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SEC Network pretending Tebow concussion never happened

Ben Volin has an interesting piece on how the SEC has limited access to the footage of the hit Tebow sustained giving him a concussion. Why should we care? Volin explains,

The only video on the SEC’s Web site that offers full coverage of the Tebow hit is the full game replay. To the SEC’s credit, that is a great service — you can watch entire game broadcasts in high definition on the Web site, without commercials.

If you want to watch the Tebow hit, the drive starts at the 84:30 mark. And you’ll see that Tebow was tended to a lot longer than “briefly,” and he certainly didn’t walk off the field “under his own power.”

Why should you care?

Because the SEC flexed its muscle this summer, and after signing a 15-year, $2.25 billion deal with ESPN, the SEC has claimed exclusive video rights to its game footage on the internet.

The SEC’s Web site, and the Web sites of the member schools, are the only places where you can legally watch SEC video highlights. Pretty soon, the only video evidence of SEC football on the entire internet will be on And the SEC is busy erasing the Tebow hit from history.

The hit is fair game to be watched, in much the same way that the "collision" between Tebow and Tennessee's Berry was the week before. Had Tebow been killed, or critically injured, then access could be limited out of respect to the family. But Tebow is human, and is not Superman, and it is important for fans, and especially young fans, to realize that injuries are an inevitable part of the game.

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Tebow still has a headache

Strangely, the Gainesville Sun has been silent on Tebow updates. Joseph Goodman of the Miami Herald has the scoop. And remember, to return to play safely, Tebow can return 7 days after there are no symptoms.

On Tuesday afternoon, almost three days after suffering a concussion during the third quarter of UF's 41-7 win against Kentucky, the All-American quarterback continued to show lingering symptoms of his brain injury. Tebow had headaches on Monday as well, according to Florida coach Urban Meyer.

"It's day to day," Meyer said. "It could change Wednesday. It could change Thursday."

Florida's medical team did not address the media on Tuesday but did release a statement without attribution: "Tim continues to rest and recover. He also undergoes daily testing and we continue to monitor his resolution of symptoms." ...

After his tests, Tebow met briefly with his teammates, received an ovation for being named offensive player of the game against Kentucky and then went back to his apartment to rest.

"I talked to him for a minute," Meyer said. "This isn't like a turf toe or a shoulder. This is a concussion. So, he's a grown man. He's going to take care of himself and I'm very proud of the way he's handling it, which you would expect."

According to Meyer, Tebow is not allowed to read or watch television "until later in the week -- maybe Thursday." Meyer said that UF's general protocol for players with concussions is a "non-stimulus environment, like a dark room, and rest as much as you can."

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Toughness has nothing to do with it.

We've tried to warn against having high expectations that Tebow will return in time for the LSU game. But all day we've heard on local and national radio that he's been cleared to play against LSU. But he hasn't. Ben Volin has more here.

Tim Tebow’s tolerance for pain is legendary.

“I’m not a medical guy, but he’s the toughest guy in college football, without question,” offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said Monday.

Tebow played with with a broken leg in high school; with a broken hand in 2007; with a hyperextended knee and bum shoulder in 2008; with one of the worst respiratory illnesses known to mankind in 2009.

But this concussion is unlike any other injury Tebow has had. He can’t toughen up and play through it.

“You can’t fix the brain. You only get one,” said ESPN analyst Merrill Hoge, whose NFL career ended in 1994 after suffering two major concussions.

The only remedy is rest and time. The generally-accepted waiting period, developed by Dr. Robert Cantu in the mid-1980s, is seven days without any post-concussion symptoms, in both periods of rest and maximum physical exertion.

So any talk this week about Tebow being ready for LSU on Oct. 10 is premature.

“It would not be unexpected that his symptoms clear up as the week goes along, and he’d be good to go next weekend,” Cantu said. “But there’s no way anybody today can make that statement.”

Concussion experts stress that the seven days without symptoms must be consecutive. For Tebow to play against LSU, he must return to physical activity by Saturday at the latest, and cannot relapse.

“If he’s asymptomatic for four days, and then he starts getting a headache, it starts over,” Hoge said. “So if this happens next Tuesday, then he shouldn’t play at all, no question.”

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meyer Post Practice Interview Tuesday

Coach Meyer gives an update both on Tebow and the Gators at large.

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Joe Schad still lurking in Hogtown

This time at Ballyhoo's. Wonder if he'll get his photo with the statue formerly known as "Treebow"?

One interesting tweet though: "As a Heisman voter, Tim Tebow receives items in the mail like a CJ Spiller poster"

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UF Coaches have confidence in Brantley

It is not for certain that Tim Tebow will play in the LSU game despite what a number of news outlets are reporting. Head injuries are elusive in terms of a sure diagnosis. Either way, the Gators are in good hands with Brantley under center.

Now, without a timetable on when Tebow will return to playing form, Brantley will assume the role Florida’s quarterback.

“He’s got a good grasp of the whole offense,” UF offensive coordinator Steve Addazio said of Brantley. “He’s been here and he knows what he’s doing. He can run the whole offense. Like always, we’ll have things that feature someone’s (abilities).”

Brantley said neither Addazio nor coach Urban Meyer have hinted at him starting when the top-ranked Gators (4-0, 2-0 SEC) play at No. 4 LSU (4-0, 2-0 SEC) on Oct. 10. Despite having just 467 career passing yards and seven touchdowns (232 of those yards and four touchdowns coming this season) Brantley said he’s ready to start because he trusts the talent around him.

Plus, he’s been learning the game from one of the best.

“It’s a pleasure to be Tim Tebow’s backup,” Brantley said. “He’s one of the greatest players in college football history and to learn from him and be around him I think it’s a huge opportunity for me.”

After Saturday’s 41-7 win over the Wildcats, Meyer said that if Brantley were to start against the Tigers, the offense could resemble Florida’s offense from the Chris Leak days, with more passing and formations under center.

Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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Steve Addazio blames himself for Tebow's hit

For what it's worth, we don't think anyone should be "blamed" for Tebow's hit. It's football, hits happen. But Jeremy Fowler has the story:

Why is offensive coordinator Steve Addazio blaming himself for Tebow's injury by simply calling a play? Because he wants to deflect any blame on players and put it on him. Addazio said Tebow's concussion is "on me" affter calling the play "stick lion," with five wide and no backfield -- something Florida does all the time. This is nothing new.

"Everyone kind of did what they were suppose to do," Addazio said. "I think ultimately on that play right there where everything didn't exactly go as planne,d it should only go on one guy's shoulders. mine. That's it. No one else's...It's not an accurate statement at all. To answer your statement, no."

I don't think there's anyone to blame because left tackle Matt Patchan didn't blow an assignment by allowing defensive end Taylor Wyndham through, according to a teammate.

"The offensive line was supposed to “down” block to the right, and Tebow was supposed to roll right and throw quickly, before the pass rush arrived. “The backside end comes free,” guard Mike Pouncey said. “So Tebow has to get the ball out fast. And I guess he didn’t get it out fast enough.”

Maybe Tebow thought the play was going to have somebody drop back and cover his left side, but Wyndham made a quick play that gave Tebow less than two seconds to roll right and get rid fo the ball. When asked if he envisioned Tebow getting rid of the ball quicker when he called the play, Addazio said that was a "possibility" depending on UK's blitz package.

Click through to see the schematic.

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More Gator Wallpaper, Basketball and Swimming

New posters are out for Gator Basketball and Swimming

Click on the images

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Heisman Pundit's take on Tebow's injury

Here's what the Heisman Pundit had to say:

—Obviously everyone is worried about Florida quarterback Tim Tebow after taking that vicious hit against Kentucky. It’s ironic that this hit came when he was standing in the pocket since he is such a fearless runner and seemingly more likely to get hurt that way. (ESPN’s Chris Low speculates on life without Tebow). As one comment on this blog pointed out, will the legend of Tebow grow even larger if he comes back from this concussion and leads Florida to a win over LSU? Could very well happen.

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Quote of the Day: I want to see Tebow!

Even Scot Brantley wants to see Tebow play against LSU:

Tim Tebow’s health is obviously everyone’s concern in the Gator Nation. But if Tebow can’t play in the Gators’ next game – Oct. 10 at LSU – then sophomore John Brantley will get the call for his first career start.

I caught up with former Florida linebacker Scot Brantley yesterday, John’s uncle.

Surely, as much as the Brantley family loves Tebow, the Brantleys hope John gets the call at LSU?

“Heck no!” Scot Brantley said. “I want to see Tebow!"

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The definitive answer on Concussions from Dr. Robert Cantu

Joseph Goodman, of the Miami Herald, has an insightful Q&A on concussions with the preeminent doctor and researcher on concussions, Dr. Robert Cantu. Highlights below:

Q&A with Dr. Robert Cantu:

OK, so we've established that there is pretty much no one else in this world that knows more about sports-related concussions than Dr. Cantu. With the introductions out of the way, here's a Q&A I had with Dr. Cantu on Monday morning. It should be noted that Dr. Cantu spoke in generalities on Monday as he is not familiar with Tebow's case, medical history or symptoms. Generally speaking, according to Dr. Cantu, Tebow will likely be able to return to the practice field after a week if he is asymptomatic in the next few days.

Q: What are the chances Tebow returns to the field after a week of rest?
A: The bottom line is, as I think you can appreciate, when you talk about concussion and recovery patterns and all that stuff, it's a bell-shaped curve and the majority of people return within a week, probably about 75 to 80 percent. But that's not everybody, and there is no way on Day One to know whether someone is going to clear and be in that 80 percent group or be in that 20 percent group where symptoms may go on and last more than a week or even weeks.

It's possible that Tim could be in the fortunate group and within another four or five days he's asymptomatic and it's also possible Tim could be in that group that he is still going to be symptomatic in four or five days. And if he's in that group it's not safe for him to practice much less even work out. He should be asymptomatic at rest before he's allowed to exert himself and see whether exertion produces symptoms.

Q: What is Tebow doing right now, in the next few days, to recover from his concussion?
A: Right now it's a cognitive rest period for Tim and a physical rest period, waiting for all of his symptoms to clear and his case, I think it was complicated by the fact that he was playing with the flu, and that's going to have to be sorted out -- whether any of his ongoing symptoms are flu-related or concussion related. So, it's going to be to a little more tricky.

Q: Is loss of consciousness an indication of a severe concussion?
A: Brief loss of consciousness -- and by brief I'm talking about seconds -- is really not correlated necessarily to a severe concussion. It's certainly a moderate concussion but it's not necessarily indicating his symptoms are going to last a long period of time or that he's going to be out a long period of time.

If you're unconscious for more than a minute, then that is a severe concussion and tends to be associated with a slow recovery.

Q: Did Tebow's preexisting illness have anything to do with his concussion?
A: It doesn't at all. It just means that you're going to have to be comfortable knowing which symptoms he may have now are flu related versus concussion related. Many of the 25 symptoms of concussion -- for instance headache, light-headedness -- are shared symptoms with many other medical conditions, too. It doesn't have to be related to a concussion if it happened right after head trauma. But if you already had some kind of medical condition going on, for instance if you had some kind of headache or light headedness before because you had the flu, then you're going to have to sort it out -- whether you think it's the flu or whether you think it's the concussion. It adds a little bit of complexity for the assessment to be properly done.

Q: What will UF's doctors be looking for in the next few days?
A: Most importantly you are looking for the symptoms to clear, those that are there. Before they totally clear, you're looking for them to get better. And that's the normal pattern. Those that are there will diminish in their intensity and go away. And that may happen within a day. That may happen within a number of days. It may take weeks. If it takes weeks, then he's going to be out a long time. That's probably unlikely for him because he's not had prior significant head injuries, so that's an optimistic thing for him compared to someone who has had a lot of concussions before.

Click here for the whole discussion.

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Should Tim Tebow play in the LSU game, even if he can?

We don't normally link to EDSBS because the majority of the email we receive includes comments on being kid friendly, and EDSBS isn't always kid friendly (so consider yourselves warned).

But the following post raises a good question regarding Tebow's concussion and his stature as a role model. There are alot of complicating factors regarding Tebow's concussion because of the accompanying flu, and the overlapping symptoms, but this is something worth considering.

On review, it’s a clean hit, bad fall, worse impact with knee, and a medical condition he’ll deal with for at least the next three to four weeks. When/if he takes the field against LSU, he will not be fully recovered. That is not supposition. That is medical fact, with a return to the field that soon going against the emerging consensus that concussions should be treated as injuries with a long time frame for recovery.

The important distinction is that a concussion is an injury to the brain. It is not a kneecap: it is the brain, an irreplaceable object containing everything you are as a thinking person, an organ of complexity mystifying the smartest people in the room for centuries. It does not respond to training table’s attentions. It does not get game-ready with a cortisone shot. It needs the most expensive treatment possible to heal: time.

He will probably be out there, and it will be a bad example for the kids he hopes to reach with the scripture painted onto his eyeblack each week. When they suffer a concussion in their high school football games, what template will they use for making a decision? Or worse still, what example will their coaches urge them to use? Someone like Tebow, most likely. This is what you might call a teaching moment. We hope he chooses the lesson that it is just football, and that sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. Simultaneously, we are not optimistic about him making this choice.

If Tebow has suffered a concussion, and is genuinely concerned about setting an example for the people he wants to reach, he should let John Brantley start against LSU. That is not meant to be an emotional plea. If anything, it is as cold and logical a call as one could hope to make. The sort of statement one makes when you use your healed, rational, and firing-on-all-synapses brain looking at the evidence-based prescriptions of medical science. (Exactly the kind of decision he and other football players will not make.)

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Urban Meyer Post Practice Interview Monday

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Post Practice Interview Monday

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Tebow Update: Meyer says Tebow has headache, but feeling good

Robbie Andreu has the story here.

Florida coach Urban Meyer said Monday all the medical tests on senior quarterback Tim Tebow have been good.

“I think he’ll be ready [for the LSU game on Oct. 10] but I don’t know yet,” Meyer said after practice.

Tebow, who suffered a concussion after being tackled by a Kentucky player Saturday, has a slight headache but otherwise is feeling good, Meyer said.

Meyer said Tebow is in Gainesville.

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Beware Gators, Joe Schad is lurking in Gainesville

(click on photo)

and at the Copper Monkey.
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Concussion said to be "mild"

Again, when you want to know about Tebow's condition, ask his coach, his high school coach.

Craig Howard, Tebow's former high school coach at Jacksonville Nease and close family friend, told the Sentinel he got word from Tebow's parents that the concussion is "mild" or "normal." Tebow lay motionless for a couple of minutes after a hit from Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham caused the Heisman winner's head to crash into the knee of UF offensive lineman Marcus Gilbert.

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Help Desire St. Ministries by voting for cutest dog!

Here's an email from Desire St. Ministries in New Orleans. Please vote!

Good Morning!
The team here at DSM has a call to action for everyone who has joined us here on Facebook. There is a New Orleans piano teacher who has entered her dog Mozart (MoMo) into the Million Dollar Cutest Dog Competition. If she wins she will split the winnings among a few charities that support New Orleans recovery efforts, including Desire Street Ministries.

If you have 2 seconds to go to the attached link and click on "Vote" for Mozart you could be a part of a million dollar gift! Type in Mozart into the search box and then click on the Cavalier King Charles spaniel named Mozart (MoMo). Thank you all so much and happy voting!

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Any one got any jokes?

It's the first day of a bye week, and it's a slow news day....any one got any jokes to help lift the mood a little while we all wait for some good news?

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Concussions and Tebow's prognosis

Now that it is well known that Tim Tebow has had a concussion, it is worth looking at what that really means. It's a word you hear alot, but it's implications are nebulous.

The Gainesville Sun has a good piece here describing category I, II, and III concussions.

Be patient Gators. There are no definite answers when it comes to head injuries and only rules of thumb in assessing whether and when a player can return to play.

The American Academy of Neurology Web site describes a Grade 1 concussion as the athlete having transient confusion with no loss of consciousness. A Grade 2 concussion is when those symptoms, including mental confusion, lasts longer than 15 minutes, and a Grade 3 concussion is when there is any loss of consciousness, even if it is for just seconds.

A player with a Grade 1 concussion can return to play the same day, while a Grade 3 concussion may require a player to be out for a full week.

However, the number of concussions a player has suffered is also a consideration.

Dede said: “Most people are relatively symptom free a week out, but the risk for future concussions is a little higher.”

An athlete, such a boxer or football star who has suffered multiple Grade 3 concussions, may need a month or longer to recover.

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Urban Meyer's Post Game Interview - Kentucky

Psalms 116:6

Psalms 116:6 When I was helpless, he saved me.

Psalms 116:6 Jehovah guarda a los ingenuos; estaba yo postrado, y él me Salvó.

Psalmss 116:6 O Senhor guarda os simples; quando me acho abatido, ele me salva.

Psalm 116:6 耶和华保护愚蒙人,我落到卑微的地步,他拯救了我。

Psalms 116:6 子供のように素直な心根の者を、お見捨てにはならないのです。 私も、死の一歩手前で救われました。

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tim Tebow condition update "positive"

Word from a teammate is that Tebow is back in Gainesville, that he is feeling better and all news is "positive" so far.

Gator Sports has the following:

"Tim is doing fine this morning," said head coach Urban Meyer. "His CT scans came back and indicated that Tim suffered a concussion. Our medical and athletic training staff will continue to monitor him to determine how much rest and recovery he needs. We will have additional information and updates this week."

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Sunday Challenge - Make a Difference

Because today starts the Gators' week off, we had intended to re-post our "eye black challenge" and we think it is actually fitting in the wake of Tim Tebow's injury.

The thing that we most admire about Tim, and the Tebow family, is that their lives are distinguished, or defined, by helping others and not by "achievement" per se. But even though football is not Tim's primary focus, he strives to be a champion in all that he does.

As we all wait to see what Tim's condition is, and while we pray he has a full and speedy recovery, there is a certain peace in knowing that regardless of when, or even if, he takes the field in two weeks that his life is and will continue to be measured by his charity and compassion for others and not just statics and wins as a football player.

So as we all wait, we ask that you take the "eye black challenge" and make a positive difference in someone's life. Because in the end there is always someone that will come in and take your place in whatever job you do, just as John Brantley was forced to do for Tim last night. But no one can ever fill your shoes when it comes to giving love and compassion, because in that regard we are all irreplaceable.

And because we assume that you are a Tebow fan if you are reading this, let's honor the man that has inspired us all, by getting out there and helping others.

Because the Gators have the next two weeks to prepare for LSU, and the next home game will be a true "homecoming," we are issuing the following challenge to fill your time with until then. Whether you are an army of one, a large group, or something in between, our challenge is for you to don your own eye black and make a difference in someone else's life.

Help a neighbor,
baby sit for a single parent or young couple,
take a kid to a sporting event,
coach a team,
volunteer at your local soup kitchen,
donate to your favorite charity,
send a package to our armed services serving overseas,
lead a support group,
foster or adopt a child in need,
give someone a hug or needed word of encouragement,
or simply put your cart away at the grocery store.

Whatever it is, do something you enjoy!
Be creative.

Small things become large things when added one by one. And whether you realize it or not, someone is watching, and that makes us all leaders. Great and small.

Again, our challenge to you is to don your eye black (with your favorite verse, loved one's name, area code, or whatever is most important to you), and get out there and do something to make a positive difference in the lives of those around you.

Send us your stories and photos, and we'll post them as inspiration for others.

Or post them to the Tebows Eyeblack Facebook wall.

Wherever you may be in life, join us now, and make a difference for good.

(We will be traveling back to Gainesville Sunday, for updates we suggest you visit or ESPN)
Photo: Getty Image
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Tebow condition update

There is really no new news this morning on Tebow's condition. There is alot of speculation, however. He likely had a concussion, the severity not known yet.

It's no fun, but please wait until the Tebow family issues their own statement themselves or through Florida's SID.

And please don't go and pester them at the hospital, in Ketucky or in Gainesville.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Meyer thinks Tebow has a concussion

Coach Meyer just stated on ESPN that he thinks Tebow has a concussion, but doesn't know for sure.

Update from ESPN: "We're going to find out more about Tim. We believe it is a concussion. He got hit pretty good, but that's one tough cat. Our team will pray for him and he'll be fine," coach Urban Meyer said during his postgame press conference. Tebow will be held at the hospital overnight for observation.

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Tebow taken to hospital for observation

If you aren't watching, Tebow has been taken to the hospital for further tests.

If you pray, please do so. And today's eye black verse is a good place to start:

Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Orlando Sentinel has more coverage here.

Money Quote:

Squeezing the hand of a seemingly motionless Tim Tebow, Florida Coach Urban Meyer finally heard a response from his star quarterback.

"Did I hold onto the ball?" said Tebow, according to Meyer.

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UF Officials say Tebow is fine

UF Officials have stated that Tebow is fine, but he was clearly sick and vomiting when leaving the stadium. No word on if he was concussed or not.

We'll post if we hear anything.

Gator Sports has this post, but it says very little.

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Tebow's Eye Black for Kentucky: Isaiah 40:31

Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

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Tebow close to tying Herschel Walker

Two rushing TDs in the first quarter of the Kentucky game. One more and Tebow ties Herschel Walker (49).

Photo: Andy Lyons/Getty Images
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Tebow "laughs" at the flu

Or so says the Orlando Sentinel.

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More from ESPN on the Gators' flu symptoms

But no one will really know until game time.

ESPN's coverage:

Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and two teammates traveled apart from the rest of the Gators to Kentucky on Friday as they fight a respiratory illness, sources told's Chris Low.

However, the sources said the illness is not being called the flu and that Florida officials remain optimistic Tebow, cornerback Joe Haden and safety Major Wright will play Saturday night. Tebow, Haden and Wright were at the team hotel Saturday morning and were not experiencing any fever, according to sources.

A source close to Tebow tells's Mark Schlabach that Tebow was "pretty weak" Friday morning, but is feeling better.

Multiple media outlets reported that several Florida players, including Tebow, were sick with the flu and took a separate plane Friday. The Independent Florida Alligator, the student newspaper at the University of Florida, first reported the story.

Saturday night's game (ESPN2,, 6 p.m. ET) is No. 1 Florida's first SEC road game of the season.

A source close to the situation told ESPN's Joe Schad the three players arrived in Lexington on Friday evening, at about the same time as the team plane. The source called the illness a "respiratory condition involving congestion."

Wright and Haden missed practice Thursday, while Tebow did not feel sick until Thursday night, according to the source.

Coach Urban Meyer said Thursday that the team has battled more than 35 cases of the flu over the past four weeks, but did not name Tebow among those who had become ill. Meyer said running back Jeff Demps, tight end Aaron Hernandez and defensive end Jermaine Cunningham played with the flu last week against Tennessee, while linebacker A.J. Jones and Haden were among players fighting the virus this week.

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Tebow and several Gators travel separately

The Alligator has the story:

Several UF players including senior quarterback Tim Tebow and safety Major Wright flew to Kentucky on a plane separate from the team after coming down with flu-like symptoms, a source close to the team said.

Wright missed practice on Thursday along with cornerback Joe Haden, and several other players including starting outside linebacker A.J. Jones missed practice earlier in the week.

UF coach Urban Meyer said that he estimates 35 or so players have developed flu-like symptoms over the last three to four weeks.

Team spokesmen could not be reached for comment.

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Game Day Flashback: Doering's got a Touchdown

And Chris Doering talks with Pat Dooley about his most remembered catch.

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You can't really be mean to a guy who is killing you with kindness.

When asked what it's like to play against Tebow, here is what a few Kentucky defenders had to say:

1. Linebacker Micah Johnson: "It's like trying to tackle a moving refrigerator. That boy is a load."

2. Safety Calvin Harrison: "It's like tackling a brick wall. He's just so big and strong."

3. Defensive tackle Ricky Lumpkin: "It's crazy. He's bigger than most running backs in our league. He's like a fullback who can throw the ball.

"He doesn't talk trash at all. If anything, he might tell you good hit, or slap you on the helmet and say 'good play.' He doesn't say anything degrading at all."

4. Defensive tackle Corey Peters: "I've never heard him say much of anything. It's kind of hard to believe the way he's portrayed in the media, this perfect guy. You expect a little trash talk.

"But it all seems to be true as far as what I see on the field. Guys like him are actually a little more irritating than the trash talkers. It gets under your skin. You can't really be mean to a guy who is killing you with kindness."

And a few new Tebowisms.

Our favorite: If Tim Tebow played basketball, Ashley Judd would be a Florida fan.
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How many Gators have the flu?

Who knows? We'll all have to wait and see who takes the field tonight.

Urban Meyer estimates that 34+ Gators have had the flu in the past three to four weeks.
What does that mean for today's game? We'll see....

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