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Elway, others break down Year One of Tebowmania

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On those two or three occasions per year when the folks at GQ decide to chime in on football, my initial reaction is (to borrow a phrase from Brandon Jacobs) “stay cute and shut up.”  Most of the time, however, there’s something in there worth repeating.

Especially when the author is our good friend Michael Silver.  Who has rarely been called “cute” and who even more rarely shuts up.

Silver has compiled an “oral history” of Tim Tebow.  Since I’m finally forcing myself to trudge through the clumsy, narrative-challenged oral history of ESPN, I was prepared to ping-pong from quote to quote in the hopes of trying to find something instructive and/or entertaining from the broader item.

The new quotes loosely track Tebow’s first almost-full season as a starter.  Here are the ones that stuck out.  For those of you who received your “I read the 750 pages of the ESPN book and all I got was this lousy T-shirt” T-shirts, it’ll be a snap (relatively speaking) to breeze through the whole thing.

Vikings defensive end Jared Allen has the most insightful comment of anyone.  (Yes, that’s the first time that specific sentence has ever been uttered in all of human history.)  “You know what the coolest part about the whole thing is?” Allen says.  “And the reason people hate it?  Because it’s showing that the conventional wisdom of coaches isn’t really necessary.  You know, coaches always think they have the winning theory: ‘Our way is the right way!  Blah blah blah!’  Well, here’s a dude that they basically had to scrap the whole offense for and go back to running a college [system].  And they have been successful with it.  Sometimes people think the game is more difficult than it is.  If you find something that works, go with it.  And I don’t really think it has to be a nine-syllable frickin’ play.”

ESPN’s Trent Dilfer wades gingerly, until the last part, into the murky waters of the religious aspect of Tebowmania.  “I don’t have a problem with what Tim Tebow’s doing with [his outspoken Christianity]. I’ve seen him try to articulate why he has the belief and why he believes the things he does, in a very easy way to understand.  He’s not the guy, when the cameras are put in his face, saying, you know, ‘Praise to God, because he supernaturally let that ball hit my receiver!’  You know what I mean?  But he’s up-front with it, and he makes many people uncomfortable.  I do have a problem with what the Christian community is doing with his faith, that they are almost becoming a cult following.  I think it’s an ‘us’ problem, not a ‘him’ problem.”

Dilfer ultimately is right.  Tebow never has tried to suggest that there’s an Angels in the Outfield component to his success.  But others — and there are many, and they are zealous — firmly believe that something more than human is making good things happen for Tebow and the Broncos.  (Except, of course, when they play the Patriots.)

It doesn’t help that guys like Kurt Warner are trying to make the Tebow story into a real-life David-and-Goliath tale.  “To me, it’s a biblical story,” Warner explains.  “That’s what the Bible’s full of: ordinary guys who are able to accomplish extraordinary things, not by their own strength and might but by God’s hands coming with them.  And I think it’s very similar to my story and what people took from me going from a grocery-store clerk to a Super Bowl champion.”

The difference between Warner and Tebow is that Warner ultimately got a chance to demonstrate his abilities as a high-level passer.  Tebow is succeeding without those skills, and he’s desperately trying to establish them in order to keep his job.  That’s what V.P. of football operations John Elway wants to see.

“I get encouraged when I see him working within the system and throwing on time, with good feet. That, to me, is where he’s getting better,” Elway says.  “Consistency and accuracy is gonna come when he gets consistent with his feet.  It’s like a pitcher: The front foot comes down on the same spot every single time. He’s just never really worked on that.”

Former teammate Brandon Lloyd, when asked what Tebow needs to do to become an elite passer on Monday’s PFT Live, had a slightly different focus.  “I think that what he needs to do is what every quarterback does,” Lloyd said.  “It’s about the classroom when it comes to being a quarterback.  Understanding how defenses are covering the offense versus the plays and routes that are being run is over half the battle, because then you can have that anticipation and that timing and then you’re not guessing where you’re throwing the ball. . . .  It’s the ability to understand what the defense is doing when you’re going under center on that particular play and understanding the grand scheme of what they’re trying to do to stop you.”

Regardless of what Tebow needs to do to get there, Elway knows that, if Tebow can, everyone in the organization will benefit.

“He has changed the culture of that locker room. The way he handles his life, the way he is with people, the way he is with media — everybody wants to fight over what he is on the football field, but for the NFL, for the Denver Broncos, he’s perfect,” Elway says.  “He’s a great kid.  You know, people want him to be successful.  And so do I.  Everybody in this building does, too. If he’s the guy that can be our guy for ten, fifteen years, that’s a hell of a deal for us.”

Elway should rethink calling it a “hell” of a deal.  Unless, of course, the only way Tebow can ever get to where he needs to be entails doing a deal with the devil.  And/or Don Draper.

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31 Responses to “Elway, others break down Year One of Tebowmania”
  1. speedlimit41 says: Feb 21, 2012 8:41 AM

    Oh Jesus……!

  2. duanethomas says: Feb 21, 2012 8:56 AM

    Has Kurt Warner or his preacher ever thought that this is a test GOD is putting him through to test his faith. To see how he deals with adversity and there’s a good possibility of failure? When defenses next year play him like New Engalnd did twice and K.C. did at the end of the year? It may be a different testimony for him next year…..just a thought.

  3. 49erstim says: Feb 21, 2012 8:58 AM

    You know its a slow day when we get to talk about Tebow and religion. Giving the glory to GOD for your accomplishments is NOT the same as saying your accomplishment is miraculous. Can we at least get past this aspect of Tebow please? The kid needs to work on his mechanics…. If only there were a Hall of Famer near by to help him…. Oh thats right… I believe the true question to be whether he can overcome those flawed mechanics that have become ingrained in him. Only time will tell.

  4. tfbuckfutter says: Feb 21, 2012 9:01 AM

    For what its worth, I got Trent Dilfer’s autograph when I was a teenager and he played for the Bucs…..he signed his name with a bible verse number under it.

  5. donniebmc says: Feb 21, 2012 9:03 AM

    Is it really necessary to keep telling us that you used to bag groceries..?

  6. yankeemofo says: Feb 21, 2012 9:23 AM

    Real men don’t believe in 2000 year old fairy tales.

  7. maddenisfordorks says: Feb 21, 2012 9:27 AM

    He isn’t even a good quarterback.

    Why don’t we hear about all the other non-good quarter backs?

    This guy can’t even throw a spiral – and we all have to be bombarded with “mania”?

  8. kash71 says: Feb 21, 2012 9:33 AM

    I wonder how much traffic and revenue these Tebow articles generate……

  9. ko5k says: Feb 21, 2012 9:41 AM

    “I do have a problem with what the Christian community is doing with his faith, that they are almost becoming a cult following. I think it’s an ‘us’ problem, not a ‘him’ problem.”

    lolwat?

  10. bubbybrister2 says: Feb 21, 2012 10:24 AM

    I was at my wife’s church last week, and the pastor was talking about Tebow. And how he spreads his faith in a way that every Christian should. Then he said, the fact he threw for 316 yards against the Steelers was a message from God – because of John 3:16.

    I heard my sister-in-law give one of those silent “wow’s” behind me, when he mentioned he threw for 316 yards.

    I was fuming. So ignorant… All the things you wish you could say, but you can’t.

    Damn pulpits.

  11. sportsmeccabi says: Feb 21, 2012 11:03 AM

    I love how some of these idiots are saying Tebow’s success is a message from god. If god is so awesome, why isn’t he helping those starving African children instead helping Tim Tebow win a football game?
    I’m pretty sure Tebow would much rather have god help those people who truly need it rather than helping him win a game.
    Using Tebow to proves gods existence is exactly why atheists make fun of religious people.

  12. Brian Keith Wallen says: Feb 21, 2012 11:08 AM

    What really stuck out to me in that article were Brady Quinn’s comments. Talking about how Tebow doesn’t seem humble, and how he’s just been lucky. Wow. Doesn’t exactly paint the picture of Brady Quinn being a supportive teammate of any sort.

  13. yahmule says: Feb 21, 2012 11:09 AM

    To suggest God is directly responsible for Tim Tebow’s success is to say God is also directly responsible for the millions of innocent children who die from malnutrition and dysentery every year. I’m open to that conversation if Kurt Warner has any input.

    I do think it’s quite reasonable to suggest Tebow’s belief in God might be a contributing factor to his success. I think it gives him a tremendous level of confidence during adversity. It also motivates him to work hard and live up to the image that he projects. I think a comparison could be made to Muhammad Ali, who seemed to use his belief in God almost as a form of auto-hypnosis to win matches nobody expected him to win.

    I am not a religious person. I’m open to the idea of a supernatural entity, but don’t personally see the hand of God in any of the major religions. I have little patience for the multitudes who use religion to enrich themselves or to persecute others. I do appreciate individuals like Tebow who seem genuinely sincere about their beliefs, while also being outwardly kind and respectful to the people around them.

    I think Tebow will have continued success as a member of the Broncos. I believe John Elway is firmly in his corner because he knows Tebow will work as hard as he can do improve his weaknesses on the field.

  14. CKL says: Feb 21, 2012 11:20 AM

    ko5k says:
    Feb 21, 2012 9:41 AM
    “I do have a problem with what the Christian community is doing with his faith, that they are almost becoming a cult following. I think it’s an ‘us’ problem, not a ‘him’ problem.”

    lolwat?
    –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
    I think what Dilfer means is that some of the Christian faith (and he’s including himself) are championing Tebow SOLELY due to his faith instead of his abilities and that Dilfer’s not a fan of that angle.

  15. duanemccoy says: Feb 21, 2012 11:30 AM

    Why did you leave out Brady Quinns quotes? I saw those on another article and thought they were pretty interesting.

  16. Matt says: Feb 21, 2012 11:32 AM

    Unless Tebow wants to bang his publicist, then I’m not sure he needs to break any deals with Don Draper. Stay away from the smokes and bourbon, Tebow.

  17. anrgydeafman says: Feb 21, 2012 11:35 AM

    “speedlimit41 says:

    Oh Jesus……!”

    Didn’t you mean to say: “Oh, Tebow…….!”?

  18. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Feb 21, 2012 11:40 AM

    49erstim says:
    Feb 21, 2012 8:58 AM
    You know its a slow day when we get to talk about Tebow and religion. Giving the glory to GOD for your accomplishments is NOT the same as saying your accomplishment is miraculous. Can we at least get past this aspect of Tebow please?
    _________

    Absolutely! Tebow is a gifted quarterback (although differently gifted from the traditional quarterback). All he’s doing is praising God for giving him the gifts he uses to win or sometimes lose football games. He’s just acknowledging James 1:17: “Every good and perfect gift comes from above.”

  19. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Feb 21, 2012 11:42 AM

    yankeemofo says:
    Feb 21, 2012 9:23 AM
    Real men don’t believe in 2000 year old fairy tales.
    __________

    I’d love to hear about what fairy tales you believe in. Tell me about the one where the universe spontaneously created itself.

  20. blackdonnelly says: Feb 21, 2012 11:43 AM

    sportsmeccabi: I couldn’t have said it any better myself – you nailed it.

  21. apmn says: Feb 21, 2012 11:47 AM

    sportsmeccabi,
    I agree, God probably doesn’t care who wins a football game.
    But, I think that God wants you and me to help those starving African children. And we wouldn’t have gotten a chance to talk about those poor kids without this Tebow thread.

  22. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Feb 21, 2012 11:49 AM

    sportsmeccabi says:
    Feb 21, 2012 11:03 AM
    I love how some of these idiots are saying Tebow’s success is a message from god. If god is so awesome, why isn’t he helping those starving African children instead helping Tim Tebow win a football game?
    I’m pretty sure Tebow would much rather have god help those people who truly need it rather than helping him win a game.
    Using Tebow to proves gods existence is exactly why atheists make fun of religious people.
    ___________

    I don’t know if anyone is pointing to Tebow to prove God’s existence, and I don’t think there are as many people as people assume who think God is helping Tebow win football games. Even if he were, don’t you think God can multitask?

  23. ebeg420 says: Feb 21, 2012 11:58 AM

    If God is helping Tebow……I guess he doesn’t help any Defensive Players?

    Was God an Offensive Minded guy?

    Come on MANNNNN!!!!

  24. thingamajig says: Feb 21, 2012 12:10 PM

    The one good thing about this post is that it doesn’t mention Peyton Manning.

  25. briang123 says: Feb 21, 2012 12:14 PM

    Brady Quinn came across as a jealous little girl. Hilarious.

    Funny how Tebow is no different than the majority of African-American players when it comes to his open religiousness yet no one seems to complain about them. I don’t recall anyone hinting that Reggie White needed to shut up and play.

  26. maddenisfordorks says: Feb 21, 2012 12:38 PM

    We just proved it.

    God loves offense.

    That explains the rule changes.

  27. megabeast37215 says: Feb 21, 2012 12:55 PM

    @Thankheavenfornumberseven

    Alot of us non-believers are quite content with the concept of “I don’t know how the universe was created.” The truth is that you don’t know either, you believe something but you truely don’t KNOW it. For you to know something it has to be a fact, there is no factual proof a diety exists. I don’t know how everything was created and I’ll die not knowing, and so will you.

  28. bubbybrister2 says: Feb 21, 2012 1:17 PM

    Part II: the other thing he mentioned (the pastor) was that Tebow was listed as the most hated athlete by some poll. He corrolated this to how Jesus was the most hated man among the Romans. Religious Persecution blah blah blah…

    To me, this is so not the case. I think most people can agree that it’s not Tebow, the man, that we hate. It’s the media celebrating someone with a below 50 completion percentage. In some cases, making less than 10 throws in a game.

    This speaks less of his ability and more of the defense and running game.

    The fact Tebow is praised for winning those games, people, like me and Frank Grimes, see him as a Homer Simpson. Someone who always comes in right at the end and gets the credit others are more deserving of.

  29. timmyindenver says: Feb 21, 2012 1:20 PM

    Well, Tebow was playing with injuries in his last game – contusions to both wrists, ankles and lacerations to the forehead.

  30. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Feb 21, 2012 2:08 PM

    megabeast37215 says:
    Feb 21, 2012 12:55 PM
    @Thankheavenfornumberseven

    Alot of us non-believers are quite content with the concept of “I don’t know how the universe was created.” The truth is that you don’t know either, you believe something but you truely don’t KNOW it. For you to know something it has to be a fact, there is no factual proof a diety exists. I don’t know how everything was created and I’ll die not knowing, and so will you.
    _____________

    No, I don’t KNOW it. I have faith, which is based on reason. You have faith that God doesn’t exist. I’m not sure what that’s based on, because there’s an awful lot of stuff around here that didn’t get here by itself.

  31. gadgetdawg says: Feb 21, 2012 2:30 PM

    yankeemofo says:
    Feb 21, 2012 9:23 AM
    Real men don’t believe in 2000 year old fairy tales.
    ———————————-

    Real men aren’t so insecure in their disbelief that they feel the need to log in to an internet sports site to mock those that do.

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