Tim Tebow: Can There Be More Than Two Sides To This Debate In Denver?

Michael Keller@@MichaelK_NFLAnalyst IIIJanuary 12, 2011

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 2:  Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos celebrates a touchdown pass to Eric Decker during the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

First of all, I am not a "Tebow Hater". I am a pretty astute football fan. I played college football (granted, only D II) and have followed the Broncos for over 35 years.

I have no issue with any of you "latecomers" as long as you respect us "old-timers" and our feelings about the Broncos and wanting their success before that of ANY player.

And here is where some of the differences begin to show up. Many of you are here because of Terrific Tim Tebow. Great to have you aboard.

He has created a fervor in this ol' cow town like nothing has since the coming of The Duke of Denver his own self, John Elway.

We had the "Elway Watch" and we had the immortal and irreverent Woody Paige talking to the cornstalks on his way to and from Greeley, trying to find out what was going to happen in the coming Broncos season and reporting it in the now-defunct but still beloved Rocky Mountain News.

We had the "Oh My God" drafting of Tommy "Terrific" Maddox out of UCLA to be the replacement for, and the next coming of, "The Duke of Denver," John Elway.

We had the unbelievable success of two Super Bowl wins in succession, thanks to Mr. Elway, Mr. Terrell Davis, Mr. Smith, Mr. McCaffrey, Mr. Zimmerman, Mr. Alfred Williams, et al. 

But what I think is important to take away from here was that it was a TEAM, not just one person. And that means, offense, defense, special teams, coaching, ownership and talent scouts, all pulling together to make the franchise a success.

Following that run, we also had the coming (and going) of Bubby Brister, Brian Griese, Jake "the Snake" Plummer and Jay Cutler, who were going to replace the aforementioned Mr. Elway and continue the reign of success of the "Elway Era."

Did any of them do that? No, and maybe it wasn't because they didn't have the talent, the skills, the desire or the "It" factor.

It was maybe, just maybe, the fact that the stars didn't quite align at the right moment or in the right place for them to be successful as a Denver Broncos QB.

Was that fair to them? Did they not bring enough talent, charisma, desire, pixie dust to make those miracles happen? I don't know.

But what I do know, is that those of us who lived through all those lean years of having some talent (Floyd Little, Haven Moses, Craig Morton, Tom Jackson, etc.), there was and to this day, still hasn't been, anything or anyone to dislodge the Elway Factor from our psyche and our memories. 

Is that fair? Is that rational? No. But that is where we are and where this article is going.

Those of you who have anointed Tim Tebow, he of the Gator U and Heisman heroics, as the next coming of John Elway and savior of the Broncos franchise, just hold on a second, OK?

Yes, they both came into this situation and the great and loyal fan base with the fabulous credentials and the adoration and hope that they could lead this team out of the wilderness.

But here is where we all may have to regroup and reconsider where we are and what our expectations are for this team and the players involved. And to look at where the team and this franchise might or might not be headed.

But if some of us longer term fans are still holding out to see whether Mr. Tebow can make the Broncos better, then that is our right. If he can't then, he will go somewhere else and so will you.

But we Broncos fans are here for the long haul, TT or no TT.

If Elway hadn't made the Broncos a better team, I would have said, "See Ya" when he would have moved on.

The big difference I see between you and yours and me and ours is that we care about the team first and ANY player second. Does that make you or us wrong?

No, it just makes us both wanting the same thing, but coming at it from different directions.

What I (and I assume I may or may not be speaking for some other long-time Broncos fans) want is to bring this storied (I know many of you don't remember the Orange Crush, the agony of the three Super Bowl losses and the ecstatic feeling of the two Super Bowl wins) franchise and what it meant and means to this community back to glory.

To live and die on a Monday morning by the water cooler, the coffee machine, the loading dock, the computer terminal, based on how the Broncos did or didn't do the day before.

The fact that the crime rate in Denver on the Sundays the Broncos were playing actually went down, because almost everybody was watching the game.

So here is where I think there may be a slight disconnect in the broad definition and distinction of the current fan base of the Broncos.

There seems to be those who want TT to be the anointed starter and to succeed at that position. And you think that there is really no other answer or option for him and the Denver Broncos to be successful. 

And you know something? I also want that to happen. Because if it does, then the Broncos will be successful and we will return to the winning ways and the glory days of the past.

But what if that doesn't happen and maybe, just MAYBE, Mr. Tebow can't make those aforementioned miracles happen? He might be traded, cut, converted to another position, blah blah blah.

Where will all of you recent Broncos (Tebow) converts go? My guess is that you will go to wherever TT ends up. Whether another team, as a missionary, a spokesperson for a sports drink, whatever.

But the real differentiating thing between all of you Tebow-only fans and all of us long-term Broncos fans is that we will still be here, in the stands and watching on TV, rooting on whoever is the QB, the RB, the LB wearing the beloved Orange and Blue.

Not just because of who is IN those Orange and Blue uniforms but because of those Orange and Blue uniforms and whether those Orange and Blue jerseys will be winners.

Are any of us right or wrong? Do any of us have a crystal ball as to what will or won't happen? No.

But let us all understand that some of us have more than just one person's potential success or potential failure at stake.

Because some of us care more about the uniform than the person in said uniform.


Just one Broncos fan(atic)'s opinion.


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