5 reasons the Braves should sign Tim Tebow

TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 29, 2008: Tim Tebow, #15 quarterback of the University of Florida Gators football team celebrates after a big play during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida on November 29, 2008. The Gators won 45-15. (Photo by Jim Burgess/University of Florida/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)
TALLAHASSEE, FL - NOVEMBER 29, 2008: Tim Tebow, #15 quarterback of the University of Florida Gators football team celebrates after a big play during the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee, Florida on November 29, 2008. The Gators won 45-15. (Photo by Jim Burgess/University of Florida/Collegiate Images/Getty Images) /
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GAINESVILLE, FL – NOVEMBER 28: Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators shakes hands with the fans following the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
GAINESVILLE, FL – NOVEMBER 28: Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators shakes hands with the fans following the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 28, 2009 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The SEC factor

There’s conference allegiance, and then there’s the fervor with which sports fans in the southeast follow the SEC. The NCAA’s most powerful football conference has an almost cult-like following, and Tim Tebow is one of its greatest heroes. With many of their minor league outposts in smaller southern cities struggling to draw in fans, Tebow would generate a buzz.

Adding Tebow to the Mississippi Braves of the Double-A Southern League or the Gwinnett Braves of the Triple-A International League would play off of SEC fandom in those areas. Fans in the south love the SEC, and would flock to watch Tebow, whether or not he came from their favorite school.

It’s hard to get an entire region excited about a baseball team, and even harder in the football-crazy south. Tebow won’t be in the big leagues until late next season at the earliest. Realistically speaking, 2018 is a better target date for his MLB debut.

The Braves will have already moved into their shiny new digs by then, but Tebow’s presence in the minor leagues and the buzz he will generate will serve to build interest in the team. Having more fans in attendance at Double-A and Triple-A will help to get fans excited about all of the other young talent coming up through the system. That could pay big dividends in getting Georgia and the surrounding states excited about the future of the Braves.