University of Florida

Florida Gators’ hosting of Ole Miss conjures famous Tim Tebow speech

In this Oct. 17, 2009, file photo, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow scrambles against Arkansas in Gainesville, Fla.
In this Oct. 17, 2009, file photo, Florida quarterback Tim Tebow scrambles against Arkansas in Gainesville, Fla. AP

The last time Ole Miss came to The Swamp, the Rebels upset No. 4 Florida 31-30 and afterward, former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow delivered his legendary “Promise” speech.

The No. 25 Gators host the No. 3 Rebels this weekend.

On Sept. 27, 2008, Florida’s reining Heisman Trophy winner apologized to the Gator Nation for a failed bid at an undefeated season.

“I’m sorry. I’m extremely sorry,” he said. “I promise you one thing, a lot of good will come out of this.”

Tebow’s promise proved prophetic, as Florida went on to win 10 straight games, including a second national title in three years. The speech, now engraved on a plaque outside the stadium, became immortalized in college football lore much like Notre Dame’s “win one for the Gipper.”

“I don’t know about that,” said Tebow, chuckling.

“I just know that — not that it had anything to do with that speech — that we had a special group of guys that rallied together.

“What I did, that Saturday after the game, that was for the fans. I grew up a Florida fan. I’ll always be a Florida fan and that was something that I wanted to do.”

Tebow admitted he was so emotional postgame — from crying in the locker room to shedding tears with his parents — that he barely remembers the details of his impromptu address.

“I just know what I felt in my heart,” he said.

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