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Sports People: Tebow’s Gator Nation speech becomes plaque

A family reads an inspirational speech by University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow from a new plaque hung outside the school's football offices.

A family reads an inspirational speech by University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow from a new plaque hung outside the school's football offices.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Tim Tebow’s speech following a home loss to Mississippi in September motivated Florida the rest of the season.

Coach Urban Meyer hopes it can do the same for anyone else in Gainesville.

Meyer had Tebow’s speech engraved on a plaque and placed outside the front entrance to the new football facility at Florida Field. Although it might seem like a strange move since Tebow has one year remaining with the Gators, Meyer said he didn’t want to wait.

“I’m not interested in 10 years from now because who knows if we’re – I might be toes up somewhere,” Meyer said Wednesday as Florida opened spring practice. “I’m not a big fan of, ‘Hey, let’s wait down the road.’ It was a speech that everybody in Gator Nation has a right to see on the side of the building.”

Tebow’s speech was an emotional promise he made after the Rebels upset Florida 31-30 on Sept. 27. Fighting back tears, Tebow vowed that no one would in the nation would work harder than him and his teammates the rest of the year. The Gators responded by running the table and beating Oklahoma 24-14 to win the program’s second national title in three years.

Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner, said Wednesday he hadn’t seen the plaque that was put up two weeks ago. He already has a replica of his jersey hanging on a wall inside the stadium, part of a tribute to the school’s three Heisman Trophy winners, so getting his speech immortalized might have been a little ho-hum for the 6-foot-3, 245-pound quarterback.

“I guess it’s nice because it’s the university honoring our team and what we accomplished and what that represents and all the work that we put in,” Tebow said. “I guess it’s cool to have something you said up there. It means a lot to some people, so I think that’s cool.”

Tebow said he has been too busy to check out the plaque. He spent spring break on a missionary trip with his family in the Philippines, speaking at elementary schools, high schools and colleges and visiting marketplaces and the orphanage his father helps run.

“Just doing a lot of ministering everywhere possible,” Tebow said.

Jackson to Mercury?

SEATTLE – Free-agent Lauren Jackson, the two-time WNBA Most Valuable Player who led the Seattle Storm to the 2004 championship, has decided to play in the league again this summer.

For whom? She is not quite sure yet.

The 27-year-old Jackson, who has spent her entire WNBA career in Seattle and is the Storm’s franchise leader in scoring, said in a radio interview that was to be aired in its entirety in her native Australia on Thursday night that she will play next either with the Storm or with the Phoenix Mercury.

Jackson, who has averaged 19.4 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 237 games for the Storm, is an unrestricted free agent for the first time in the WNBA. She is currently playing with Moscow’s Spartak Vidnoe, which competes in the Russian league and in EuroLeague.

Citizen Online Archive, 2006-2009

This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

In 2010, a power surge fried a server that contained all of videos linked to dozens of stories in this archive. Also, a server that contained all of the databases for dozens of stories was accidentally erased, so all of those links are broken as well. However, all of the text and photos that accompanied some stories have been preserved.

For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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