Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tim Tebow and the All-American King

Last Sunday quarterback Tim Tebow threw an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime to propel the Denver Broncos past the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Thus continues a phenomenon that began in the 2011 regular season when the young QB led his team to a series of dramatic 4th quarter victories. Adding to the significance of his latest feat, Tebow threw for 316 yards against the Steelers. In college, Tebow, who is not shy about sharing his Christian faith, often wore "John 3:16" in his eyeblack. For many of his growing number of fans, the 316 yards last Sunday was no coincidence. Some believe that Tebow and his team have benefitted from divine intervention on the football field. This thinking even inspired a Saturday Night Live sketch in which Jesus shows up in the Denver locker room to reveal that he has in fact been helping the Broncos win games. Tebow, of course, is not without his detractors. Many football commentators and experts maintain that Tebow is a mediocre passer who will not last in the NFL. And a lot of critics aren't too keen on the outward expressions of faith, including Tebowing.

The rise of Tim Tebow reminds me of Dave King, the main character in my novel The All-American King. Like Tebow, Dave King is a Christian quarterback who led his college team to the Sugar Bowl, before going on to star in the NFL. Both QBs could also run the ball effectively, even in the pros. At the time of his retirement in 1990, King led all quarterbacks in career rushing yards (see the table below for a comparison of King's stats with several other Hall of Fame QBs). 

On Saturday Denver faces the powerful New England Patriots. Is Tebow Time running out or
just getting started?