Good Morning Generation

With all apologies to my fiancee and future wife, I am in love with a man, and his name is Tim Tebow.

Just when you think the Broncos season couldn’t be any more improbable, just when you think he couldn’t possibly win in more dramatic fashion, that happens.  It was the single most enjoyable moment I think I’ve ever had as a sports fan, with only the Rockies improbable comeback in a one-game playoff against the Padres in 2007 possibly comparing to it.  I was literally jumping up and down and doing laps around my apartment yesterday.  I couldn’t stop laughing and making noise and I nearly made myself pass out from a lack of oxygen.  Wow.

It was made all the more enjoyable because I was so utterly convinced that Ben Roethlisberger was going to beat us on that final drive in regulation.  He’s done it too many times.  I am still in shock that he has now failed in his last two attempts at fourth quarter playoff drives to win football games, if you include last year’s interception against the Packers in the Super Bowl.  I thought it was all over yesterday when he completed that beautiful fade route to cross into Broncos territory.  I was so upset I left the room and buried my face in a pillow in my bed, closing the door and refusing to watch the Steelers quarterback do the thing he has become famous for over the years.  And somehow, the Broncos defense finally made a stand.  After a decade of suck and ineptitude and futility, the Broncos defense made a f—ing stand. I came back into the room to watch a failed hail mary attempt and then, well, obviously a celebration ensued in overtime.

But let’s get down to it.  A lot of people are going to say they have no explanation for what they witnessed.  It’s a common theme surrounding the Broncos quarterback this season, what with the loads of comebacks and overtime victories.  I think it’s a cop out and lazy.  There is an explanation for it all.  More to the point, I actually think it’s a slap in the face to what Tim Tebow is actually doing on the field.

The Denver Broncos won that game against the Steelers yesterday because their defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was arrogant.  He literally believed that Tebow was so atrocious at playing quarterback that he could stack nine and ten players in the box all game and get away with it.  This is precisely the type of scheme Tebow critics have been calling for all year and, well, you saw the results.  It won’t work.  He shredded the Steelers defense for a variety of big passing plays, just like you’d expect any NFL quarterback to do in that situation.  You take what the defense gives you, as they say.

I’m not going to sit here and say I believe Tebow is anywhere close to the Tom Bradys of the NFL.  But to show him that amount of disrespect on the football field yesterday was embarrassing and it’s exactly why the Steelers lost.  If they could have played a more conservative (or would it be liberal?) style of defense that dared the Broncos to beat their front seven with the run, the Steelers probably would have walked out with an easy win.  Instead they trusted Ike Taylor to lock up Demaryius Thomas all day.  In the biggest understatement of the year, Thomas won.

When are the Tebow haters going to realize that the Denver Broncos are replicating the Rex Ryan playoff model here?  The Broncos know they don’t have an all-pro at quarterback.  They know their strength lies with a great offensive line and a great pass rush on defense.  They’re playing to minimize risks on offense and leaning on their defense to go out and win them ball games.  There’s nothing wrong with it.  Sanchez used it to get to back-to-back AFC title games, upsetting a certain number one-seeded team from New England last year too, I might add (sound familiar?).  The San Francisco 49ers used it win the number two seed in a stacked NFC this season.  Why is it any different with the Denver Broncos?

I came into work this morning listening to Chris Carter explaining in detail to Mike and Mike why Tim Tebow is still an awful quarterback and making a laundry list of excuses for the Pittsburgh Steelers and how the Broncos got lucky.  It gets tiresome.  We know the Steelers had injuries.  We know their safety was out with a blood condition.  We know Big Ben was hobbled (at least in the first half, he clearly got a shot of the good stuff at halftime).  But every team deals with those kind of injuries.  It’s football.  Mike Tomlin, the head coach of the Steelers, recognized this in his press conference yesterday when he humbly admitted they lost because they didn’t execute, not because they had injuries.  Why can’t anyone else do that?

I’m not a person who’s going trying to lionize Tebow into something that he’s not.  I can’t stand the people who take the God angle when trying to describe his success.  Anyone who takes anything deeper from the coincidence of the 316 passing yards and John 3:16 is an idiot, in my not so humble opinion.  I don’t like the ignorant people who associate his success with being a good person.  The truth about Tim Tebow is that he’s a flawed quarterback, a seemingly really passionate person, and a workaholic who loves trying to get better at the game of football.  And along the way he finds ways to win football games for his teammates and his fans, most usually in a dramatic and enjoyable fashion. 

It’s that last part that is most important to me as a fan of the Denver Broncos.  We’ve replicated our entire playoff success of the last decade or so in this one game. 

It’s been one hell of a ride and guess what, it’s not over yet.  And I guarantee you those players on the Patriots are nervous as all hell this week.

How does Tim Tebow in the AFC Championship sound to you?

Generation Y, where JoePa can go tell his story to his friends in the retirement home.  Nobody else cares.