As we learned in last week’s episode, the University of Florida gathered its finest barristers and fired off a cease-and-desist order to the Ft. Myers Miracle, threatening the Minor League baseball team with financial destruction if they went through with their “What Would Tebow Do?” promotion.
But you take a team owned in part by Bill Murray and Jimmy Buffett, and throw in overall director of promotions Mike Veeck — son of the legendary Bill Veeck –and what do you have? A team that’s not afraid of the University of Florida or Tim Tebow. The Miracle went ahead and had their promotion anyway.
The photo above shows a young man, actually named Tim Tebo, walking across the Miracles dugout, which has been doused with water. It was the promotion’s featured “Tebow walks on water” portion of the evening. Of course, the Miracle billed it as “What Would T.T. Do?” to get around the thorny lawsuit issue, but everyone knew who they were talking about.
Miracle director of promotions Gary Sharp talked with me about the gala event:
“Yes, we did go through with it. We still did most of the same things like handing out promise rings to fans; having a local guy named Timothy Tebo throw out the opening “jump pass”; had a faith healer hanging out on our party deck; had the same Tebo walk across water on top of our dugout … we threw a bucket a water down and had him walk across it, proving that Tim Tebow does walk on water.
“And since the Miracle committed an error during the game, all fans in attendance got free tickets for a future game. Because TT is perfect.”
Did Florida’s legal threats put a damper on the evening?
“Probably the cease-and-desist added more to the promotion,” Sharp said. “But it was a great time and it was our way to mock the way people in this state put a 22-year old kid on a pedestal.”
This is always what Veeck and the Goldklang Group — which directs the Miracle promotions, along with those of several other minor league teams — has always been the best at: Poking holes on overstuffed conventions. Tebow-love does border on the ridiculous, after all.