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The Early Lead
Posted at 11:35 AM ET, 01/12/2012

Today in Tim Tebow: Pop songs, babies and divine intervention

Tim Tebow’s overtime touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas last Sunday knocked off the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers and extended the Denver Broncos’ improbable run.

Just as importantly for sports TV and radio programming directors, talking heads, late-night hosts and bloggers, it kept this year’s most talked about sports figure in the spotlight for at least one more week.

The Broncos take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Saturday night at Gillette Stadium in a game that could set another TV ratings record.

Tebow is like the Tickle Me Elmo of the 2011 holiday season. The man is everywhere, and whether he’s being praised by his growing legion of fans or ripped to shreds by analysts who maintain he can’t make it as an NFL quarterback, his national notoriety continues to skyrocket.

Broncos fans and football outsiders alike are inspired by Tebow’s ability to lead his team, and many by his strong Christian faith. John Parr was so inspired, in fact, that he rewrote his 1985 classic “St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)” in Tebow’s honor. Naturally, the song is called “Tim Tebow’s Fire.”

“I was inspired by Tim Tebow so I wanted to modify the lyrics ... in his honor of the way that he lives his life as being a great example,” Parr told Fox31 Denver on Monday.

Parr first performed the song live on ESPN in October and has since released a new song dedicated to his football idol called “Just a Man”.

But many are questioning whether Tebow is, in fact, just a man.

In a new poll of more than 1,000 registered voters conducted by Poll Position, among the 70 percent who said they were aware of Tim Tebow, 43 percent said they believed Tebow’s success could be attributed to divine intervention.

Speaking of polls, a December poll conducted by ESPN Sports Poll found that among Americans aged 12 and older, Tebow is currently the nation’s favorite active athletes. Kobe Bryant, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, finished behind Tebow in the 18-year poll, which included about 1,500 Americans. According to ESPN, Tebow grabbed the top spot faster than any other athlete in the history of the poll.

Said ESPN Sports Poll director Rich Luker:

“To put this in perspective, Tim Tebow rose to the top before the end of his second season. It took Tiger Woods three years, LeBron James eight years and Kobe Bryant 11 years. I think we may be at the front end of a new era in sports stars. Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods dominated the top of the list for 17 years. Woods’ fall in 2009 seems to have opened the doors for Bryant, James and now Tebow.”

The NFL clearly can’t get enough of Tebow either, as evidenced by NFL.com’s somewhat disturbing gallery titled: ‘Tim Tebow’s celebrity marriage: What would the kids look like?’ You’ve got your standard stars du jour in there like Katy Perry (doesn’t seem to be quite Tebow’s type), Beyonce (I believe she’s taken), Lady Gaga (he does like to sing) and Kim Kardashian (she does like the athletes), but then things get a little weird with Selena Gomez (she’s 19!), Oprah (she’s 57!!) and Michele Bachmann (could’ve used his endorsement). See the full gallery here.

And while the whole Tebowing trend may have jumped the shark long ago — although it has certainly lasted longer than owling or batting — credit the old classic Tecmo Bowl for jumping on board with this tee-shirt.

How long will Tebow Mania last? Until they lose in the playoffs (assuming that happens at some point)? Until the Broncos bench him for a more traditional-style quarterback (assuming that happens at some point)? Never?

Charles Barkley isn’t the only person tiring of all the hoopla surrounding Tebow and the Broncos, but for now, at least, Tebow doesn’t appear to be disappearing anytime soon.

(H/T Shutdown Corner)

More on Tebow and the NFL playoffs:

Early Lead: Charles Barkley has had enough of Tim Tebow

NFL playoffs: Divisional round schedule, previews

Early Lead: Josh McDaniels brings the knowledge when it comes to Tim Tebow, Tom Brady

Tebow more of an enigma now that he’s shown he can win with his arm, too

Under God: Why I believe in Tim Tebow

Tracee Hamilton: Tim Tebow is must-see TV

By  |  11:35 AM ET, 01/12/2012

 
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