Co-host Stephen A. Smith, who has called Tebow’s pursuit of a baseball career a “disservice and a level of disrespect” to other baseball players, asked the former Heisman winner how he could go so long without playing baseball before choosing to pick it back up.
Tebow responded that he had two loves in life and he took advantage of the opportunity to live out his other dream when it was presented to him.
Partial transcript as follows:
SMITH: If you love baseball so much, how in goodness name did you go so long without playing the sport before deciding that you wanted to play the sport?
TEBOW: Hey, Stephen A., have you ever loved more than one thing?
TEBOW: Do you love more than one thing?
SMITH: Yes, I do.
TEBOW: Sometimes you have to choose to do one, and it’s the second hardest decision of my life when I chose to go to the University of Florida to play football and give up baseball. It was something that was, you know, it was heartbreaking for me. And there were several times at Florida that I almost went to play on the baseball team, but, you know, with everything we were doing in football, and the goals and the championships we were trying to win, you know, I was staying focused on it. But then when the opportunity presented itself, and, you know, I had some people come look at me, I went to Boca Raton, Florida, and played with some different Latin guys and felt like, hey, maybe I can do this thing, and I decided to give it a shot because it never really left my heart. It was always with me.
SMITH: You are a Heisman trophy winner. You are a national champion. You’re about winning, and so the way I look at it is that if you haven’t played a sport in over a decade, your chances of success at that particular sport are limited, whereas with football, because you clearly have that it factor, and there are other things that you can do on a football field other than play quarterback, your chances of success would seem to be greater in the sport of football than baseball. So, what’s wrong with somebody looking at you and saying that’s what you should be doing?
TEBOW: Well, it’s fine if they say that’s what I should be doing, but they’re not me. And when are dreams based on chances? Dreams are based on something that’s in your heart that are passions, something that you want to go try, not on chances. I’m so grateful that I get to go pursue something, even if it’s a long shot, for something that, yeah, I might be able to go do it and go do it pretty well. But if it’s not in my heart, why am I going to do that?
I think that’s something that’s unfortunate in society, is a lot of people just go do what they feel like they should do and live with the status quo and go live by all these rules, and, hey, this is going to be ok, just go accept your average 9:00 to 5:00 rather than striving for something, because the ultimate goal isn’t to succeed or fail. The ultimate goal is to give it everything you have for something on your heart and a dream and pursuing that. And if you get to live out your dream every single day, then the result doesn’t matter. I can look back 20, 30 years from now and be able to look at this time and say, “You know what? I gave everything I had to football. I gave everything I had to baseball. And I was able to live out some dreams.” In my opinion, that’s pretty awesome.