Who shared a moment, you ask? I'll tell you. Me, and...TIM TEBOW. It was beautiful.
This Saturday was the Heisman Ceremony once again at the Nokia Theater here in Times Square. Last year we did some serious Tebow stalking on Heisman night, in the freezing cold. We had no idea what to expect and were surprised that there were not more fans lined up, none of the trademark NYC barricades around the entrance, nothing. We were successful in our quest to see Tim Tebow, but before he arrived I accidentally broke our camera in a flurry of excitement. This year I vowed to maintain my composure so we would not have to replace our camera yet again.
Last year, we were very, very early to the ceremony and ended up waiting around and killing time for hours. This year, especially since I was doing the Tebow stalking alone (Eric was in Florida), I arrived at the Nokia Theater much later. And, I was too late. I arrived at 6:45p.m. and was told (by a guy who was there last year too, and recognized me!) that all five Heisman candidates had gone in together around 5:45. I was an hour late. Urban Meyer had already even gone in. Bummer, I missed them!
I was surprised that this year there was a lot more of what we expected last year: barricades set up, and a decent-sized crowd. There were lots of Alabama fans (which means lots of thick southern drawls and "bless your heart"s), a few Texas fans, and even fewer Florida fans. I stood around until the ceremony started in case anyone else I recognized came in (yeah, right). Apparently I saw Tim Brown but I couldn't really tell you who that is, so...eh.
After the ceremony started at 8:00, people started to leave. But, I heard from one of the Alabama fans near me that a cop told her that everyone would be leaving the same way they came in at 9:10 p.m., and they would be going across the street to the Marriott Marquis Hotel. I figured, hey, I'm a New Yorker now. Waiting around is what we DO. An hour in the cold? No problem at all. So, I hung out, shivered, and made conversation with the people around me. Eventually, my friend Amanda came to meet me too, which helped pass the time. Also, at one point, a man dressed as Batman came running and twirling and leaping through the hallway, so that was entertaining. Only in New York.
With my free time, I developed a plan of attack. I had brought our Gators helmet in the hopes Tebow would sign it (people around me thought that was awesome, and many of them took my picture with the helmet). The plan was for me to hold the helmet and pen in case he came over to give autographs, and Amanda had my camera so she could take my picture while he signed the helmet. But, if he didn't come around to sign things, I was going to throw my helmet at her, grab my camera out of her hands, and chase Tebow down the street. I'm so NOT above chasing Tebow down the street. Totally fool-proof plan.
Sure enough, around 9:10, I heard the fans in front of the door yelling, "Tebow! Tebow!" It was go time. And out he came, followed by Colt McCoy. But, oh no! He didn't come my way! No autographs!
So, the plan was set in motion. I threw my helmet at Amanda, grabbed my camera, and literally chased Tebow down the street. And across the street. And nearly into his hotel. As we neared the hotel entrance, the crowd had dispersed and it was just him and me (and his security detail) - I was walking right next to him, just about two feet away. I called out, "Tebow!" And then it happened: our moment. He looked at me. Our eyes met. He smiled. I managed not to die long enough to take this picture, before calling out, "thank you so much!"
And then I walked into a parked car. I wish I was kidding. That part kind of sucked. Not exactly the graceful/sophisticated/charming impression I was hoping to give off. But before that, our moment was nothing short of magical.
Unfortunately, I was too busy checking for damage to the car's side mirror that I just collided with at nearly maximum Tebow-chasing speed, so I did not get a closeup picture of Colt McCoy, but he was right there too. So, I got to make a fool of myself in front of not one, but TWO star quarterbacks. Awesome.
After that I went back to find Amanda, and got to her right as Urban Meyer came out. Unfortunately I was not fast enough to chase him down to get a picture of him, too. After that I decided to just go further down the hallway where people were heading to try to get better pictures. By this time, there was quite a crowd lined up.
After waiting just a few more moments, this year's Heisman winner, Mark Ingram, came out. I did manage to get a picture of him, even though he seems to be sleeping.
I also got a picture of Danny Wuerffel as he left. People hardly seemed to recognize him. I wish I had my helmet at this point, because I would have asked him to sign it. I already have a picture of me with Danny from one of the times he spoke at FCA while I was at UF, so the picture was not my top priority. The plan sort of fell apart here, but what can you do?
And that was the end of my stalking. Amanda and I were cold, so we stopped off at an Irish pub for some heat, beef stew, and beer. What better way to warm up? Then we called it a night.
And what a wonderful night it was. I suppose only time will tell if this (in my mind) tender-yet-steamy glance Tebow and I shared will be as life-changing for me as the time Jesse Palmer touched me, but it is certainly up there on my list of Great Interactions With Florida Quarterbacks. Swoon! It sure is great to be a Florida Gator!