One of the biggest events in the world of sports this past NFL season was the Tim Tebow phenomenon that played out in Denver. I know that “revisionist historians” will change the way things went down so that they will match up with the results but let’s not get it twisted, the only person associated with the Broncos organization that wanted Tim Tebow to be successful was Tim Tebow. He had a regime change in 2011 in a new coach and a new GM. His new coach was hired after he was fired by the Carolina Panthers and his new GM was none other than legendary HOFer John Elway. My point is that neither one of those men chose Tim as the leader of their football team but they had a very big problem…the fans of the mile high city all wanted their QB to be Tim Tebow.
They resisted the urge to start the season off with Tim as their starter hoping that the QB retread in the current position, Kyle Orton, could win games for them and keep the fans that were chanting for Tim off their backs. After getting off to a putrid 1-4 start it looked like the Broncos were heading for a top choice in the 2012 NFL draft. That would be okay because if Denver ended up in the worst spot they would have a shot to draft #1 college QB Andrew Luck out of Stanford. That’s the same college where John Elway played football and then emerged as the #1 pick in the draft. Hmmm.
Well, this is working out great for the Broncos’ front office but not for their fans. They want to see their first round choice from the year before take the field and work his magic like he did as a two-time national champion and Heisman Trophy winner at the University of Florida. So the coach and the GM cook up a plan to give the fans what they want. They would make Tim Tebow the starter and let their fans see what they were already certain of, that Tim could not win at this level. When Tim failed as the starter, the Broncos could show the fans that they gave him every chance to be successful. They could get the first pick in the draft by losing every game in which Tim was the starter and run him out of town all in one fell swoop. Perfect plan right?
Unfortunately for his detractors, Tim Tebow was more than up to the challenge. He got off to a 7-1 record as the starter and became the stuff of legends all over the sports talk radio/TV world. I watched as every Monday every show would bring in so-called experts to tell us that Tim Tebow wasn’t a real NFL quarterback. He wasn’t real a QB because he didn’t throw the perfect spiral and stand around and surgically pick apart a defense as he marched his team down the field gaining yardage by completing long passes. The last time I checked the quarterback’s job was to move his team down the field with the end result being points on the scoreboard. Guess what? Week in and week out Mr. Tebow found a way to do just that. In doing so he racked up tons of fans as well as tons of haters.
The arguments against him in my opinion were just stupid. It wasn’t Tim it was the “stellar Denver defense keeping them in games.” Where was this vaunted group in weeks 1-5? “He can’t throw the football.” Okay, admittedly he is not the world’s greatest passer but the HOFer up in the owner’s box only completed 56.9% of his passes for his career. No one ever wants to bring that fun fact up but I will. John Elway completed 56% and 59% of his passes in 1997 and 1998, both of which were Super Bowl championships for the Broncos. Ironic huh?