Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tebow an Overnight Sensation; Fans Camp out for a Chance at His Autograph

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tebow an Overnight Sensation; Fans Camp out for a Chance at His Autograph

Article excerpt

Byline: Michael DiRocco

Cheers and squeals exploded from the front of the line that snaked its way through the Books-A-Million store near the intersection of A1A and Butler Boulevard.

Though the people near the back of the line and those still waiting outside couldn't see, they knew exactly what was happening.

Tim Tebow had arrived.

The former Nease High School and University of Florida standout quarterback was back in his hometown Monday to sign copies of his just-released book, "Through My Eyes." The 260-page autobiography, which was co-written by Nathan Whitaker, is the story of how Tebow's Christian faith, values and work ethic made him the person he is now.

"It wasn't just about football stories," said Tebow, now with the Denver Broncos. "Hopefully, it's more about inspiring kids to go out there and try to live their dream, and go after it and live with passion. That's a lot of what it's about, so hopefully, people will take it that way."

They were certainly lined up to buy it and get his signature. Six hundred tickets to get into the signing went on sale Sunday afternoon, and the store quickly sold out. Several people spent at least one night outside the store on Marsh Landing Parkway to guarantee themselves of a ticket.

Sisters Ernestine Blinn of Glen St. Mary and Barbara Riess of Longwood arrived at the store around midnight Saturday and slept in camp chairs. Blinn wanted to make sure she got a ticket so she could surprise sons Bryce (21) and Jason (27) with signed copies of the book. Her patience was rewarded Sunday afternoon with ticket No. 5. Riess got No. 6.

"You do what you've got to do for your kids," Ernestine Blinn said.

The two said they felt safe outside the store - the police drove by at least once - throughout the night. They had to wait until the nearby Publix opened at 7 a.m. so they could eat and use the restroom.

"We weren't worried about food, water or anything," Riess said. "We just wanted our spot in line."

They were back on Monday afternoon, a little tired and a lot excited.

"We'd do it again," Blinn said.

Tebow was floored to learn people had actually camped overnight just for his signature. …

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