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The Early Lead
Posted at 01:52 PM ET, 10/31/2011

Tim Tebow gets an up-close look at Tebowing by Lions players

After sacking Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch mimics him by “Tebowing.” (Justin Edmonds / Getty Images)

Tebow, in his pregame moment. (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images)
It’s one thing when Tebowing, an internet meme of a religious player kneeling before he plays an in­cred­ibly dangerous game, catches fire — including to the Twitter avatar of Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper.

But doesn’t it seem a little bit like taunting — a flag-worthy offense — when it happens on the field, after a play during a game?

Tim Tebow, the Denver Broncos’ quarterback, struggled in his second consecutive start (he even saw an interception returned 100 yards for a touchdown) and was mimicked by Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch after a sack Sunday. Tony Scheffler did it, too, although he went with a half-Tebow, combined with a Mile High salute, after a touchdown reception in the Lions’ 45-10 victory. Maybe it shouldn’t be such a surprise; the NFL’s own website had billed Broncos-Lions as a battle between good and evil.

Tulloch later said he was “wasn’t mocking him or anything. Everyone is doing it. I figured if I got to him, I would do it, too.”

After the game, he stopped to talk to Tebow, who was sacked seven times by the Lions. “I just told him to keep his head up. Better days are going to come for him,” Tulloch said. “He knows that. He was a winner in college. He’ll respond.”

Broncos Coach John Fox wasn’t saying after the loss whether Tebow would start Sunday against Oakland. “It's too early to say. I haven't even had a shower yet, let alone looked at the tape,” Fox said. “We've definitely got to get better.”

And perhaps Tebow isn’t the guy to take the Broncos to the next level, as Denver Post columnist Mark Kiszla sees it.

So maybe we need a new definition for Tebowing.

It’s a prayer for mercy.

Please, in the name of heaven, bring us somebody who can actually play quarterback.

There’s a line between football and religion and Tulluch reminded people about that today via Twitter: “I have a love & passion for the game of football. Football is a form of entertainment. Have a sense of humor, I wasn't mocking GOD! #Tebowing


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