Commentary

Strasburg vs. Tebow: a tale of the tape

Originally Published: June 8, 2010
By Adam Watson | Special to Page 2

Tebow/StrasburgESPN.com Illustration

Stephen Strasburg's first strike for the Washington Nationals on Tuesday might start the Rapture.

God himself might carry Tim Tebow into the end zone during his first play from scrimmage for the Broncos this fall.

So how could anyone possibly choose between these two sports deities? Well, Page 2 gives you the Tale of the Tape.

Vital stats

Strasburg: 6-4, 220
Tebow: 6-3, 245

Advantage: Tebow. Not because he has more pounds, but because he was once described in a GQ interview as "all thick polygons and smooth flat planes and inescapable corn-fed handsomeness."

[+] EnlargeStephen Strasburg
Andrew Weber/US PresswireStephen Strasburg only made 11 minor league starts before getting the call by the Nationals.

Eye color

Strasburg: blue
Tebow: blue

Advantage: Tebow. Although it may seem that they have the same eye color, you're actually mistaken. Tebow's eyes appear blue in photographs, but in person you see whatever color you want, much like looking through a prism or into a waterfall.

Jersey number

Strasburg: 37
Tebow: 15

Advantage: Strasburg. It's nice that both of these guys will get to continue wearing their college numbers in the pros. And I'm sure lots of greats have worn No. 15. Thurman Munson comes to mind for the Yankees. But Strasburg shares his number with Ron Artest. Did you know he had a friend who got stabbed through the heart with a piece of a table leg during a pickup game?

Number of bracelets worn

Strasburg: 0
Tebow: 7

Advantage: Strasburg. Tebow has one of those rubber wristbands for just about everyone he's ever met. Strasburg doesn't believe in fashion accessories other than strikeouts. Besides, bracelets would probably weigh him down and take a couple miles an hour off his fastball. They're clearly for people who don't ever throw.

Contract

Strasburg: 4-year, $15.1 million
Tebow: unsigned

Advantage: Strasburg. Tebow doesn't currently have a deal with the Broncos, so he's essentially playing for free. But even when the two sides do hammer out the X's and O's, Tebow is slotted to receive only around $11 million for five years. He's going to need to pull a Shaq to close the gap: "I'm tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok."

Greatest award

Strasburg: 2008 Olympic bronze medal with Team USA
Tebow: 2007 Heisman Trophy

Advantage: Tebow. He's the first player to win the Heisman as a sophomore. That's impressive. A bronze medal, on the other hand? Lots of people have them, and some don't even want theirs -- for example, Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian, who threw his bronze medal down and walked off in Beijing.

[+] EnlargeMcDaniels/Tebow
Ron Chenoy/US Presswire"Stick with me kid and I'll teach you a couple things." "Really, Tim? I'd sure appreciate that."

First pro opponent

Strasburg: Pittsburgh Pirates on June 8
Tebow: Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 12

Advantage: Strasburg. The Jaguars were bad last season, but the Pirates are terrible. I wouldn't be surprised if he were to throw a perfect game against them. Let's just hope Jim Joyce isn't working that night.

Haircut

Strasburg: baby bowl
Tebow: modified buzz

Advantage: Tebow. This isn't so much a win for Tebow as it is a loss for Strasburg. As haircuts go, you could do worse than the newest Denver Bronco, and Strasburg is proof of that. It's as though he broke curfew and his mom cut his hair as a punishment. No wonder he never takes his cap off.

First-name popularity

Stephen: Ranked 201 in '09
Timothy: Ranked 110 in '09

Advantage: Kobe. Even if somehow the Nationals and Broncos could play some sort of baseball-football hybrid that was broadcast in every delivery room in America, they still couldn't top the number of Kobes that will be conceived over the next two weeks.


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