During his time at Florida, Tebow accrued a cult-like following from Gator Nation and the rest of the country as well. He also earned an army of enemies. As a 'Bama fan I was—admittedly—glad to see him cry during the 2009 SEC championship.
Why did fans love him? He was a leader. He was vocal. He was electrifying. He made mind-boggling plays. He defined the jump pass. He negated the pass defense on third downs with his feet.
He won a Heisman Trophy. He won a national championship. He dominated the toughest conference in the nation. He was a man of character. He was an outspoken Christian (something that carries much weight in the south).
Why did fans hate him? He slaughtered their teams. He ruined seasons. He embarrassed defenses.
Even in a season of "defeat" he closed his career at Florida with a historic bowl game. For some, being a Christian alone was enough to despise Tebow. "Self-Righteous," "Goody Two-Shoes," etc., etc.
What does this mean for the Denver Broncos? The team at Mile High has already acquired a new following from around the nation because of Tebow. Not since John Elway have the Broncos had as much fire from around the nation. The jerseys sales alone speak for themselves.
Is Tebow a great quarterback? In the NFL, no, not yet. Could he be? Yes.
The whole ordeal with the possible starting of Tim Tebow just reeks of a similar player to me. Feel free to laugh.
Sanders played a different position, on a different team, and under different circumstances.
There's a striking similarity, however. The Detroit Lions always wanted a Lombardi Trophy, just like every other teams does. Did the Lions think it possible with Sanders in the backfield? Certainly.
Did they expect it to happen after several seasons of it not occurring? Probably not. They still hoped, however.
Sanders stunned and amazed fans and opponents alike. They prepared for him, specifically. The man galvanized a generation of football fans.
Sanders almost broke Walter Payton's rushing record before his abrupt retirement. What else did he break? The record for most yards lost. As he scrambled for his life on every play, that may not be much of a surprise. Fan's didn't care. They wanted to see what he would do next.
Here's the point: Sanders won games. Sanders lost games. Sanders garnered a lot of negative yards. Sanders was fun to watch.
Sanders won the crowd. Friendly and hostile alike, fans loved to see Sanders. When Houdini set foot on the turf, everyone held their breath.
Where else could you see nine 200-300 lb. men pile up on a 5'8" guy only to see the small fella magically emerge from the deathball and scurry 60 yards for a touchdown?
Sanders never won a Super Bowl. Even before he retired, Detroit knew they probably wouldn't see the Lombardi in the Automotive Capitol. The fans never gave up, however. They showed up. They filled the seats. They bought the merchandise. They tuned in for the games.
The bottom line, you ask? Super Bowls are nice, but that's not all football is about. If it was, then 31 teams wouldn't have a fan base each year. Most go into the season hoping for a trophy, but don't expect it. Hell, college football is even worse. 131 teams go home disappointed each year.
The Denver Broncos have not expected one in quite some time, and may not be expecting one for quite sometime, less there be a miracle. They do still hope, however.
So what does Tim Tebow bring?
Tim Tebow electrifies a franchise. The fans love him, the team loves him. Watch one play with Kyle Orton under center, and watch one with Tebow. Watch the defense when they know Tebow will be coming onto the field.
The entire Bronco Army played with a different fire when Tebow started those last three games. Tebow's hooting and hollering and his belligerent use of "WHOO!", "YEA!" and "LET'S GO BABY!" lit a fire under the ass of the Broncos, offense and defense alike. That fire overcame a substantial deficit against the Texans.
Do you know who remembers Super Bowl victories? The victors, and disgruntled opponents. Aaron Rodgers won a Super Bowl? The Packers barely scraped themselves into the playoffs in the first place. So they made some money.
If the Packers don't win another Super Bowl in the next 20 years, who will they (the Packers fans and opponents alike) remember?
Aaron Rodgers, Brett Favre's successor, or Charles Woodson, the sole defensive player in history to win a Heisman, who didn't win a Super Bowl until he was 34 years old? I'd wager Woodson.
Tebow brings something that Denver has not had in a long time. Hope, fire, guts, whatever you want to call it. The fans love him, the team loves him, and the opposition will study and prepare for him. You cannot say the same about the statue-esque Kyle Orton or the laughable and arrogant Brady Quinn.
Tebow will fill seats. Tebow will win--and lose--games. And the fans will love every minute of it.
Will he win Super Bowls? Who knows. Does he have a better shot than an aging snore-fest quarterback, or a veritable draft bust? Certainly.
A franchise lives and breathes on the fans. Super Bowl victories help, but they aren't the end all. If they were, then how in the world are teams like the Detroit Lions, the Oakland Raiders, or, sadly, the Carolina Panthers, still breathing?
The Lions' fans packed the stadiums expecting a loss, yet hoping for a win. Why were they there then? To see Barry Sanders.
Denver doesn't want a quarterback with a boring passing game, or a deadbeat quarterback who got snubbed in the first round draft (and for good reason).
Denver wants Tebow. The Bronco Nation outside of Colorado wants Tebow.
Why? He is fun to watch.
Kyle Orton's highest viewed video on YouTube has 43,000 views...in a Chicago uniform.
Tebow doubled those views with a combine workout, and his press conference where he admitted his virginity garnered over half a million views. Let's not even mention the other several million views he accrued in miscellaneous videos.
Orton may be a good quarterback, some may even argue great (a very tough argument), but he doesn't win Super Bowls, and he isn't fun to watch and he doesn't win games. Can you really go anywhere but up?
Tebow, at least, is fun to watch.
It's Tebow Time for Denver. If Elway doesn't let it happen, the only fathomable reason is not because he wants to win a Super Bowl, but because he doesn't want anyone overshadowing his legacy.
Why should Tim Tebow NOT be the starter?
Elway isn't a narcissist, so I fully expect Tebow to take the field when the lockout is over.
Kyle Orton won three games in 2010. You can blame the defense if you want, but at least Tebow influences the defense, and ended the season with the same win/loss ratio.
Tebow's 50-yard run against the raiders was more fun to watch (over, and over, and over again) than Orton's entire season before the injury.
Can a 4-12 record really get any worse? There are no more arguments as to why Tebow shouldn't be the starter.
Had Tebow been the starter all through 2010 and still went 4-12, at least the games would have been fun to watch.
Orton doesn't have a shot at a Super Bowl. Quinn certainly doesn't. Maybe Tebow doesn't either.
Which one is more entertaining than The View, though?