The Denver Broncos now lead the AFC West at 8-5, 7-1 with Tim Tebow as their starting quarterback. Here’s the list of quarterbacks with higher winning percentages this year than Tebow: Aaron Rodgers — and nobody else.The site where I got this is pretty much representative of the Tebow haters. You can go there if you wish and read his take on Costas' remarks, but it's clear that Tebow is living rent-free inside this guy's head. It's really funny how Tebow inspires such acrimony from his critics.
And the truth is, there’s nobody else quite like Tebow. No fewer than five of his seven victories have featured late fourth quarter comebacks. Approaching — okay, we’ll say it — the miraculous.
Again today, Tebow did next to nothing until the waning moments, and then, down 10-0 with two minutes left, he throws a touchdown pass, and the Broncos tie it at the gun on a 59-yard field goal. And then win it in overtime on a 51 yarder. The combination of Denver’s continuing late heroics, and today, the Bears otherwise unexplainable errors, is enough to have some at least suspect divine intervention. Except that Tebow, whose sincere faith cannot be questioned, and should be respected, also has the good sense, and good grace, to make it clear he does not believe God takes a hand in the outcome of games.
Most of us are good with that. Otherwise, how to explain what happens when there are equal numbers of believers on either side. Or why so many of those same believers came up empty facing Sandy Koufax. Or hit the deck against Muhammad Ali. Or why the almighty wouldn’t have better things to do.
Still, there is no doubt that Tebow and his team benefit from his honest belief. How? Frank Bruni put it well in today’s New York Times. Whatever Tebow may lack in classic NFL quarterbacking traits, he possesses other qualities in abundance. And in his case, those qualities — confidence, equanimity, optimism — and a presence that can’t be explained, but can certainly be felt. The whole Tebow persona derives from how he sees the world, and his place in it. Those qualities, no matter how one comes by them, are an asset, perhaps especially in sports.
Good for Tebow, and those who share his beliefs. And those who don’t can still acknowledge, and appreciate, that who Tim Tebow is, is not only genuine, but for the moment at least, it makes him and the Broncos, one of the most fascinating, and in whatever sense you interpret it, uplifting stories in sports.
Monday, December 12, 2011
After Tim Tebow's latest last-minute heroics in the game against Chicago yesterday, sportscaster Bob Costas offered a commentary on Tebow's success that I think is pretty much right on the money: