Just to be up front, I wish the Vikings had 44 Tim Tebows.Tebow is the ideal role model. Morally upright guy. Helps the poor and less fortunate. Yet for some, it's that religion thing. They can't stand that.
I wish they had 44 solid, respectful, genuine, caring human beings. I wish they had 44 winners.
"I'll say this: The guy wins," Denver coach John Fox noted after his team's 35-32 victory over the Vikings. "He does it with his feet. He does it with his arm. He's young, and he's going to get better."
And,yes, after Tebow's postgame news conference he thanked everyone for attending and dropped a quick "God bless" as he stepped from the podium. For whatever reason, that will get people all shook up. It continues to get him labeled as being controversial. For some, that's simply being too far over the top.
Well, it's better than being the type of fellow who gets arrested for DUIs, domestic assault and/or drug possession. Maybe people are angry because he comes into their town and kicks the bejesus (no pun intended) out of their team. Against the Vikings, he delivered his most shocking performance in season filled with shocking performances. He played the role of conventional quarterback.
"It's crazy," he said with a laugh. "I try to do whatever they ask of me, whether it's sit in the pocket or make a play."
Tebow is considered something of a wild man on the field, almost always running instead of passing and rarely even trying to avoid big hits from the defense. But the Broncos'old-time option offense was nowhere to be found Sunday. That's because the Vikings' secondary is so horrible that it made a pocket passer out of Tebow.
"However you can win, that's what we'll go with," he said.
Tebow last week carried 22 times, an NFL single-game record for a quarterback. His 468 rushing yards this season mark a franchise record for a quarterback. Yet against the Vikings he ran just four times for 13 yards. Instead, he either handed off in the traditional manner or operated out of the pocket. He did scramble a few times, but no more than Christian Ponder.
He completed 10 of 15 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. His quarterback rating was an astronomical 149.3. It was his best passing day of the season, yet afterward he took no credit.
"I know I had a lot of help," he said. "The offensive line did a great job, and the receivers stepped up and made me look better than I am."
"I would have bet my paycheck that he would not have beat us passing the ball," Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said.
But he did. This guy has taken a lot of knocks, but it should be noted that on Sunday the Broncos moved into first place in the AFC West. They've won six of seven since he took over at quarterback. And, again, they were behind for most of the game. Tebow gets them in the end zone when he has to.
"I don't know if we're thriving on it," he said of the comeback victories. "We'd like to have been ahead a lot earlier."
With regards to yet another comeback victory, Fox said: "Thank the Lord for some big-hearted guys."
Uh-oh, it's spreading. Get out the brickbats. Another guy has gone over the top! Another fanatic is on the loose. And it's likely Tebow's fault. There is no room in sports for this sort of talk. Keep the criminals in jail and the religious in churches, damn it.
"He is a miracle maker," said Broncos receiver Eric Decker, a former Gopher.
Now I'm beginning to read religious references into everything. Just exactly what does Decker mean by "miracle maker?"
"He's the comeback kid," Deck er said. "That's what we call him. He brings this attitude about him. He's so positive and always optimistic. That does rub off on guys. ... If we have a chance to win, we're going to win."
As for the Vikings, there just isn't much to say. They were in control of the football for 37:51 of the 60 minutes and still gave up a ton of points. They are just very, very bad. The next highlight for Vikings fans will be the draft party in April.
Meanwhile, some guys just know how to win. I find myself becoming an admirer of Tim Tebow. People who take shots at him because of his beliefs can go to hell.
Over the top? If that's what makes a decent person, everyone should be over the top. Anyone who has a problem with him should redirect their concern to the ultra-religious who strap themselves with explosives and blow up shopping malls. Then they'd have a legitimate gripe.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Tebow mania and the religious animus of some of his detrators.
Here's a funny sport's Pioneer Press piece by Tom Powers on Tim Tebow's detractors. He points out, a bit irreverently, that Tebow's detractors go nuts because of his mention of God.