Tim Tebow: 10 Reasons He's Already Bigger Than John Elway
Tim Tebow will never be John Elway, but he might already be bigger than Elway ever was.
It might sound crazy, but thanks in large part to the hype machine that is the sports media, it's far from impossible.
Despite his average talent and fairly raw quarterback skills, Tebow has become has become the face of the Broncos franchise.
The cautious optimism of NFL analysts has put a third-string quarterback on a pedestal, making what should have been a fairly irrelevant debut must-see Sportscenter material.
It might not be right, but it's certainly happening.
Here's 10 reasons why Tim Tebow is already bigger than John Elway.
No. 10: His Words Are Heard Around The World
When Tim Tebow talks, people listen.
Whether it's a promise to fans that Florida will never play poorly again or repeating the "I'll do whatever it takes to help the team win" mantra, reporters salivate over his bold proclamations.
The only proclamation Elway made was that he wouldn't play for the Baltimore Colts because they wouldn't give him a chance to win.
Had it come in today's media climate, Elway would have been ripped apart despite his incredible physical gifts.
As it stands, Elways words were forgotten. Tebow's words will ring true throughout his career, even if his biggest contribution is holding on field goals and extra points.
No. 9: The Urban Legend
In many ways, Florida coach Urban Meyer put Tebow on the map.
The head Gator spent four seasons championing his work ethic, talent and intelligence level. He defended any detractors who said Tebow was merely the product of the system or fundamentally flawed as a quarterback thanks to his unconventional delivery.
And with Meyer's praise came tremendous expectations and historic results on the field.
Although the Gators produced an onslaught of NFL talent, it was Tebow's name who was always mentioned in conjunction with the team's success or failure.
Urban Meyer broke the ground for Tebow's statue, and construction hasn't stopped yet.
No. 8: Great College Numbers Produce Great Expectations
There's no denying that Tim Tebow will be remembered as one of the best college quarterbacks to ever play the game.
Based on his overwhelming positive body of work at Florida, that statement is impossible to argue.
However, it is easy to argue that his production in college has led to inflated expectations of what he will accomplish in the pros.
Simply put, he has become an iconic figure before even throwing an NFL pass.
No. 7: Won't Be Blamed For Failure
In most cases, a player faces criticism when he fails to meet expectations.
In the case of Tebow, it could be different.
John Elway was clearly a Hall of Famer before he led the Broncos to two Super Bowl wins, but had he failed to deliver his legacy would have been forever tainted.
If Tebow manages to work his way to becoming a legitimate starter in the NFL, his career in many ways will be considered a success. Because of his mission statement, Tebow won't be blamed for losing.
That burden will fall on his teammates, for better or for worse.
No. 6: Reluctant Critics
There aren't many Tim Tebow detractors eager to come out of hiding and tell the sports world to take a second and think about what is happening with the Broncos' third-string quarterback.
That wasn't the case with Elway, who was criticized for refusing to play in Baltimore and for failing to lead Stanford to a single bowl game despite throwing for 9,349 yards and 77 touchdowns.
Aside from criticizing his throwing motion, College and NFL analysts have been oddly reluctant to criticize Tebow, instead choosing to believe that his intangibles outweigh his physical shortcomings.
That remains to be seen.
No. 5: The Image and Marketability
There will be no image problem with Tim Tebow.
Although his religious beliefs have ruffled a few feathers here and there, he has been a model athlete throughout his career.
In the NFL's climate of off-field problems ranging from Mike Vick to Johnny Jolly, Tebow's persona puts a positive spin on the league's image.
Elway was seen as a bit of a spoiled brat for refusing to play for the Colts and wasn't media friendly until late in his career.
Tebow's affinity for the media and record-setting jersey sales have Roger Goodell smiling from ear to ear.
No. 4: The Media's Hype Machine Is Spinning Out of Control
The power of the media's influence can be felt throughout society, especially in sports.
After spending four years singing the praises of Tebow and fellow rookie Colt McCoy, the mainstream media continues to devote a puzzling amount of attention to both players, as if to justify the coverage they have given them over the past four years.
When Elway broke into the NFL in 1983, ESPN was still developing, the worldwide web didn't exist and opportunity for hyping players was fairly limited.
Needless to say, things have certainly changed in the last 25 years.
No. 3: The Most Hyped Rookie Ever
Thanks to the media, Tim Tebow has become arguably the most hyped NFL rookie ever.
His practice highlights are broadcast on a daily basis, followed by quotes by both himself and teammates documenting his early experiences in the NFL.
All of this for a late first-round pick expected to begin the season at No. 3 on the depth chart of what should be a mediocre team.
No. 2: The Saving Face of The Franchise
Like his predecessor John Elway, Tim Tebow has quickly been deemed the face of the franchise in Denver.
It's just for different reasons.
Amidst a tumultuous start to the tenure of young head coach Josh McDaniels and a season-ending injury to the Broncos' best defensive player, Tebow has been a ray of hope.
Suddenly, a relatively small-market team devoid of star power has find itself a megastar able to grab the headlines.
Before he has even played in a game that matters, Tebow has already made the Broncos relevant.
No. 1: What If He Wins?
For a moment, let's believe the hype and assume that Tebow becomes a solid NFL quarterback and leads the Broncos to a Super Bowl win at some point down the road.
Although it's extremely unlikely, it could happen.
And if it did, it's safe to assume that John Elway's incredible legacy would be pushed into the background.
Tebow has huge hurdles to overcome, but if he accomplishes the unthinkable his legacy to trump dozens of players who were better NFL players.
There's a reason everybody knows who Joe Willie Namath is.
It's all about the hype, baby.