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Is Tim Tebow Worth His Weight in Gold? Not Yet

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Tim Tebow: surely, surely he's a valuable player; he won one Heisman in 2007 and he has to be one of the frontrunners for the 2009 award. Combine that with the fact that he's as close to an American hero as college football has these days, and it seems like every ephemeral idiom of praise applies.

Luckily, though, "worth his weight in gold" is one such phrase that can actually be objectively quantified, and easily so.

First, let's set Tebow's value. He's obviously one full season and a draft away from signing a contract, and outside, unforeseen events can derail his career before it begins. To that end, Tebow has acquired a $2 million insurance policy, according to this report. So for now, we can say his value is $2 million. For now.

Now, let's quantify his weight. Tebow is listed at 245 pounds, but that's an inaccurate listing; at that weight, Tebow is functionally useless. In order to provide value on the football field, Tebow will need to wear the full complement of equipment. A fair estimate of that weight is 15 pounds, putting his "real" weight at 260 pounds.

Last, according to, the current price of gold is $951.20 per ounce (this price may have fluctuated if you read this post after its publication on Sunday).

Some simple arithmetic later, we can deduce that Tim Tebow's weight in gold is $3,956,992. That's nearly twice the value of his insurance policy, so one must conclude that Tim Tebow is not, in fact, worth his weight in gold.

But let's have a little more fun, shall we? Given the earlier constants ($2 million, 260 pounds, $951.20/oz), we can also conclude that Tebow is, in fact, worth $480.77 per ounce at this time. That he is not worth his weight in gold seems to be, in fact, something of a matter of poor timing above all else.

Again, according to, a look at the 5-year and 10-year histories of the price reveals a significant surge over the past few years. The price appears to have permanently (from then until now, anyway) eclipsed $500/oz in late December 2005, meaning that Tebow's worth was eclipsed that fall. 

So Tebow is merely a victim of timing; four years ago, somebody like him would have qualified, and when he signs his first NFL contract, no doubt the guaranteed money will be far over $4 million (after all, J.P. effing Losman got over $5.5 million guaranteed). But for now, though, we've got one fewer rhetorical flourish to lavish upon Tebow. The other 70,000, however, are still safe.


This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.