Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has only held the starting job for eight weeks. In that time, his team is 7-1, he's become the king of late-game heroics and he still can't complete two consecutive passes in the first 55 minutes of a game.
He's clearly the most talked-about player in the NFL this season, to the point that if you turned on the NFL Network or ESPN right now, they'd likely be discussing Tebow. Those seven wins and that huge amount of attention is all Tebow needs to justify his selection for the Pro Bowl.
While the Pro Bowl is supposed to reward those players who are the best at their craft, that's really not the case. Yes, every player who gets selected is extremely talented, to be sure, but the voting process is really more of a popularity contest than anything else.
Fans vote for names that they recognize; that's why veteran players past their prime get selected every year, simply because of the familiarity fans have with them. There's little doubt that any fan of the NFL—especially anyone as devout as to actually submit a Pro Bowl ballot—hasn't heard of Tebow, so it makes sense that he's jumped to the No. 3 most voted-for quarterback in the AFC.
Yes, the fans' choices don't account for all of the votes, and yes, Tebow is still very far behind the top two AFC quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger, but considering the likelihood of one of those two men playing in this year's Super Bowl—and the fact that Brady never plays at the Pro Bowl—makes Tebow probable to get the nod.
Tebow's attractiveness to fans is the opposite of why they like a player like Brady. Brady's appeal is simply in the way he plays the game. His accuracy, his Super Bowl rings—and perhaps a little bit of his chiseled jaw—have sold fans on him. Tebow, on the other hand, has no rings, doesn't play the game like a traditional quarterback and has managed to build a following based on his college career and his charisma.
There's nothing wrong with that, intrinsically. Maybe the media hype is too much, and maybe Tebow needs to learn how to build and maintain a lead with his arm. But when it comes to the Pro Bowl, he's perfect.
The Pro Bowl has become boring. We all know this. We watch it because it's football, but at best, it's "football," in quotes. At the very least, Tebow's presence in the game will drum up more media hype (of course), more ratings and adds a semi-compelling to very compelling (depending on your feelings about Tebow) component to this usually nondescript event.
While Tebow may not have earned a Pro Bowl spot by being a traditional quarterback, he hasn't earned anything doing so regardless. If he gets in, he gets in. The very act of being nominated to the team means a player has earned it, and Tebow, while unconventional, has earned this honor this year.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!