By Ian M. Fisher (3L)
After nine years together without a ring, Ian Lis felt he had to come up with a spectacular marriage proposal to girlfriend, Sarah Springer. The two graduated from UF Law in 2009, are double Gators, and had been sweethearts since high school. In his quest for Springer’s hand, Lis decided to enlist Tim Tebow — one of the most famous Gators ever — to make the proposal memorable.
Lis’ audacious plan unfolded during a Tebow autograph signing, held in Palm Beach on March 27. As the couple approached Tebow, the Gator gridiron-great shook Springer’s hand and said, “Sarah, I think Ian has a question for you.” Tebow then pulled out a ring while Lis dropped into position on one knee. A YouTube video of the ensuing engagement ring handoff and Springer’s tearful “Yes!” may be one of Tebow’s most memorable plays and has been viewed more than 300,000 times.
“I had been thinking of an original proposal idea for quite a while,” Lis said. “But it wasn’t reality until we graduated from law school and I could actually afford to go buy a ring.”
Lis discovered that Tebow would be signing autographs in the area under contract with Palm Beach Autographs. It happened that Lis’ sister had a friend at the company to whom she pitched the proposal idea — he thought it would be a go, right from the start.
“He said he thought Tebow would enjoy it and would agree to go along with it,” Lis said. “I was actually pretty confident the whole time that he would do it just because I think we all know what Tebow’s demeanor is when it comes to doing things like this, and he’s not standoffish when it comes to helping the public out.”
Lis, now an associate with Tripp Scott in Ft. Lauderdale, got the final go-ahead the night before the signing. His proposal caught Springer completely by surprise.
“We had just looked at wedding rings for the first time two months ago,” said Springer, now an associate at Waldman, Trigoboff, Hildebrandt, Marx & Calnan in Weston. “We looked at some just to kind of figure out what I liked, so I had no idea it was coming.”
She can hardly remember what was going through her head when the ring flashed before her eyes or what Tebow said afterwards.
“Immediate shock,” she said. “I was too shocked to really have anything significant going through my mind. If anything, it was probably, ‘I can’t believe this is happening here.’ … I barely remember what he was saying on the stage. I was just in such shock. I hugged him [Tebow] three times because I figured this was my opportunity.”
Afterward, Tebow texted his agent asking for an invitation to the couple’s wedding, which they said they will gladly extend. But the big question for many is why Springer didn’t say ‘yes’ to Tebow instead?
“Despite Tebow’s many attributes, he’s not the man for me,” Springer said. “Ian is.”
Now, that’s true love.