Paul E. Anna: High Points
December 15, 2011
Have you been Tebow-tized? Have you been inspired by the miraculous finishes that the Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow has pulled off this season? Are you a believer in his grace as a performer and a spokesperson?
Are you tired of the religious puns that seem to be a part of just about every article and news report on the player who is the most talked about story in sport?
Journalists, reporters and writers, including yours truly, simply can’t keep themselves from tripping over the religious double-entendres that make writing about the newest NFL sensation so much fun. Not only is his play, well, unusual, but as an avowed, out of the closet, some say in your face, evangelical Christian, he makes things just too tempting for those who toil at the altar of the keyboard.
This Sunday at 2:15 p.m., No. 15 will take to field as the most talked about man in America. In the last nine weeks he has gone from riding the pine behind starting quarterback Kyle Orton (who’s he?) to becoming the NFL’s hottest player. Something odd is at work here.
It’s not just that he has led the Broncos to a series of improbable victories; it is how he has done it. He is a rather unorthodox quarterback to say the least. His throwing motion is so slow that for the first, oh call it 53 minutes of any given game, you are convinced he is the worst player on the field. But in last seven minutes something extraordinary happens. His passes suddenly find their targets; he is able to run for first downs by the scantest of margins. He will take time off the clock on drives that inch down the field before finally scoring go-ahead touchdowns.
But it’s not just Tebow. The Broncos defense has upped its game since he began his starting streak, holding opponents at bay and keeping scores close so the Broncos still have a fighting chance at the end of games. His offensive line gels in what folks are now calling “Tebow time” as well.
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And then there is the opposition, which seems to be in on the act as well. Three weeks ago a Christian, Minnesota quarterback Christian Ponder, threw a last-minute interception that gave Denver the ball and allowed Tebow to take the team in for the winning score. Last week it was Marion Barber, the Chicago Bears running back. who inexplicably ran out of bounds to stop the clock, giving the Broncos just enough time to eke out a tying field goal. Then in overtime, on a play that could be characterized as a “hand of God” event, Barber had the ball stripped out of his hands and the Broncos kicked a game winner.
Finally, and perhaps the most impressive and miraculous element of this entire story, has been the performance of Broncos kicker Matt Prater. No one has ever heard of this guy before and suddenly he has become the key component of the most incredible story in sports. Last week he sent the game into overtime with a 59-yard field goal. Then he won it with a 51-yard field goal. Earlier he beat Miami in overtime with a 52-yarder. This stuff just doesn’t happen, folks.
Like I said, something odd is at work her. You can watch the continuing story of the Broncos resurrection this Sunday versus Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Of course you probably can miss the first 53 minutes.
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