The New York Jets arrive in Cortland, NY for training camp on Thursday, and this year, in addition to the mystique of an NFL team practicing in Central New York, superstar Tim Tebow will be with the team.
A former Denver Bronco, Tebow signed with the Jets in the offseason to the delight of many business owners in Cortland, as they know Tebow is a marketing gold mine. What's different about Tebow is that he wears not only his emotions on his sleeve, but his religious beliefs as a Christian as well.
That aspect is something Cortland has not seen, and it is turning heads of both Tebow's football fans, and Tebow's Christian fans, who like how outspoken he is about his faith.
When Kitty Jones, the owner of Spirit and Life Christian book store in Cortland for more than 30 years, saw that Tebow was coming, she jumped at the chance to try and get him to do a book signing at her store.
"My friend told me his book ["Through My Eyes"] was good, and that I should ask him to come, so I did," Jones says.
But, Tebow's agent told Jones that he was finished with book signings until the 2012 season was over, a disappointment for Jones, who thought Tebow would help bring more attention to her book store (which does have "Through My Eyes" in stock).
While he may not be bringing attention to Spirit and Life specifically, Tebow will be bringing in a different crowd that usual at Cortland State's athletic complex this year, as Christian groups, not necessarily football fans, are scheduled to come in buses to see the Jet.
"Some of the groups that have phoned us and our convention visitors bureau partner have been church groups," Bob Haight, executive director of the Cortland Chamber of Commerce says. "They're wanting to send entire buses here to see the practice, but especially Tim Tebow."
There are rumors circulating that Tebow will speak at some church services in the area, and the fact that he is so religious means he will most likely attend a service on Sunday, which should cause quite a stir.
Fans can first see the Jets practice on Saturday, July 28th.