So let’s say you’re an Auburn fan. Your wife is giving birth to your second son. Your first son is named Buckminster Fuller, so it’s been very well established that you can be a little creative with the name. Like, you know, any name in the world.
So, as an Auburn football fan in Chattanooga, you pick: Tebow Sanford Crumley.
That’s right. Tebow. And at first this might not make sense.
But think about it. Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, before he even takes a snap during his senior season, is considered one of the greatest college football players of the last 20 years. He’s not going to embarrass the name with any off-the-field antics. Instead, he’ll speak to prisoners and circumcise babies and go on mission trips.
He also crushed the fans of your rival, Alabama, by choosing Florida late in the recruiting process. He did it again on the field last December, ending Alabama’s perfect season and national championship aspirations. If you’re an Auburn fan, that provided a well-deserved smile following a miserable four months of hearing about the Crimson Tide.
And then there’s this: Tebow has beaten all but one SEC team. That team? Auburn.
Now it makes perfect sense. (Plus, have you seen Auburn’s quarterback play lately?) And it definitely makes sense to Damon and Alli Crumley of Chattanooga, two Covenant College graduates, who welcomed Tebow Sanford Crumley to our city last Feb. 18.
“We were looking for a name that would set a definite role model for our son to strive for,” writes the father and name-chooser, Damon, a 38-year-old programmer. “Besides being an outstanding football player, Tim Tebow is a quality Christian man that any parent would be proud to have raised.”
Before they got married, Damon proposed an offer to Alli: I name the baby if we have a boy. You name the girl. Alli agreed. And now she has children named Buckminster Fuller and Tebow Sanford. (Sanford is a family name.)
“I knew we had to have a name that measured up to Tebow’s older brother, so I knew something like David or Jonathan wasn’t going to make the list,” writes Alli, a 32-year-old stay-at-home mom, and she has a point. “With that in mind, I think my reaction to the name Tebow was a bit better than my reaction to the name Buckminster Fuller.
“Knowing who Tim Tebow was before Damon mentioned its ranking on the names list helped. Since I knew he was a standup Christian guy, it really made me comfortable with naming my son after him.”
Damon thought of the name over Christmas, and even the person who came up with Buckminster Fuller (the artist, architect and inventor who created the geodesic dome house) thought Tebow might be a little too unusual. Then again, another serious choice was Kermit Roosevelt (the second son of Teddy), so we’re way past trying to figure out what’s weird and what’s not.
You know who might find the Tebow name a little ... different? Everyone. There are questions. Here are answers.
Would you still have gone with Tebow if Tim Tebow had actually beaten Auburn?: “Wow ... you know, I’m not sure. I’d still appreciate his achievements and his character, but I suppose I might have had just enough resentment that another name could have edged it out,” Damon said.
What if young Tebow goes to Alabama like his namesake almost did?: “I’ll probably die a little bit inside. Fortunately though, Tim Tebow demonstrated that things can work out pretty well for a guy who doesn’t go to Alabama,” Damon said, like a true Auburn fan.
How did your Auburn friends react?: “They were surprised. Some of them have suggested nicknaming him ‘Bo’ (for obvious reasons). But as time goes by, I’m sure they’ll get used to it,” Damon said.
Still not convinced the name works? Although the family blog does mention that young Tebow slept through church when he was baptized (we’ll give him a break — he was 4 days old), two entries will remind you of a certain quarterback. One: “Tebow is a screamer.” And: “Tebow is a great eater.” I’m just waiting, a few years from now, for Damon and Alli to write about Tebow’s solid stiff-arm when they attempt to serve him vegetables.
You know, it is the perfect name.