Tim Tebow Is the Best Thing to Happen to the NFL This Year

Jim Flannery@@calgaryjimboAnalyst IDecember 14, 2011

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 11: Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos is tackled by Chris Conte #47 of the Chicago Bears after picking up a first down at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on December 11, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Since Tim Tebow took over the starting QB job in Week 7 in Denver, he and the Denver Broncos have won seven of their last eight games and are now poised to win the NFL's AFC West Division. The Broncos' success has created a media storm in Denver and Tebow is right in the heart of it, being lauded by some as a hero and panned by others as a villain. This is outstanding for the NFL.

Tebow's success over the last two months has resurrected the debate about pocket passers and mobile quarterbacks. It has reopened talk about the option play. He has given life to a Broncos franchise that has struggled mightily in recent times and was on the road to a horrendous season before he was given the starting job. 

Debate on whether Tebow deserves the accolades for Denver's recent winning streak has been hotly contested all over the Internet, including right here at B/R. Does his frequent late-game heroics qualify him to be labelled the "Next Big Thing"? Or is all this success simply a by-product of the Broncos' defense going from injured and among the NFL's worst (28 points per game in the first five games) to healthy and among the NFL's best (20.25 ppg in the last eight)? Heck, if the Colts' defense were holding teams to 21 points per game, even their anemic offense would have managed two wins!

CNBC reported last month that sales of Tebow jerseys had spiked since he began starting and winning and that, for the last full week of November, his was the second-biggest seller on NFL.com, behind Aaron Rodgers. All things Tebow are hot items right now, which means money for the Broncos and for the NFL.

The downside is that there are other big storylines happening in the NFL this year. As noted by Ryan Day earlier this week, there are four QBs currently on pace to break Dan Marino's single-season passing record, Rob Gronkowski has already broken the single-season TD record for tight ends, and Tebow's own teammate, Von Miller, is on track to set a rookie record for sacks in a season. These are all very newsworthy stories, and all are taking a backseat to Tebowmania.

Overall, however, the NFL is getting nothing but press as a result of Tebow's success. If people are talking about Tim Tebow, they are talking football. If they are buying and wearing Tebow jerseys, they're advertising for the NFL wherever they go. If they're watching Broncos games at the stadium or on TV—whether they're there to see Tebow succeed or to see him fail—it means more fans in the stands and better ratings, which means greater revenue.

The NFL, at the end of the day, is a business, and business right now is good.