Living through the Denver Broncos quarterback controversy nightmare of the last few years, it has become clear that there is no way to have a totally rational discussion regarding Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos.
Not so much about Tim Tebow the man, as almost everyone agrees that he is a nice guy, polite, religious, walks on water and helps old ladies cross the street. Nobody can challenge that description.
But start to have any type of discussion about Tim Tebow the current and future NFL quarterback and we are back to the Mason-Dixon line, the Republican-Democratic debates, the LeBron vs. Kobe argument.
There just is no middle ground here.
Either he is the next coming of Steve Young, John Elway or Doug Flutie or he is the reincarnation of Bobby Douglas. These just happen to be four of the top career rushing quarterbacks in the NFL.
Which one he most resembles is what much of the debate is really about.
And this argument isn't going to end any time soon.
With his current 4-1 record, many fans of Denver and Tebow feel he can take this team to the promised land: making the playoffs this year and maybe the Super Bowl in the next year or two.
Then there are others who feel that no matter how inspiring and run-proficient he is, his lack of accuracy and having even moderate NFL passing skills will hold him and the Broncos back.
Let's look at what these four players have accomplished in their careers and see where the similarities and differences between them and Tebow fall.
Steve Young is one of the players people are comparing Tim Tebow to.
He was a running quarterback in college at BYU who also threw the ball all over the field. Although he was primarily an option quarterback coming out of high school, his BYU coach, LaVell Edwards, worked hard with him his whole college career to make him into a very good passer by the time he graduated.
This is unlike what happened to Tebow in his college career, as he had little or no work invested in his passing skills by his college coach, Urban Meyer.
And like Tebow, Young is left-handed.
His NFL career passing statistics are 33,124 yards, 232 TDs, 107 INTs passing and 4,239 yards rushing and 43 TDs.
Now let's look at his first five years vs. his last five years:
First five years passing 5,478 yards, 32 TDs, 37 INTs, 59 percent completion - rushing 1,158 yards, 10 TDs
Last five years passing 13, 255 yards, 92 TDs, 39 INTs, 64 percent completion - rushing 1,250 yards, 16 TDs
Two things to note here: Young wasn't as much of a running quarterback as a lot of people assumed and the second one was he was above a 50 percent passer his whole career.
And he won a Super Bowl, throwing six TDs in that game and is a member of the NFL Football Hall of Fame.
He also had his career cut short because of at least seven concussions, most of those coming from his running.
If Tim Tebow can accomplish even close to Young's achievements, he will be considered successful.
Current executive vice president of Denver Broncos football operations John Elway says his current quarterback, Tim Tebow, is lacking the passing skills needed to be the future QB of the Broncos.
He came out of Stanford with the option of playing either professional football or baseball, thanks to his rifle arm.
Flash back to 1983, when Elway came out of college as the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. A can't-miss franchise quarterback prospect.
Then Elway was inserted into the starting role part way through his rookie season. He lined up under his guard and made some other embarrassing plays in his rookie year.
His 13-year lifetime statistics are as follows:
Passing 51,475 yards, 300 TDs, 200 INTs, 56 percent completion average - rushing 3,407 yards, 33 TDs
His first five years: passing 14,835 yards, 85 TDs, 77 INTs, 54 percent completion average - rushing 1,197 yards, 7 TDs,
His last five years: passing 17,229 yards, 117 TDs, 59 INTs, 58 percent completion average - rushing 972 yards, 11 TDs
As these statistics show, he ran a bit less in the beginning than people remember and he was a more effective runner in his later years, scoring 11 TDs to seven in the early years.
He also won two Super Bowls and is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
And as the Broncos rookie football guru, he has some issues with his starting quarterback, due to his accuracy (47 percent) and third-down conversion rates.
But if Tebow is close to Elway's longevity and level of success, all will be well in Bronco-land for the next 10 years or so.
Doug Flutie came out of Boston College as the poster boy for Hail Mary pass completions. He also left college holding the NCAA passing record for yards with 10,579 and won the Heisman Trophy.
But he was only taken in the 11th round by the Los Angeles Rams because he signed a contract with Donald Trump's New Jersey Generals of the now-defunct USFL.
After that league folded, he moved on to play in the Canadian Football League, where he won three Grey Cups (CFL's Super Bowl) and was a three-time Grey Cup MVP.
Returning to the NFL, Flutie had a very strong 13 year career:
Passing 14,715 yards, 86 TDs, 68 INTs, 54 percent completion average - rushing 1,634 yards, 10 TDs
His first five years: passing 2,203 yards, 14 TDs, 16 INTs, 49 percent completion average
His last five years: passing 6,601 yards, 33 TDs, 25 INTs, 54 percent completion average
If you look at his total professional career over 21 seasons, Flutie threw for over 58,000 yards and 369 TDs and ran for another 6,759 yards and 83 TDs..
And much like Tebow, many felt Flutie couldn't hack it in the NFL. But in Flutie's case it wasn't his passing ability, it was due to his size: 5'10", 180 pounds.
A 21-year career in Denver by Tebow would be awesome, especially with close to 60,000 total yards and 450 TDs.
Bobby Douglass, at 6'4" and 225 pounds, and being left handed, may be a close match to Tim Tebow in stature, style and the Chicago Bears' expectations.
He entered the NFL out of Kansas as a second-round draft choice of the Chicago Bears as a dual-threat player. He had 2,642 yards, 19 TDs, 17 INTs and 910 yards and 19 TDs rushing in his two years as a Jayhawk starting quarterback.
He also was a baseball player in college and had professional offers.
His lifetime NFL statistics are:
Passing 6,493 yards, 36 TDs, 64 INTs, 43 percent completion average - rushing 2,654 yards, 22 TDs
His first five years: passing 4,458 yards, 28 TDs, 45 INTs, 43 percent completion average - rushing 1,207 yards, 18 TDs
His last five years: 1,648 yards, 6 TDs, 15 INTs, 44 percent completion rate - rushing 218 yards, 3 TDs
Douglass's final years reflect his being mainly a backup on four different teams. He also battled injuries towards the end of his career and left the game as a journeyman.
If this is the potential career path for Tebow, then the Broncos aren't going anywhere near the Super Bowl any time soon.
Which will it be? Are we looking at the next Steve Young or John Elway, gifted quarterbacks who passed and ran their way to Super Bowls and the Hall of Fame? But who also learned to curtail their running and take advantage of their teammates' talents?
And who also maybe learned a bit too late, suffering concussions (Young) and knee and elbow injuries (Elway) that haunt them later in their life?
Are we looking at a Doug Flutie, told he couldn't cut it as an NFL quarterback? But he kept pushing himself and ended up a role model on and off the field and finished a 21-year career with amazing statistics and three CFL championships.
Or are we looking at a future Bobby Douglass? Brought into the NFL by the Chicago Bears to revolutionize the game. Possessing a hard-running style that would compensate for his lack of passing skills.
I don't have the crystal ball to know without a doubt. And neither does anyone else, including John Elway and Denver head coach John Fox.
So the debate will go on until the one person that can answer the questions steps forward. And that is Tim Tebow himself.
And maybe this sign above is correct that the NFL isn't ready for Mr. Tebow.
Or is it that Tim Tebow isn't ready for the NFL?
The debate rolls on.