The Broncos’ 2011/2012 season will go down in the books. Not because the Broncos won the Super Bowl (they didn’t) or even made it far in the playoffs (they lost against the Patriots in the Divisionals), but because of one man and the national phenomenon he sparked. You know who we’re talking about: Tim Tebow, the unlikely starting quarterback who shot to national fame with his unique demonstration of faith that even became a verb of its own, Tebowing.
It was a heady year for us Denverites. All over the world, Tebow followers assumed the QB’s kneel, to the point where a Coloradan launched a website collecting photos of people Tebowing in unlikely and exotic locations, most recently in Istanbul’s Blue Mosque for example.
Tebow’s Colorado sojourn, however, has come to an end; in March the Broncos signed famed quarterback Peyton Manning and the New Jersey Jets picked up Tebow. Was Tebow a one-season wonder? Certainly he was for the Broncos, but what will happen on the East Coast remains to be seen.
IJN Sports Editor Gerald Mellman snapped this picture of Manning (above, right) on the field several seasons ago, when he was playing against the Broncos. In the IJN’s March 23 issue, Mellman wrote that Manning had “Selected the Denver Broncos as the team for which he wants to play quarterback for the rest of his career. This will please many, disappoint Tim Tebow’s fans and hopefully lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl. His reported contract: $96 million.” Manning got his wish the same week, and Mellman got the picture (above, left) from the press conference announcing Manning’s signing. To the left of Manning? None other than John Elway of course.
Now, with Manning in and Tebow out, seems like a perfect time to take a little trip down memory lane and remind ourselves of Tebow’s journey from backup QB to household name and poster boy for the phenomenon known as Muscular Christianity.
- IJN Editorial: Values vs. Abilities, on the public’s clamor for Tebow
- Tebowing site collects photos of QB’s signature poses
- In a View from Denver column, Hillel Goldberg asks Does G-d care what happens in a football game?