Denver and NFL Fans Living for 'Tebow Time'

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When the New England Patriots travel to Denver on Sunday, fans of professional football will be watching intently.

The Denver Broncos had a record of one win and four losses early in the year. Then they called on their second-year quarterback Tim Tebow to be the starter.

Since then, the Broncos have had seven wins and only one loss, with an astounding string of 4th quarter comebacks.

The fourth quarter is now called "Tebow Time."

Professional football analysts say Tebow should never have been a first round draft pick. They say he doesn't have the throwing mechanics or footwork of an elite pro. And by his own admission, he's miserable on offense for three quarters of a game.

However, the fourth quarter is a different story. Down 10 to 0 last week against the Chicago Bears, Tebow led his team to a history-making fourth straight overtime win as kicker Matt Prater booted two long field goals to tie and then win the game.

"If you believe, unbelievable things can sometimes be possible, and I think that's pretty special that we have a team that constantly believes and believes in each other," Tebow said.

Tebow's very visible projection of his Christian faith makes him such a polarizing figure. His sideline prayer stance produced a new verb, to "tebow." Some NFL players and others in the media have mocked him for it.

"Sometimes the hate is all about, 'I don't want to be uncomfortable. I don't want to see a standard that I'm unable to live, and I want to see people fail because it makes me feel better -- which is a very sad statement on who we are," said Dr. Linda Mintle, a licensed therapist.

But Mintle notes that Tebow's heroics on and off the field are creating fans among those who don't even care about football.

"And there was all this talk from women saying, 'I can't get enough of Tim Tebow on TV' -- and I think it's because we're so desperate in our country to have a hero, to have somebody to look up to, somebody who has good character and is actually going to run the race well," Mintle explained.

Mintle says a real test for Tebow will come when the winning streak ends, and he can show grace in losing as well as in the storybook comebacks.

Before Tebow became the Broncos' starting quarterback, CBN Sports' Shawn Brown asked him about how he should be defined.

"He's real and he cares about people and not all about scoring touchdowns or being famous or anything like that. But it's about relationships, about making a difference in people's lives. At the end of the day, it's about glorifying God," Tebow said.

The Broncos quarterback says he gets more satisfaction from his humanitarian work than he does from football.

He's building a children's hospital in the Philippines, where he was born to Baptist missionaries.

And last year, Tebow gave away his entire $2.5 million signing bonus to charities in the U.S. and around the world.

Original air date was on Friday, December 16th. 

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John Waage

John Waage

CBN News Sr. Editor

John Waage has covered politics and analyzed elections for CBN News since 1980, including primaries, conventions, and general elections. 

He also analyzes the convulsive politics of the Middle East.