When Kingsley-Pierson (Iowa) High senior Rachel Bird reached out to Tim Tebow about having the quarterback serve as her prom date, the newly minted Jets passer never responded on Twitter. While that might have ended most teens' pursuit of the playmaker, it just got Bird's creative juices flowing.
Eventually, Bird did arrive at prom with Tebow in a suit, it was just that the Tebow she showed up with was made out of cardboard, and he provided a perfect partner for her walk down her school's annual prom grand march.
As first reported by the Sioux City Journal -- and quickly followed by the likes of the Des Moines Register and Sportress of Blogitude, among other outlets -- Bird's quest to take Tebow to prom began when Bird's Kingsley-Pierson classmate, Travis Neumann, told her that he'd happily pay $50 if she could walk into the school's prom with Tebow. Spurred by the challenge, Bird reached out to Tebow on Twitter and tried to track him down through his agent and the Jets.
When she heard nothing back, Bird got a bright idea. She found a photo of Tebow in a suit, took it to a Staples store and learned that the store was planning a sale on giant color photos like the one she wanted made of Tebow; in late April, she could have a life-size Tebow photo created for just $19.99.
Armed with $20 and a keen sense of humor, Bird had the photo made, then fished a piece of cardboard from the trash behind a local hardware store and glued the photo to the cardboard, creating custom-made supports of wood to ensure the fake Tebow would stand upright all night.
Days later, she showed up at her friend's house with her date and immediately became the hit of the Kingsley-Pierson prom.
"It was awkward, but people asked me to stop for photos during the grand march," Bird told the Journal. "Believe me, this isn't something I ever thought I'd be doing.
"He was a cheap date, and he didn't talk much. And when I asked him to stand in a corner, he did. I don't think it even hurt his feelings."
As for Bird, the Tebow move was just the latest unique step for a senior who has defied traditional roles in her school across recent years. The Journal reported that as a senior, Bird played on her school's varsity girls basketball team but was also a cheerleader for the boys team. She was also a varsity volleyball star and golfer throughout high school, and is undoubtedly the biggest Tebow fan in Kingsley.
That much was evident from her only regret from the prom.
"I should have made a dress out of Jets jerseys," she said. "But I didn't have time."
"We wanted her to have fun with her friends and have a nice memory — and it's definitely something people will remember for years," Carol Bird told the Register. "She's not usually outgoing like this. She really came out of her shell for this one."
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