Is it possible that Tim Tebow is STILL America’s most influential athlete?

Forbes says so, anyway. Despite the fact Tebow is now unemployed after throwing just eight passes with the New York Jets in 2012, he's landed in the top spot on their annual list of the country's most influential athletes

Here are the results (found influential by __%):

1. Tebow (29)
2. Michael Phelps (25)
3. Usain Bolt (23)
4. Derek Jeter (22)
5. Peyton Manning (21)
6. Drew Brees (21)
7. Gabby Douglas (19)
8. Aaron Rodgers (19)
9. LeBron James (18)
10. David Beckham (18)

From Forbes:

A unique set of QB strengths and weaknesses and an affinity for wearing his Christian faith on his sleeve combine to make Tebow a compelling public figure, even as an NFL backup. Whether or not he’s able to remain deeply ingrained in the public consciousness without eventually getting more time on the field remains to be seen. But for now, Tebow, he of 2.2 million Twitter followers, is still the man people talk about.

It's amazing to me that Tebow has remained so relevant to sports fans and non-sports fans despite becoming an afterthought on the field. ESPN has played a role, because simply being an outgoing Christian isn't enough. Lots of average pro athletes are outspoken when it comes to their religious beliefs. 

Eventually, Tebowmania will begin to fade, but that trade to the media capital of the world extended his reign as America's most popular athlete. 

Brad Gagnon

About Brad Gagnon

Brad Gagnon has been passionate about both sports and mass media since he was in diapers -- a passion that won't die until he's in them again. Based in Toronto, he's worked as a national NFL blog editor at theScore.com (covering Super Bowls XLIV, XLV and XLVI), a producer and writer at theScore Television Network and a host, reporter and play-by-play voice at Rogers TV. His work has also appeared at Deadspin, FoxSports.com, The Guardian, The Hockey News and elsewhere at Bloguin, but his day gig has him covering all things NFC East for Bleacher Report.

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