Tim Tebow has partnered with Purina Pro Plan to promote the company’s “barketology” campaign for the upcoming Westminster Dog Show. It’s like an NCAA basketball tournament bracket, but for dogs. You’re supposed to rank dogs and come up with a winner. My bracket looked like this:
Tebow’s looked different, however:
The first rule of journalism is “When you get a chance to talk to Tim Tebow about dogs, you should talk to Tim Tebow about dogs.” So we talked to Tim Tebow about dogs. Here is our conversation, along with analysis of his answers to our dog questions.
SB NATION: So, how did you get involved with the bracket challenge and Purina Pro Plan?
TIM TEBOW: Well, I started talking to everyone from Purina Pro Plan about everything that was going on, and they knew that I loved dogs, and I was passionate about them, and I loved competition.
And, hey, it wouldn’t suck to win a million dollars, either. It’s easy, and I don’t have to wait until March to do a bracket.
SB NATION: What qualities are you looking for in a good dog?
TEBOW: I’m looking for loyalty, sweetness, and the ability to really enjoy me and life. You want to be able to have fun with your dog. Like, with the things you like to do, you hope they like to do them. Or, if he just loves being with me, that’s totally fine. Either way.
Analysis: This was a trick question. They are all good dogs. However, Mr. Tebow was correct when he suggested your possible love for dogs is a spectrum that ranges from a dog that hikes and bikes with you to a dog that’s content with just hanging out while you watch Black Mirror. There is no bad dog in this scenario.
It’s also worth noting that between the words “sweetness” and “and the ability to really enjoy me,” there was a really long pause while he gathered his thoughts. I’m assuming this is tacit support for the Oxford comma.
SB NATION: You chose a Rhodesian Ridgeback to win the bracket. You own a Rhodesian Ridgeback. How do you respond to claims of bias?
TEBOW: I say, yes, (the claims) are true.
I’m very biased.
But I didn’t choose a Rhodesian Ridgeback as my (pet) dog. It was given to me when I got drafted by the Broncos, and that’s why we named him Bronco. But then I fell in love with him, how he looked, his big paws, how sweet he was. He’s never spent a night not in bed with me or a family member now.
Analysis: I have a recording of this. When he said, “his big paws,” I had to wipe the love from my ear after it shot out of my phone. Bronco is, almost certainly, a really good dog.
I, too, love Bronco.
SB NATION: It made the news a couple years ago when you changed your dog’s name from “Bronco” to “Bronx.” How did he respond to the change?
TEBOW: No, I didn’t fully change it! I threw it out there as a hype that people, you know ... speculation that people thought of. I never changed it to “Bronx.” I kept calling him Bronco. But people became up in arms about that. He’s from Colorado, he’s Bronco, and he’s a sweet boy.
Analysis: Bronco is a sweet boy.
SB NATION: Do you have a Mets-themed nickname for Bronco now?
TEBOW: No, I can’t really think of one.
SB NATION: Because I was thinking Zack Heeler.
TEBOW: Oh. I see what you did there!
Analysis: He was being polite. I don’t think he got it. Ugh, stupid, stupid, stupid, I should have gone with Noah Synderdog, but I went with Zack Heeler, and now Tebow knows I’m an idiot. Why do I do these interviews? Stupid. You’re so stupid, Grant. You’re so stupid.
SB NATION: There have been 46 different terriers that have won the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, but just six hounds, which is the category of the Rhodesian Ridgeback. However, one of those hounds was the winner within the last couple of years. Do you believe that hounds have momentum?
TEBOW: No, not really. I just totally went with bias. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have never won, but you know what? The Eagles won. Ridgebacks can win. And life can just be great.
Analysis: I cannot argue with this answer. If the Eagles can win a danged Super Bowl, a Rhodesian Ridgeback can win a Westminster Dog Show.
SB NATION: OK, so you picking the dalmatian for best in group is something of an upset. What can you tell me about your experiences with dalmatians?
TEBOW: I’ll tell you what, I’m a big fan of 101 Dalmatians growing up, so when I saw the dalmatian, I said, hey, you know what? I’m going to say thank you for making me happy as a kid.
Analysis: I would rank ‘60s Disney movies like this:
1. 101 Dalmatians
2. The Jungle Book
3. The Sword in the Stone
So this checks out. But everyone knows that the ‘50s were the golden decade.
SB NATION: Do you use your left hand to pet dogs?
TEBOW: I use both hands.
Analysis: So he’s a fur-ruffler. Just gets in there deep and ruzzatuzzagrromph gets after it. There is no wrong way to go about it, I suppose. Just go where the pets and snuzzles take you.
I’m a left-handed petter, but I didn’t realize this until this question. I have a whole new outlook on petting now.
SB NATION: If you had to throw a dog for accuracy, not distance, which breed would you choose?
TEBOW: I can’t answer that question! Whatever I said, owners would be so mad at me! We don’t throw dogs. We cuddle dogs, we hold dogs. We love dogs. And we’re grateful for them.
Analysis: It’s at this moment ... that Tebow truly became president.
SB NATION: If we accept the fact that Air Bud was a basketball player first, do you think he was more of a natural baseball player or football player with his second sport?
TEBOW: It’s football. Can you imagine, like, to have a golden retriever trying to lay down a bunt? I’ll give you that they’re fast, but that would be so hard. You could kinda see them being a running back or a quarterback that hands it (to a running back).
But, yeah, that would be devastating if they got tackled.
But Air Bud made it! I was so mad when Air Bud got captured in the movie. I was devastated.
Analysis: The emotion in Tebow’s voice when he described his devastation at the Air Bud plot point was very, VERY real, and I can respect that.
SB NATION: How many dogs do you think you could carry at once? Your choice in breeds, and how you arrange them on your person is up to you, just as long as there’s no ropes or adhesive and they aren’t touching the ground.
TEBOW: Do I have any contraptions? Can I put them in pockets? Bags? Suitcases?
SB NATION: Au naturel.
TEBOW: Au naturel, OK. I’m going to go with eight.
Analysis: Tebow can carry 12 dogs at once, and this is not up for debate.
SB NATION: If the Mets decided to fire Mr. Met and hire a dog for a mascot, what breed of dog would you choose for them?
TEBOW: Wow. Aw, man. Well, I’ll say this. I’m obviously biased toward Rhodesian Ridgebacks, but I’ll say this: The number one owned dog I believe is a Lab. I’m pretty sure it’s a Lab. So maybe just to be a fan favorite, you could have a Lab out there that just loves people and roughs up the kids and plays. And maybe he’s even been trained as something of a service dog, so he can save people if something happens, and it’s just all-around an amazing time. And you could have the mascot saving people, and it’s just, like, games are awesome now.
Analysis: Admit it. You were skeptical when you clicked on this link, and now you see the purpose. Now you understand how important this is. Service Mascot Dog is an amazing idea for both a mascot and a feature film.
And, remember, if there’s any athlete qualified to talk about a service dog saving lives, it’s Tebow.
Which makes me think that if a service dog found a Zoltar machine, that dog would become Tim Tebow. Just running around, having fun, playing with different balls and sticks, living his best life, and saving lives when asked.
This means something.
I will do additional research and get back to you.
SB NATION: What kind of dog do you think Rob Gronkowski would be? Please note there is no wrong answer.
TEBOW: There’s 100 percent a wrong answer! I can’t answer that question. Are you kidding me? I could never call a person a dog.
SB NATION: Well, just personality-wise. He’s a fantastic personality, dogs have fantastic personalities ... I don’t want to pressure you, but if you had to hedge your bets? You don’t have a breed?
TEBOW: Um, I don’t know how to answer that. Maybe I can answer if I were a dog, what kind of dog I would be.
SB NATION: That’s a perfect way to get out of it. What kind of dog would you be if you were a dog?
TEBOW: (whispers with his team for five seconds)
Oh, man. People are saying boxer or bullmastiff in here, and I don’t think so. Maybe I would be ... honestly? I would be a mutt. I would be an awesome mutt, just a mix of Lab, Ridgeback, Golden Retriever, a tiny bit of Pit (bull) in there, you know, that’s what I need to get aggressive, but ... yeah, that’s what I would be.
Analysis: We’ve already determined what kind of dog Gronkowski is. He’s a bullmastiff, and it’s an eerie coincidence that out of all the dog breeds, Tebow mentioned one that SB Nation’s Matt Ufford mentioned as his Gronkowski choice.
But Ufford also described the Siberian Husky as “an excellent combination of speed, strength and endurance.” They are also good dogs. This is the dog that Tim Tebow would be.
If he isn’t actually a husky that found a Zoltar machine.
I will do additional research and get back to you.
Thanks to Tim Tebow and the good folks at Purina Pro Plan for answering these questions. You can enter your own bracket here, and here is my real bracket:
Picking a Wire Fox Terrier to win best in show is like picking the Patriots to win the Super Bowl, a total cop out, but I want that million dollars.
They are all good dogs, though.