He certainly is a “merry man”; now all he needs is a bow and arrow.
The always-cheerful Tim Tebow made his Denver Broncos home debut sporting a haircut reminiscent of Friar Tuck, the fictional companion to Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men.
“I think all the rookies had a good time,” Tebow said following the Broncos’ two-hour practice session at Invesco Field. “It was something to give everybody a laugh, something also to build chemistry.”
From bizarre haircuts to talent competitions, rookie hazing is a storied tradition in the NFL, as vets “welcome” new players into the fold with good-natured razzing during training camp.
When it comes to hazing this season, it’s been a tale of two high-profile NFL newcomers. First, Dallas Cowboys rookie playmaker Dez Bryant made news and garnered criticism for refusing to take part in the annual rite of passage. When fellow wide receiver and seven-year vet Roy Williams ordered Bryant to carry his shoulder pads from the practice field to the locker room, the Cowboys’ first-round pick gave him the cold shoulder.
Regardless of his reason—Bryant said, “I was drafted to play football, not carry another player’s shoulder pads”—his refusal to take part in the annual NFL custom certainly did not evince a team-first attitude, nor did it score him any points with teammates.
Tebow, a college football icon and the Broncos’ newly-anointed savior, put his ego aside and gladly accepted the haircut in the interests of team chemistry. “I just took it and tried to be a good sport with it,” Tebow said. “It was fun.”
While Tebow is doing everything in his power to be a leader and enhance team chemistry, his fellow rookie Bryant will probably have to deal with being a known as a prima donna. Not a good thing, even in Sherwood Forest.