Friday, November 18, 2011

Tebow Quiets His Doubters


It’s a good thing Denver is that much closer to heaven. For although the Mile High City is closer to heaven, for a humbled specimen who strongly worships God, Tim Tebow feels he’s closer to home, a place he embraces dearly.

He won the game for the Broncos, praising the man above, quieting his critics in a prime time showdown against the Jets. While many people doubted him, cynics who were never too fond of the unproven star, those folks are now dropping their jaws, watching an evangelistic figure install trust and faith within an organization that suddenly welcomes Tebow with open arms.

That’s because he’s producing wins, and even as a prolific quarterback, has uplifted promise and buoyancy. In Tebow we trust – in Tebow Denver trust, a community impressed by his work ethic and attitude to win games, entering each week with a sense of humility and poise.

But across the country, he’s probably the most polarizing athlete who is denied, despite that he is truly a hero in a fun-loving town where the population reveres football as a ritual – like a religion almost only one known as Tebow Mania.

With 58 seconds left, he saw the blitz, he saw the bull-rushing defenders storming toward him, and then cut back and darted past Jets’ defenders into the end zone. Whether you doubt him or endorse him, and believe he’s not good enough to be a quarterback, think again.

Watching the breathtaking finish, Broncos’ fans had a wild party in the stands – loud chants were heard throughout the stadium, the kind of decibels that rattled a feverish crowd. This after Tebow stood as a hero on the night he proved he was capable of being a star in this league.

That star was born when he escaped the hurried pressure, stormed his way past defenders and safety Eric Smith and ran into the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown score, a game-winning play that negated doubt and criticism.

“We have a resilient team,” Tebow said after the Broncos 17-13 win over the Jets.

He brings a fairy tale feel to the folks in Denver, the same people who begged for head coach John Fox to play the kindhearted and zealous quarterback. This choice is benefiting Denver in every sense, from its revenue, inflating through the presence of an iconic figure as people in support of the Broncos purchase his No. 15 jerseys, buy tickets for games to witness Tebow close and personal and worship the burgeoning star who is fun to watch. He sent, in hindsight, the Broncos a third straight victory, and now they are 4-1 since Tebow replaced Kyle Orton.

In most cases, not advertised as a franchise quarterback with his unbalanced throwing motion, by being an aggressor set on that he can lead the Broncos, he works harder each day and spend ample time in the weight room. In one of the most exciting finishes, Tebow is unsatisfied, anxious to watch film and evaluate what he can accomplish and where he can improve in his game.

The impact of his confidence and heroics lifted the Broncos, but it’s not good enough for Tebow. He’s not being ungrateful, a blessed man who is thankful for his heroism and dexterity, but he is willing to arrive for practice the next day and improve his mechanics to eventually evolve into an elite quarterback. But even so, he is unselfish not only thinking about himself and instead aiming to produce wins for his teammates and the coaching staff which actually believes in him.

It’s hard to sugarcoat, for what’s been an experiment as the Broncos were able to find out what Tebow had to offer, that he’s a gifted football player with intangibles, fortitude and personality in leading his team. It’s always a feel-good story anytime an athlete or role model influence kids with his mellifluous messages that eloquently sends powerful advice to children.

It’s always a feel-good story anytime a beloved athlete is embraced, not only for his intrepidity on the field but his encouragement to give back to others, such as preaching to inmates in prisons, donating to charities, circumcising children in the Philippines where he’s done plenty of missionary work. It’s always a feel-good story anytime a man is loved for, not only being a star player but announcing his foundation was building a children’s hospital in the Philippines.

On that final drive, as the clock ran down, Tebow crossed the goal line for the game-winner, one fans in Denver will talk about for decades to come. If there was anyone more exhilarated, it was John Elway standing and applauding his second-year quarterback after an incredible finish.

Maybe it was good to make a transition from Orton to Tebow, now that the Broncos have won three games in 12 days and have the best 5-5 record, currently at .500 and moved within the AL West division race.

If not for Tebow, this game was boring to watch. If not for him, this game was putting everybody to sleep. If not for Tebow, it was more fun to stare at people in a pie eating competition, rather than spend so much time watching two mediocre teams try to find themselves.

God bless the 95-yard drive. That set up Tebow’s remarkable run to the end zone, but more importantly, it quieted all his doubters, his skeptics who said he’d never be NFL-caliber. Proves they were wrong. Proves he is stunning the entire world with his wills.

Proves he is stunning the entire world with his stamina and speed. Proves he is succeeding effectively like when he led Florida to back-to-back national championships, won a Heisman award and lastly was selected by the Broncos in the 2010 NFL Draft.

“I said before, I trust him. I trust him with everything,” teammate Von Miller said about Tebow. “No matter how many interceptions he throws, no matter how many touchdowns he throws. I’m going to ride him to the end. I hope he shut up a bunch of his critics today.”

I think he has silenced many of his critics.

Evidently so, he is the devout Christian who advertises his faith, defying wisdom and all odds that quiets many disbelievers. The time came when he was built to bull his way into the corner of the end zone and celebrate with his exhilarating teammates. Running a rare style of offense, a description the other quarterbacks are not exploiting in their game plans, Tebow has functioned brilliantly and completed 9 of 20 passes for 104 yards Thursday night.

Given that he has produced three fourth-quarter comeback victories in his eight overall starts, which he is becoming a clutch performer in the league and urging us to witness miraculous finishes, Tebow is the star in the Broncos future.

“You got to give the kid credit,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said unsurely.

Yes, he deserves all credit. He doesn’t deserve criticism, but regards and appreciation. Fair enough.

This, however, was a lousy game to begin and the Broncos played like they were on a planet called the Lost World. The Broncos sputtered offensively, for the first 54 minutes and advanced within scoring position multiple times but only came away with three points. The lone touchdown came by Andre Goodman’s 26-yard interception return. Later on, Jets’ Nick Folk drilled a 45-yard field goal that broke a 10-10 tie.

That’s when the Broncos’ fans waited patiently for Tebow to create magic and indeed he rebounded with the last laugh on the night. But not before Eddie Royal called for a fair catch on a punt at the Broncos 5-yard line with 5:54 remaining. It was all on Tebow, and again, he prevailed. For a series of plays, he completed a pass for 8 yards to Royal on first down and Tebow ran for 15 yards.

It’s as if angels were with him at every step of the way, throwing another pass for 9 yards and advanced out to the Broncos 37. And yet, after he completed some passes, Tebow rushed for yards and connected on an 18-yard throw. Everyone was left to wonder, until he pushed to the 20 and then leveled his way into the end zone.

It’s definitely fair to admit that he’s also getting help from his supporting cast and the Broncos’ defense has played sensationally. In the end, he was mobbed by his teammates and fans chanted proudly. Shortly after, he dropped to one knee and sent his thanks to the man above by saying a brief prayer.

“In Tebow we trust.”

Yes, in Tebow they trust.