Why Is Tim Tebow Soaring to the Top on This Index?

For most observers, the year Tim Tebow spent with the Jets amounted to nothing less than a fall from grace. Following a triumphal season in Denver, Tebow rarely played for the Jets, making zero impact on a bad team. What he did do was draw nonstop media coverage, which is his specialty. In fact, Tebow is so intriguing to the world that he scored #1 of Forbes’s Most Influential Athletes 2013 list and is now surging upward on The Wall Street Journal’s ”NYIndex.”

At a glance, the NYIndex would seem to be a strange place for Tebow to be gaining ground. Didn’t a New York team just reject him? Yet this index factors in two elements where Tebow rates high: media coverage and contribution of industry to G.D.P. The NFL , where Tebow is not currently employed, remain a mammoth in terms of earning potential and continues to outpace America’s National Pastime in terms of cash netted.

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Tebow stirred a crowd Thursday night in Michigan with a motivational speech and reminded everyone why his play on the field matters little to onlookers. “Tebow Mania” is a quantifiable asset, something which could attract attention for a team whose fans have become bored and potentially turn around the culture of a dying franchise. Being the most influential athlete while not playing good ball is a tough feat to pull off…