Another week, another Tim Tebow fourth-quarter comeback.
The games may not be pretty — and Sunday’s 16-13 overtime victory in San Diego was anything but — but it’s exciting, down-to-the-wire football that has Broncos fans absolutely giddy. And why shouldn’t they be?
Whether you believe Tebow can make it as a starting quarterback in the NFL or think teams will figure this option junk out sooner or later, forcing him back to the bench, you can’t argue with a 5-1 record or the fact that Denver is only one game back in the AFC West.
With each perplexing comeback and head-scratching result, Tebow is turning doubters into supporters, and his cult following is spreading like wildfire.
But beyond his well-publicized religious beliefs, his unorthodox approach to the game and his endless desire, what is it about Tebow that has captured the attention of the NFL and fans around the country?
In a Tuesday column in The Atlantic, Kevin Craft writes that it’s Tebow’s “refreshing seriousness” that challenges the established pro athlete persona and appeals to sports fans.
“The reason Tebow is more than just a passing fad based on new player formation, is his personality. Tebow is a serious young man in a silly adult world. He is an irony-free individual who seems uninterested in developing an athletic persona based upon rehearsed machismo or wink-wink self awareness. He's content to be himself and to give answers that are more straightforward than his downfield passes.
“To quote Grantland's Jay Caspian Kang, Tebow "eyes up the zeitgeist, smiles, and says a prayer for its soul." To put that quote into perspective, Aaron Rodgers recognizes that same zeitgeist, accepts its logic, and then tries to figure out which camera he should wink at.”
Tebow’s honest nature has his teammates following in lock-step behind him and playing the most inspired football the Broncos have seen in years.
From the sideline up to the Mile High luxury boxes, Tebow is making believers out of everyone in the Broncos organization. John Fox was willing to strip down his offense to make the scheme suit Tebow’s unusual skill set and now the sports media is lauding him as a genius.
Hall of Famer and current Denver executive vice president of football operations John Elway — whose mobility was as much of an asset as his arm during a pair of Super Bowl victories with the Broncos — isn’t sold on Tebow yet, but he’s seeing the improvement week to week.
“Am I hopeful that Tim Tebow is our guy? I am very hopeful that Tim Tebow is our guy,” Elway said. “Am I absolutely positive at this point in time? No, I’m not. But I want to believe that and that’s what I want to happen.”
Next up for Denver: a visit to Minnesota to take on the reeling 2-9 Vikings. Any chance the Broncos spare their fans the fourth-quarter drama and win going away?
The League: The man behind Tim Tebow
On Leadership: Putting faith in Tim Tebow