Tim Tebow attracts 33,000 Twitter followers in a week -- and gives them back nothing

Last week, we told you about Tim Tebow launching a Facebook page and a Twitter feed -- a move that prompted a parody by Maxim's Tauntr site featuring such items as "Tim Tebow likes Crying," to which Jesus Christ offered a thumbs-up. If only Tebow had come up with something as entertaining. His Facebook and Twitter followings have grown at a fearsome pace without him doing a damn thing. He's not exactly Chad Ochocinco... in more ways than one.

At this writing, a whopping 225,759 people say they like Tebow's Facebook page, even though the wall sports a grand total of one Tebow note -- his September 8 introduction, which reads, "Thanks for all the years of support -- I'm really excited about being able to keep in touch with all of you on facebook and"

Somehow, that was fascinating enough to prompt 1,401 comments at this writing.

Tebow offered a bit more on his Twitter page, coming up with three tweets: a duplicate of the Facebook comment, a pointer to his website,, and this:

Before I call it a night, I just wanted to thank everyone who checked out my site and decided to follow me on day one! GB²less than a minute ago via web

Yep, all three of his bon mots appeared on September 8, too -- but that didn't stop the masses from flocking, as documented in a bizarre/hilarious item by Football Outsiders' Mike Tanier.

In the piece, Tanier notes that when he signed up to follow Tebow "at 2:34 p.m. that day [September 8], he had 1,357 followers. By 3:52 p.m. he was up to 9,204... By 4:32 p.m., he was at 11,106 followers. By 6:48 p.m., he reached 14,625. At 7:02 the next morning, he reached 20,184."

At that point, Tanier blew the dust of his TI-83 graphing calculator and ran "some two-variable regressions" in an attempt to predict future follower growth, leading to this priceless paragraph:

Using the data points listed above and a few others, I determined that Tebow's followers were increasing at a logarithmic rate. The formula the calculator gave me was y = -41725 + 18182 ln(x). According to the model, Tebow acquired his first follower just before 10 a.m. on September 8. His first tweet is dated at 1:05 p.m. on that date, so it isn't a bad post-diction. But I found that the logarithmic model increased too quickly. At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, he had 28,013 followers. By 1 p.m. sharp on Monday, he was up to 29,494. The model predicted 39,365 and 41,725 followers.

Head hurt yet? Not Tanier's, who ran the numbers again yesterday to come up with a prediction of 40,000 followers by noon today.

Nope: At publication time, the page had 33,574 followers. So either math lies, or the Tebow-Twitter fever has died down because he's had nothing new to share.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts