"He's a good Christian boy who believes in my heavenly father," she said. "And I'd stand up and give them the back of my hand."
Lucille can't even walk, which sometimes happens when you're 95. But I firmly believe she'd arise from her wheelchair and smite anyone who said a bad word about her Timmy.
She didn't have to budge Saturday. Tebow held his first autograph session as a professional, meaning he could charge without the NCAA arresting him.
And boy, did he charge. To paraphrase the initials on one of Tebow's bracelets -- What Would Jesus Think?
I'm no theologian, but I think he'd be fine with Tebow cashing in. Jesus might have even paid $75 to have his picture taken with Tebow. (Hint to photo collectors: Tim would be the messiah on the left).
Wait just a holy minute here. Doesn't Timothy 6:10 say the love of money is the root of all evil?
I wanted to ask our St. Timothy about that, and what percentage of Saturday's proceeds was going to his charity. I'd even spent $160 in company money for a ticket and a quick audience with His Football Holiness.
Then I read where the most expensive autographs in the world belong to William Shakespeare. There are six in existence, and the Bard would get $3 million a pop for them.
So I thought I'd have Tebow sign a copy of Romeo and Juliet, put it on eBay and hope some really dopey fan of SEC football and English poetry would bid $3 million.
Then I got to The Avenues Mall and saw the line. It was 333 people long, and that was just for photos. I'm sorry, but I refuse to wait in line that long for any performer not named Springsteen.
I've also never understood why anyone over 14 would scrounge for an autograph. William Shakespeare's, sure. William Perry's, I don't think so.
But that's just me. And the cop who was trying to keep people in line.
"I can't believe this," he said.
People had come from as far as Texas. There was a poster in front of the memorabilia store that read "Thank You Timmy." People signed it (for free, I presume) for the star to read.
"Thanks for the memories!"
"I know you'll be great in the NFL. Call me. 316-9427. Love, Kimberly."
"Big fans. And you're a role model for my son. Della and Herb."
As a role model, isn't Tebow supposed to be different than the usual money-grubbing athlete? Few things irk people more than millionaires charging for autographs.
Rhode Island passed a law five years ago prohibiting anyone under 16 being forced to pay for their hero's signature. It was an easy way for politicians to fan populist rage.
Nobody is forcing people to line up at malls. If consumers are willing to pony up $749 for a football autographed by Tom Brady, why shouldn't he make $10,000 an hour signing his name?
Would you turn it down?
Tebow probably signed 2.4 million autographs for nothing since high school. He also made approximately squat off the zillions of No. 15 jerseys Florida sold for $79.99. There were at least 200 of them in line Saturday.
After making so much money for so many people the past four years, I'm glad Tebow is finally making some for himself. Just because he's religious doesn't mean he has to wear sackcloth and ashes.
Whatever he makes in the NFL, a good chunk of it will go to underprivileged Filipinos, unwed mothers and other faith-based projects. That's just my guess, of course, since I didn't feel like waiting in line four hours to ask firsthand.
Maybe I should have pretended to be a 95-year-old woman with a crush on a younger man.
"I've been a Gator fan since I was 18," Lucille said. "He gave me the best times I've ever had."
She was allowed to wheel past a few hundred people to the front of the line. Tebow got up from behind a table, went over and hugged her.
She had a newspaper with his picture on it. Tebow signed it then took a picture with her.
The cost of the combo: $210.
I can't say for sure what Jesus would think. I know Lucille believes it was the best money she ever spent.