Written by Joe Kleinsasser Tuesday, 13 December 2011 16:44
It’s too soon to say how Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow will fare over the long haul. But initially, he’s confounded the experts, whoever they are.
Even those who are critical of Tebow’s technique and poor footwork in the pocket don’t deny that he is a great guy. But being a great guy isn’t what it’s all about in the NFL.
There are those who say you can’t win in the NFL with a running quarterback, and yet, Denver has won more than its share of games with this option-style quarterback.
No one denies he’s one of the best-to-ever-play quarterback in college, but that was then and this is now. Nearly all NFL experts say you have to pass the ball to win. It’s not that running doesn’t matter, but if that’s what you’re counting on, forget it in the pass-happy NFL.
The experts are unsure how the unorthodox quarterback is winning. Some think it’s pure luck; others think it’s magic. Few think it will last for long.
The phrase that best sums up Tebow’s football career is: “He’s a winner.” His statistics pale in comparison to many NFL quarterbacks, except one—wins and losses.
Tebow, a first-round pick by Denver, was the 25th overall pick in the NFL draft in 2010. Experts thought it was a wasted pick. He simply didn’t fit the profile for the NFL.
Tebow was born in Makati City in the Philippines, the son of Pamela Pemberton Tebow, daughter of a U.S. Army colonel, and Robert Ramsey Tebow, a pastor, who were serving as Christian Baptist missionaries at the time.
According to Wikipedia, his mother suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba while pregnant with Tim. Because of the drugs used to rouse her from a coma and to treat her dysentery, the fetus experienced a severe placental abruption. Doctors had expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion to protect her life, but she remained undaunted and refused having an abortion.
His upbringing hardly fits the mold for athletic success, but Tebow is the first home-schooled athlete to win the Heisman Trophy.
There are enough polarizing aspects to his life to make him controversial in many circles. Most notably, Tebow has brought a lot of attention to himself for his Christian faith.
The fact that he is clean-cut seems to make him a lightning rod in the realm of public opinion. On one hand, he’s a wonderful example of how to handle fame and fortune. On the other hand, people are wondering if anyone can be that good. Surely there must be skeletons in the closet.
If so, they’re still in the closet and in this day of social media, one suspects that with Tebow, what you see is what you get.
Listening to the radio, I heard the interviewer ask one of Tebow’s Broncos teammates if he’s really a good guy. His response was something along the lines of, “Yeah. I’ve never even heard him swear.”
His coach John Fox said, “He’s real. He walks the walk. A guy like that in today’s society, in my mind, ought to be celebrated, not scrutinized to the level that he is.”
Intangibles are hard to measure, but whatever they are, he’s got it and it is contagious.
Tebow talks a lot about the importance of team, and unlike some athletes, when he says it, it’s believable.
Some experts will say the Broncos are winning because of the defense. Others say they’ve won in spite of Tebow.
Sportswriter Ian O’Connor said, “Tebow is either the NFL’s best bad player or worst good player, take your pick.”
Tebow seems to handle critics better than most.
“You’re always going to have naysayers,” Tebow said. “I’ve had them since I was 7 years old trying to play quarterback at Lakeshore.”
He cares about far more than football. The foundation Tebow started will help finance construction of a children’s hospital in the Philippines.
Who knows if he’s the real deal as an NFL quarterback, but those who know him best say he’s the real deal when it comes to living what he believes.