Monday, May 16, 2011

#26: Hug Tim Tebow

You all know that I am on a mission to cross items off my bucket list. You've seen me take care of a few already: scuba diving, horseback riding on the beach, jumping into a pool fully clothed. But this weekend, I crossed off one of the ones that I really felt was improbable, and it was quite possibly my favorite list item completed yet: I HUGGED TIM TEBOW. And it was magical.

In case you don't know who Tim Tebow is, here is a synopsis: He is currently a quarterback for the Denver Broncos. He formerly was an absolute star as quarterback for the University of Florida Gators, and is considered by many (not just Gator fans) to be the best college football player of all time. He was the first college sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy. He is also a devout Christian who spent spring breaks with orphaned children in the Philippines and strives to use his platform as an athlete to witness about his faith (for example, after the National Championship game, the Bible verse he wrote on his eye black was the top search on Google). And I adore him.

AND I HUGGED HIM. I nearly died.

I felt like adding "Hug Tim Tebow" to my bucket list was a little foolish. Of course I would jump at the chance to do so if ever given the opportunity, but what were the odds of that, really? I don't like to add things to lists that could never be completed. But then, about two weeks ago, Eric and I caught sight of this:

Look what's happening! Tim Tebow! Exclamation point!

That's right, my beloved Tim Tebow was going to be making an appearance as the new Jockey spokesperson at Macy's. And when I looked at that flyer a little more closely, this beautiful item caught my attention:

GET YOUR PHOTO TAKEN WITH TIM. I was so there. I wrote this on my calendar IMMEDIATELY and emailed Eric to do the same. Saturday, May 14th. One o' clock. Write that down.

Friday night, also known as "Tim Tebow Photo Day Eve," even the Empire State Building seemed to be getting excited:

Okay, okay, so the ESB claims it was sporting Gator colors for Bronx Week or some such thing, but I know it was really in honor of Tim Tebow. They can't fool me!

Saturday was the big day. With pictures scheduled to happen at 1:00, we decided to take no chances and were in the photo line by 11:00, two hours early. No, we were not the first ones there. New Yorkers are crazy, man. They love standing in line for things. After just a few minutes, Jockey staff came around and handed out numbers. We were numbers 63 and 64 in line, so that tells you how many people were earlier than us. We were told that these numbers guaranteed us a photo with Tim, though, so this quickly became my most prized possession.

Bad Blackberry photo of the most beautiful number there ever was

The real beauty of those numbers was that once we had them clenched in our sweaty little hands, we were able to leave the line at will but were guaranteed a photo if we were back in line at 1:00. We would sacrifice our spot in the line, but so long as we had number in hand, we would get our photos. Nice! We had been expecting a two-hour camp-out on the floor of Macy's and had even brought books to read, but in a pleasant twist we were able to go out to Herald Square to enjoy the rest of the Jockey festivities.

We were able to get a great spot for the Jockey Fashion Show that took place at noon. That was where we caught our first glimpse of my beloved Timmy, as he arrived to introduce the line and hang out with announcers in the booth. (I'm sure you're as bummed as I was that he was not actually participating in the Jockey fashion show, aren't you?)


He was very pleased to see the Gator Nation turnout in the crowd! There is a huge Gator alumni group in NYC.

He's totally looking at me.

The fashion show was fun, because well, watching models walk around in their underwear is fun. Tim was also fun to watch - he kept looking out at the crowd (I swear he kept looking at me), and he would crack jokes here and there. He's cute and funny!

The male models showing off Jockey underwear of days gone by

Apparently back in the day Jockey did an ad campaign featuring the "cellophane wedding," which was a creative way to show off their undies while still meeting the standards of decency at the time.

As the cellophane wedding models passed, Tim said, "yes, in case you all are wondering, that is the wedding dress I would like my future wife to wear!" Oh, Timmy. I'm sure there are plenty of girls willing to accommodate that request.

Models showing off the new Stay Cool line

New colors in the new line

Grand finale

After the fashion show, they let some little kids out onto the "field" to throw a football around a bit. I loved this little guy:

So cute.

After the little ones had their shot, they let the big kids take a turn. Eric got to go out and toss a football around, and in doing so he won a free pack of Jockey Stay Cool shirts. Way to go, Eric!

Flashback to high school football days!

Eric ready to throw, with Tebow in the crowd behind him

As soon as Eric was done throwing, we made our way back into Macy's and downstairs to the photo line. We were a little further back than we had been previously, but we passed the time talking with our fellow line-mates. It's always fun to talk to other Gators - it's just a fun bond to share. We talked about our college days, dorms we lived in, Gainesville places we frequented during our college years and our lives as Gators now.

Lousy picture, but this was our spot in line. The line wrapped all around the corner for quite a bit.

Once the pictures got started the line moved pretty quickly, and before we knew it we had rounded the corner and could see Tim on a platform ahead of us, posing for pictures. I'm not going to lie, I nearly started to hyperventilate. You know we love a good celebrity sighting, but really, it's for sport. It's fun to see famous people, sure, but Tim Tebow is the one who I have really wanted to meet. He was the only one who made my bucket list, and if I could choose one celebrity to meet, it would have been him.

And it was on my bucket list not just to meet him, not to shake his hand, but to hug him. I knew that I would only have a few seconds with him when my turn came, and I was going to have to ask for a hug. I was so nervous, but as I always say, don't put anything on your bucket list that you're not actually prepared to do when presented with the opportunity. I had to get that hug!

When we finally reached the front of the line, Macy's staff took all our stuff (purses, cameras, etc.) from us - they were very strict that they would be the only ones taking pictures. Eric went up first and shook Tim's hand, something that was also on his bucket list! What a successful bucket list day! Eric spent quite a few moments talking to Tim. He said he told him that he is a great player, and thanked him for playing so hard for the Gators, and also told him he is a great witness and an inspiration. Tim maintained eye contact with him the whole time, smiling and thanking him. So nice! Then they took their picture:

There is an awful lot of hotness happening in this picture.

And then it was my turn. I got up on that platform and said, "Hi, I'm Meghan! May I please give you a hug?" His answer: "Of course!" AND THEN HE HUGGED ME. He's very tall, and I had to stand on my toes to reach up and put my arms around his neck, but that man gives one heck of a good hug. Then we took our picture:

I was dying.

I think I then mumbled something about "I think you're awesome" and "thank you so much," and just like that, it was over. I got my hug, but after that I felt like a starstruck mumbling fool. Of course, it's not the first time I have been a fool on account of being awestruck by Tim Tebow - as you may recall, we did a little Tebow-stalking both years he was in NYC for the Heisman ceremony. The first year, I was so excited about his impending arrival that I dropped and broke our camera just before he arrived. The second year, I chased him down the street and called out his name, and when he actually looked at me (eye contact!) I got so twitterpated I forgot to watch were I was going and walked into a parked car. So clearly, Tim is used to my dorky behavior. At least this time, I got a hug out of it!

When it was all over my adrenaline was still pumping. I was shaking and giddy and feeling like I might cry. I was a mess. But dude, I JUST HUGGED TIM TEBOW.

I was beside myself.

My behavior was under control while I was meeting him, but afterwards, I guess I got a little out of hand.

The Jockey events continued through the afternoon, with the fashion show repeated several times. Apparently after later fashion shows, Tebow went around to the fans and even signed some autographs, so I was kicking myself for not bringing our Gators helmet to have him sign. But whatever, I HUGGED HIM.

Crowds clamoring for Tebow's autograph

What a fabulous day it was! It's great to be a Florida Gator!


KT @ KT's Refinishing School said...

Look at you go! Tim Tebow sounds like a really nice guy and I love your Florida Gators sweater by the way--subtle yet definitely appropriate fan gear :)

My family, myself included, are all big Notre Dame fans and with my sister as a sophomore there, it is not unusual to get texts from her that say things like Golden Tate is sitting in front of me or I just bumped into Jimmy Clausen.

Yay for crossing things off your list!

moderndaywife said...

That is so so awesome Meghan, I am SUPER jealous ;-)(as is my husband haha)

Kristina said...

This blog entry deserves an award! You are so funny and adorable, I swear. You should write a book, I totally dig your style :-)

Steph said...

Aw, Meghan! You are just too cute. So glad you crossed it off of your bucket list. I got really excited for you, reading this post. So cool!

Mrs. W. said...

Thanks, ladies!

Kristina, your comment made me smile. :) Thank you!

Carolyn H. said...

What are the chances, eh? I would think you'd hug him at a football game, a random bar in G-ville, or someplace else... but at a jockey fashion show. Well, I guess NYC has it all! This post had me smiling. Congrats on fulfilling something on your bucket list!

Asha said...

Wow that's ah-mazing! You are so lucky! Btw I love your blog and am your newest follower! Hope you'll share the love and follow me too :)

Sara said...

You are adorable! Love it! Brightened my day too :)

Jessica Renee said...

You.are.HILARIOUS! I'm so happy that you not only got to cross something off your bucket list but seriously? You got to hug freaking Tim Tebow! Major hotness! Yay for you! :)