English: Tebow proving critics wrong

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2011

So much for “conventional wisdom”.

Ever since the Denver Broncos made former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow their first-round pick in the NFL draft, we’ve listened to all the reasons why it was a poor decision.

“He’s not a pocket passer.” “He runs the ball too much.” “He’s going to have to completely re-work his throwing motion.” “His footwork’s all wrong.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Even his own team…who could’ve chosen anyone they wanted for their first draft pick, and decided on Tebow…didn’t seem convinced they had made a smart decision. Their coach seemed determined to stick with Kyle Orton, I suppose because he is a “pocket passer” with good footwork who doesn’t run the ball much. It certainly wasn’t because he was leading them to wins, because that wasn’t happening.

They obviously saw SOMETHING they liked in Tebow. You would think being touted as arguably the best college football player of all time would garner the guy a little more consideration. Not to mention having one of the most successful careers ever as a quarterback in the toughest conference in the nation.

When Tebow finally got his first start in Miami, he engineered an improbable comeback overtime victory, after trailing 15-0 with less than 6:00 to play in the game. But even then, the nay-sayers dismissed it as luck, choosing to dwell instead on the mistakes and poor decisions he had made in the first three quarters.

When the Broncos lost the following week with Tebow at the wheel, you could hear all the “see there’s” and “told ya so’s” coming from every direction.

But Tebow and the Broncos won again the next week…and the next week…and the next week…

At some point along the way, legendary Broncos QB John Elway was asked if he believed the Broncos had their quarterback of the future, and without hesitation, he replied “no”. But he was not alone in his assessment. The vast majority of the national sports commentators echoed his opinion.

One thing I’ve noticed about the national media as a whole: they have a very difficult time admitting they were wrong.

Over and over again they tried to convince the growing throngs of Tebow fans that they obviously didn’t understand what an NFL quarterback should be. He doesn’t fit the mold of a Peyton Manning or a Tom Brady or an Aaron Rodgers. Week after week they flaunted the gaudy stats of Carolina rookie QB Cam Newton, as if to say “now THAT is the kind of numbers you want your first draft pick to have!!”

And all the time, the talking heads at ESPN and elsewhere seemed to be ignoring one other significant stat: wins and losses.

In his first eight starts as an NFL quarterback, Tim Tebow has now led his team to seven wins and only one loss. During their current six-game win streak, the last four have been 4th quarter comebacks.

Someone in the ESPN Stats and Info department calculated the odds against the Broncos winning all six of those games at 1 in 137, 000. To put that in perspective, that’s roughly the same as flipping a coin and having it come up heads 17 consecutive times.

Some have chosen to call it Tebow Magic. Some still say it’s luck. Still others, though they don’t often come right out and say it, refer to how outspoken Tebow is about his faith, and wonder if he could possibly be – to borrow a phrase from the Blues Brothers – “on a mission from God”.

Whatever you choose to call it, there is no doubt that Tebow has some kind of special leadership quality that can’t be measured with statistics. He has managed somehow to inspire his teammates to greater heights when they have needed it the most.

If nothing else, it’s great to see a professional athlete making headlines for all the right reasons for a change.