It has been almost a year since then-Riverhead High School students Tyler and Connor Carroll, 18, found themselves front and center in an international media frenzy after Tebowing in the school hallway.
The twins, now both freshmen studying sports management at Farmingdale State College, share a dream -- to meet New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow in person.
"I'd like to meet him. He made us famous, in a way," Tyler said on Friday.
At the time of the Tebowing incident, the athlete was a second-year quarterback who led the Denver Broncos to six straight wins — and was known for his devout Christianity and intensity on and off the field. The act of Tebowing, or kneeling on the field, gained popularity last year, as the Broncos have continued to pile up late-game wins.
But for the Riverhead teens, although Tebow did respond in the media when he heard about their Tebowing at school, meeting the athlete in person is a goal.
“I did take them to the Jets camp," the boys' mom, Sherry Carroll, said. Although she asked for a brief meeting, the boys were refused a chance to meet their hero, Carroll said. "They told us, 'No, unfortunately, he's not talking to anyone today.'"
But the boys remain hopeful. "Anytime you can meet a professional athlete, it's cool," Tyler said. Looking back on the whirlwind of attention the incident last December sparked, Tyler added, "The whole experience was unreal."
At college, he said, the twins are sometimes recognized for the Tebowing incident. "Occasionally, people will ask us to Tebow," he said. "They'll say, 'Do you want to Tebow with the Tebow twins?'"
Should he ever get the chance to meet Tebow, Tyler said he would tell the athlete what an important role model he is, to young people. "Anything you can do, to make a positive impact on kids, is important," he said.
Never in his wildest dreams, Tyler said, did he imagine the Tebowing incident would receive worldwide attention. His brother Connor, he said, emailed Yahoo about the story "as a joke. We never thought they'd make a story out of it."
Connor agreed he'd like to meet Tebow. "He made us famous for a week, so it would be cool," he said. Tebow, he added, was a great college football player and has continued his excellence in the NFL. "I'm a Giants fan, but I still root for him on the Jets," he said. "And last year, everything he did with the Broncos was crazy."
If he got to shake Tebow's hand, Connor said he'd like to tell the football pro why he and his brothers Tebowed on that fateful day. "It was for fun," Connor said. "Plus, it was right in the middle of that Tebow-mania -- and we wanted to show respect for him. We never thought it would be a national news story."
Soon, however, Connor added, the story was spreading across the world. "It ended up going international. There were stories in England and China. We never saw that coming."
Friends at college often remember the twins from the Tebowing story, Connor said. "It's kind of cool that we're known for his signature move."
But the goal remains to meet Tebow in person, he said. And now that Tebow is playing in New York, the odds are greater than if the athlete were still based in Denver. "If he came to Riverhead, or to Farmingville, that'd be pretty surreal," Connor said.
Despite their fifteen minutes of Tebow fame, both boys are still grounded and focused on their education. "I'd like to think I've stayed the same person throughout," Connor said.
Looking back, he added, "It was definitely fun. I'll always remember it."