I’ve always admired Tim Tebow as a person and as an athlete for his accomplishments on the collegiate level.  To say I’ve always been a Tebow fan would be inaccurate.  For one, I think his focus on religion does go a tad overboard, and there’s no way I believe he’s still a virgin.  Google “Tim Tebow Girlfriend”.  Here, I’ll save you some time

As an alumnus of THE Binghamton University, I’ve never been much of a college football fan.  We’ve never even had a football team.

The closest I ever got to experiencing what it was like to go to a big-time football school was my one visit to Ped Penn State to see Larry Johnson run all over Virginia my freshman year (2002).  I sat in the student section right behind the band in the endzone and had to stand the whole time, dead sober.  The game was a blowout but I could care less.  I was more interested in getting back to my friend’s dorm room to start pregaming for the night.

While that was the only D-1 football game I’ve ever attended, I did not go deprived of college pigskin for the rest of my glory days.  A neighboring SUNY school 35 miles away by the name of Cortland, or C-State as they call it, was my home away from home.  Every November, the Cortland Red Dragons face off against the Ithaca Bombers in a game Sports Illustrated once dubbed “the biggest little game in the nation” and I was lucky enough to attend every single year.  They call it the Cortaca Jug, my friends and I call it the best party weekend of our lives.

I was not your casual Cortland Red Dragons fan, no sir.  This yearly tradition of Cortaca Jug weekends was nothing like my Nittany Lion experience.  I led chants.  I made t-shirts.  I dressed up as a big Red Dragon one year.  If Cortland won, you better believe I stormed the field.  I even grabbed the game ball one year and punted it way into the Ithaca stands.  It was awesome.


So needless to say, I can respect Tim Tebow for what he did for Florida.  He was the man down there.  Heisman winner.  2 National Championships.  Arguably the best D-1 college football player ever if not the most passionate.  The guy wanted to win so badly that when he didn’t, his post-game words were forever enshrined on a plaque at Florida to remind everyone how much Tim Tebow wanted to win.  He’s always been a gamer.

Tim Tebow’s illustrious career at Florida was no accident.  He wasn’t lucky.  He didn’t win on fluke plays.  He was successful because he’s an incredible athlete, has a passion for the game and the will to win.  Tebow may not have the most technical throwing motion or the accuracy of other great quarterbacks, but his intangibles are off the charts.  Unfortunately, intangibles don’t factor in too high on Mel Kiper Jr’s draft board.

Shunned by analysts everywhere, it was hard to believe that Tebow would be a first round draft pick.  If any team was going to take him in the first round, I thought for sure it was going to be Jacksonville.  Floridians worship the ground Tim Tebow walks on.  He’d sell a few thousand season tickets and a million jerseys in Jacksonville alone.  A team that needed a QB, it made sense for them to trade down and get him.  Only it didn’t happen.  Josh McDaniels saw something in Tebow not many others did and snatched him up with the 25th pick overall.  Kiper Jr scoffed in disbelief, and to be honest so did I.

I thought he’d be a 3rd maybe 2nd round pick at best. If you draft a QB in the first round you’re committed to the guy, no question.  I, like everyone else, was eager to see how this would work out.

Obviously Tebow wasn’t going to start right away.  Kyle Orton was coming off a solid season and was clearly the man in Denver going into the 2010 season.  Tebow got light work in the first game but didn’t see the field much except for a few package plays here and there.  After a 4 game losing streak solidified Denver’s fate, Tebow got the starting nod for the final 3 games of the season when Denver was clearly out of playoff contention.

The fans were ecstatic.  The #15 jersey was the top seller in the NFL, regardless of the fact that Tebow wasn’t even #1 on the depth chart.  In Denver, the fans truly believed that Tebow was going to be their savior.

Tebow went 1-2 in his 3 starts, showing flashes of what he was capable of but he was in no way the clear starter heading into the 2011 season.  Sure enough, training camp was over and Kyle Orton found himself at his familiar #1 spot on the depth chart.  Tebow, 3rd behind Orton and Brady Quinn.

The Denver fans were furious.  “We want Tebow” they chanted.  Tim was their guy.  They didn’t care for Orton and his hideous neck beard.  They wanted the Mile High Messiah so bad, they even put up billboards.

and my favorite,

I don

In Week 5 with the Broncos sitting at 1-3, Tebow got his chance.  After another disappointing start, Orton was benched in the 3rd quarter in favor of Tim Tebow.  He immediately sparked the team, made some big plays but could not bring the Broncos all the way back to victory.  Going into the bye week, Coach John Fox had a serious decision to make when it came to his starting Quarterback.

I sure wasn’t surprised when Tebow started the Week 7 match up against the lowly Dolphins.  It was what the fans wanted, Kyle Orton was fat, ugly and losing games while Tebow was coming off a solid performance.  This was a must watch game but for 3 3/4 quarters it was UGLY.  That is, until Tebow-time.

With 2:44 left and the Broncos down 15-0, Tebow threw a touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas.  They recovered the onside kick.  Scored again.  Tebow rushed to the right for the 2 point conversion, Prater kicked a game winning field goal in overtime, and the latest sensation began sweeping the nation, Tebowing.

Again, I was happy for Tebow.  He was proving the naysayers wrong and did the impossible.  After 3 quarters of “should have started Orton” football, the first of many Denver miracles occurred.  The Broncos were now 2-4 and Tebow 1-0 as a starter this season.  I wasn’t a fan yet as more doubts would follow after a 45-10 drubbing vs Detroit, but then the miracles would happen again, and again, and again.

First they beat Oakland.  Then Kansas City.  “Cupcake games” I said.  “They’ll never beat my Jets”.  They beat the Jets.  A miracle win against the Chargers in overtime.  A comback win against Minnesota.  Tebowing was all over the place, I was rooting for the guy, but it wasn’t until the comeback win against the Bears when I considered myself a full-fledged Tim Tebow fan.

Working on Sundays, I don’t have the opportunity to get out to Soldier Field for the games.  I’ve been invited a few times this year but had to turn the ticket down each time.  I knew a few guys who went to the game and after Tebow led yet another furious 4th quarter comeback and overtime victory I mass-texted  “How does it feel to get Tebowned?”

That was it for me.  “I’m going all in” I said.  “I’m going online and ordering a Tebow jersey.”  Only there was one problem.  I’m a Jets fan.  How was I going to justify owning a Broncos jersey to my fellow Gang Green?  Then it hit me…

27 year old man wearing a Tim Tebow jersey who isn’t a Broncos fan = Douchebag.

27 year old man wearing a #15 Denver Broncos “Messiah” Jersey = Hilarious Douchebag.

I’m a firm believer of the 3 rules dictating when it is socially acceptable for an adult to be wearing a football jersey:

1. You’re at the game.

2. You’re at the bar watching the game.

3. It’s hilarious.

While I don’t plan on making a trip to the Mile High City any time soon, rules 2 and 3 definitely apply to the Messiah jersey.  But don’t you start with the “you’re just ripping off the Jesus guy” crap.  No.  I’m not.  Printing Jesus on the back of a jersey is sacrilege and doesn’t make a lick of sense.  Having “Messiah” stitched on to a Tebow jersey pays homage to the Mile High Messiah nickname, is only slightly sacrilege and is much, much more clever.

I placed the order and patiently waited for my jersey.  Tebow and the Broncos went on to lose 3 in a row but still manage to make the playoffs, saving me from being the ultimate mush.  The jersey arrives just in time for the playoffs and I’m stoked.  A few days later, we release our NFL Wildcard Weekend Preview  where I confidently state that not only will the Broncos cover the spread, they will go on to BEAT the Steelers.

Obviously the first chance I got I wore the jersey out to the bars here in Chicago, which was the Friday before the game.  A lot of people got a kick out of it as I could feel the camera phones snapping pictures all night.  Sure enough, one of those photographers happens to run the Bacon Sports website and after Tebow’s improbable overtime victory over the Steelers last Sunday, this image of me goes viral

Sports Illustrated, Sportspickle, Yardbarker, probably countless random Facebook pages.  My support for the Mile High Messiah is being displayed all over the internet.  I was one of the few that thought the Broncos had a fighting chance against the Steelers, and it’s all because of Tim Tebow.

Regardless of what happens next week at New England and how his career turns out, that 2nd quarter was legendary and the overtime victory on the very first play, simply breath taking and record breaking.  I’ll always be a fan of Tim Tebow from here on out, and you better believe the Messiah jersey will be out this Saturday at a bar to be named later in NYC.  I’ll leave you with this original quote:
With one flick of the wrist, Tim Tebow turned to his critics and said, “take this, all of you, and eat it”. -Tebow 3:16

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