(Photo: REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)
A Jacksonville Jaguars fan set up an online petition asking President Barack Obama to tell the team's general manager to sign free agent quarterback Tim Tebow.
"Jacksonville Jaguars fans want the team to sign recently released QB Tim Tebow," the petition, which was posted to the White House's We the People website, said. "However, rookie general manager for the Jacksonville Jaguars David Caldwell is blocking this from happening. If the Jaguars sign & START Tebow, home games will be sold out, sales will spike, the team will win and the fans will be happy."
The petition, originally filed under the "job creation" category, was active as of Monday morning but has since been removed for violating the website's terms of participation.
The creator of the petition, identified only as M.C. from Bloomfield, N.J., said Caldwell is ignoring just how successful the "misunderstood" quarterback was during his time as a starter for the Denver Broncos two seasons ago. The appeal garnered only a few hundred signatures during its nearly six days online, though it would have needed 100,000 signatures by May 30 in order to elicit a response from the White House.
ESPN.com blogger Paul Kuharsky called the petition "laughable."
"Yeah, that's what the president should be doing, meddling in the affairs of a sports team," wrote Kuharsky. "I feel super sorry for the bulk of die-hard Jaguars fans because I know there is not a widespread desire for the team to sign Tebow."
Shortly after the Jets released Tebow, the Jaguars quickly made it clear that they weren't interested in having the former Heisman Trophy winner and University of Florida star on their team.
"The Jacksonville Jaguars' plans do not include Tim Tebow," Jim Woodcock, spokesman for team owner Shad Khan, told The Florida Times-Union after the Christian quarterback was released.
Sources from another Florida NFL team, the Miami Dolphins, also recently told the Sun Sentinel that they have no plans to pursue Tebow despite recent rumors swirling around the Internet. It's not that they have ruled him out altogether, a team source said, only that adding him to the team "hasn't been discussed."
While some teams have already written him off, former Super Bowl-winning coach Mike Ditka says he would give Tebow a chance.
"I think [Tebow] can play quarterback in the NFL, but whatever offense you run might have to be tweaked a bit," Ditka wrote in his "4 Downs with Ditka" column in Sunday's edition of The Chicago Sun-Times. "This kid is a talent and he proved it in college. He is an outstanding leader. Now, does he have an unusual throwing motion? Yes. But there a lot of quarterbacks that didn't have a perfect throwing motion. Some of them turned out to be great quarterbacks because they were great leaders. I really do think there's a place for him. If not at quarterback, I think he could play tight end. If I was in the league and coaching today, I would take a chance on him at quarterback."