Tim Tebow No. 1 on Forbes' 2013 List of America's Most Influential Athletes

By Phil Naegely
Tim Tebow
Debby Wong – USA TODAY Sports

Since his days at University of Florida, Tim Tebow has been the center of discussion which has continued into his NFL career so far. Combine his NFL playing time (or lack thereof) with his open Christian faith and people have either loved him or hated him. Regardless of his success in the NFL, Tebow has found his name at the top of Forbes’ latest list of America’s most influential athletes.

Nielsen injunction with E-Poll conducted a nationwide survey and Tebow was considered influential by 29% of those polled. Tebow beat out other famous athletes like Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, and Derek Jeter. Here is the entire list of America’s most influential athletes.

“For a backup quarterback to be talked about so much is incredible,” says Stephen Master, Senior Vice President of Sports for Nielsen, which conducted the surveys over the past several months in partnership with E-Poll, a market research firm in Encino, Calif. “But it is the biggest market.”

Forbes’ latest list of most influential athletes shows that you don’t need to be a star payer to be considered influential to the American people. Tebow has been the center of conversation for his abnormal playing style and his strong and authentic faith. In all this discussion and press, Tebow has not swayed away from his faith and football.

Tebow lives an authentic life and does not let others’ opinions get under his skin. No matter who he is playing for and where Tebow is on the depth chart, he works hard and is dedicated. He has been a bright example in a world of mixed messages.

Sure Tebow isn’t the best football player, but he has been able to be a great role model for everyone watching. Let’s go back to when he was in the BCS National Championship. Because of his eye black that had John 3:16 on it, people took to Google to figure out what John 3:16 said. Tebow has been influential without shoving it down everyone’s throat. He lives his life the way he wants, and the public and many sports networks talk about Tebow and his influence.

Whether you love him or hate him, Tebow has influenced the American population, and as a result he has been named America’s most influential athlete.

Phil Naegely is a Soccer writer for RantSports.com. Like him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @pnaegelyRS and add him to your circles on Google.

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