Tim Tebow sat hunched in a dark corner, reflecting on his latest rejection, this time from the saddest franchise in sports. He was deemed inferior to a man who was the antithesis of competent quarterbacking: ceding possession of the ball 26 times in a single season, tallying 13 blind-duck-prayer touchdowns just out of sheer luck over a large sample size. Tim Tebow’s confidence had never once waned in his 25 years of success, but this time, he couldn’t get one statistical comparison out of his head.
Mark Sanchez Buttfumbles: 1, Tim Tebow Starts: 0.
Tim Tebow felt helpless. He never felt helpless, especially with Jesus watching. Would anyone else give him a chance? What more did he have to prove: he won a playoff game one time! His white iPhone 5 flashed. Instinctively, he glanced at it on his oak coffee table, lying on top of his go-to Bible.
Tim clenched his teeth and sighed. He lifted twice. He ran sprints. He carried a school bus 13 miles. He ate three pounds of raw elk. His sadness hadn’t subsided. He opened his Bible, selectively turning to Ecclesiastes 9:7:
“Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for it is now that God favors what you do.”
Tim Tebow was no longer a New York Jet. He no longer had five-turnover Sanchez Sunday Specials to cheer him up. No more NFL weight rooms. No more Tuesday roses from Woody Johnson. No more Doritos Locos VIP coupons from Rex Ryan.
Tim Tebow was more unsettled than that time Percy Harvin asked him to have a threesome with his weed-dealing girlfriend. More dejected than the time Josh McDaniels was fired and John Elway told him he was from the Island of Misfit Toys. More teary than the time UPS sent him low-carb Muscle Milk. For the first time in his life, Tim Tebow wanted a drink. Of alcohol. That mad substance he had seen make Kyle Orton swear at him, and Shonn Greene have … bodyfat! Yuck! He couldn’t even imagine. But this once, he felt like he needed that nightly bottle of brown stuff that Urban Meyer muttered about keeping him from killing his (bad word) of a wife when she asked if he was coming home for Sunday dinner.
Tim stepped outside to the streets of Hoboken, donning a black leather jacket, black Aviators and loose-fit jeans that most certainly did not loosely fit his Himalayan thighs. He knew of one grungy bar, half a block down the road from his high-rise, brick-exterior apartment building. He walked up to the bartender, who recognized him immediately, rendering his disguise useless.
“Oh, my god. You’re Tim Tebow.”
“Don’t use the Lord’s name in vain, friend. I’ll have one alcohol, please.”
Uh… what do you want, wine?
“Sure. Actually, make it a double wine. Extra strong. On the rocks. No chaser.”
Tim watched TV occasionally. He smiled, proud of his worldliness.
The bartender scurried to the wine selection, quickly grabbing a couple bottles and pouring one glass of fine Chardonnay and another of Merlot. No ice. Tim’s heart sank. But he was ready to alcohol. He grabbed the Merlot forcefully, grasping the middle of the bowl with his meaty, moneymaking left paw. He brought it to his mouth and took a huge gulp. He cringed slightly, then smiled. He felt good. Uninhibited. But unlike himself. He swore he lost an inch from his right bicep at first contact with that poison. But a mere five minutes later, both glasses were empty. As empty as his text conversation with his agent.
“Two liquors, please, bartender!” Tim was radiating, eyes wide.
“Uh, do you want shots?”
“Yeah. Fill me up.” He was still beaming.
The bartender turned around, reaching for Mount Gay Eclipse. He paused, chuckling, and grabbed the Jägermeister next to it instead. He poured two shots for Tim. Tim took a sniff, furrowed his brow and took one back. He smacked his lips, squinted, and threw the other one back, immediately. Another cringe, then another smile. He went to take a piss.
Tim unzipped his pants and went to town on the urinal. He pretended it was Bart Scott. It didn’t have a chance against his pee! He glanced up, noticing a 2012-2013 New York Giants calendar, featuring Eli Manning cocking back a perfect spiral. Tim cleared the back of his throat for phlegmy elk remnants, hoarding saliva and launching a fat loogie at Eli’s vacuous face. Eli looked even dumber with phlegm on his dumb face. He grinned and returned to the bar.
There was a girl sitting right next to the stool he had just occupied. She was a stunning brunette, slender, with the most beautiful, pure, pale face he had ever seen. She had a little freckle on her right cheek, right in line with the bottom of her nose, giving her a semblance of humanity. He felt like he knew her.
“I’m Natalie.” She stuck out her delicate hand. Tim tried to shake it delicately, suffocating her paw, unintentionally.
“I know who you are.” She smiled, and Tim’s heart forgot how to function, preoccupied with her beauty. He felt like the first time Urban Meyer visited him in high school, promising him National Championships and Heismans and daily foot massages. She was radiant; she was perfect. He wanted to text his mother.
“Let’s take some shots.” She smiled again, and Tim couldn’t refuse. She ordered two shots of Patron. The bartender handed him a lime. He took a bite and then swallowed it whole, rind and all. Then took the shot. He didn’t like it. Natalie took hers. They took three more. They chatted about life, football and his job search. He asked her if she agreed that he threw a football like a snake. That’s what his Uncle Stew always said. He said that because snakes don’t have hands. He didn’t like Uncle Stew very much. He was no Mike Tannenbaum. He ordered another three shots and took them in succession. Natalie watched. He remembered that final vodka staring at him, taunting him mercilessly. “Can you conquer me, Tim? Jesus would crush this shot!” the vodka said. That’s his last memory.
Tim woke up in an unfamiliar bed, with an unfamiliar, pounding headache. He looked around. Everything was blurry. He didn’t know where he was. He recalled Saturday practices back in Gainesville, where Cam Newton described a simliar sensation to his teammates after a night of drinking, then told Coach Meyer that he wasn’t playing well because he was “stressed out.” Tim figured that’s what it was. Alcohol-induced stress. He knew that stuff was bad. Why’d he do it, again? He rolled over to his right. Natalie was there. He panicked, looking under the sheets. He was naked. He couldn’t breathe. He didn’t sex before marriage, did he?
He rolled over to his left. There was a handwritten note. It read:
“L’chaim, Mr. Tebowitz!” xoxo
Cuddles and kisses,
Mark Sanchez <3
Tim was befuddled. He got up and looked out the window of what was clearly a hotel room, seeing the expansive, rocky beach and legions of sinewy, spiky-haired Tebow clones. There was a boardwalk in the distance. A sign that read: Welcome To Point Pleasant. The Jersey Shore Will Satisfy You.
He looked over at Natalie, noticing a piece of parchment on top of her. Fancier, schmancier than the note. He gently removed it from her shoulder as she stirred on her side, looking angelic. Just like the wife of whom he had always dreamed. He scanned the page quickly.
He puked. Lime rinds spewed from his mouth, onto Natalie’s side. She shrieked. Tim shrieked. He charged into the hotel door without opening it, slamming into it headfirst. He laid on the ground, unconscious. He was alive, but needed assistance. His lovely, Jewish wife called 911, and Timothy Tebowitz awoke hours later in a Jersey Shore hospital, dazed, confused, a yarmulke atop his head. A wedding photo occupied the stand beside him.
He was fine, physically. Mentally, he was not. Tim Tebow got drunk and married a Jew.