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11 July 2012

Tim Tebow

Timothy Richard Tebow (play /ˈtb/; born August 14, 1987) is an American football quarterback for the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Florida, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007 and appearing on BCS National Championship-winning teams in the 2006 and 2008 seasons. After graduating, he was drafted by the Denver Broncos as the 25th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Tebow is known as a dual threat quarterback, adept at both rushing and passing the football. With his unorthodox NFL quarterback skills, frequent demonstrations of his religious devotion, and his team's success, Tebow has attracted unprecedented praise, criticism, and attention from the sporting media and beyond. Commenting on Tebow's play and the attention he has garnered, many football players and observers have said that they "have never seen anything like it."[1][2][3][4]
Tebow played quarterback for Nease High School in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and was ranked among the top quarterback prospects in the nation as a high school senior.[5] He ultimately chose to attend the University of Florida. As a backup and situational quarterback,[6] Tebow helped the Gators win the national championship during the 2006 college football season. Tebow was the Gators' starting quarterback during the 2007 season when he became the first college sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.[7] In 2008, Tebow led Florida to a 13-1 record and its second national championship in three years, and was named the offensive MVP of the national championship game. The Gators again went 13–1 in 2009, Tebow's senior year. At the conclusion of his college career, he held the Southeastern Conference's all-time records in both career passing efficiency and total rushing touchdowns, appearing second and tenth (respectively) in the NCAA record book in these categories.[8]
Tebow was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Denver Broncos. He started the last three games of his rookie season and became the Broncos' full-time starting quarterback beginning in the 6th game of 2011. The team was 1–4 before Tebow became the starter, but immediately began winning with him on the field, often by coming from behind late in the 4th quarter, until they won their first AFC West title and first playoff game since 2005.
Tim Tebow is known for sharing his Christian faith with fans and in clinics, hospitals, market places, schools, and orphanages.

Early years

Tebow at the 2006 U.S. Army All-American Bowl as a high school senior.
Tebow was born in Makati City in the Philippines, to American parents who were serving as Baptist missionaries at the time. His mother, Pamela Elaine (née Pemberton), is the daughter of a U.S. Army colonel, and his father, Robert Ramsey Tebow II, is a pastor.[11][12][13][14][15][16] While pregnant, his mother suffered a life-threatening infection with a pathogenic amoeba. Because of the drugs used to rouse her from a coma and to treat her dysentery, the fetus experienced a severe placental abruption. Doctors had expected a stillbirth and recommended an abortion, even though illegal in the Philippines, to protect her life,[11] but she decided not to have one.
Tebow is the youngest of five children.[17] All of the Tebow children were homeschooled by their mother, who worked to instill the family's Christian beliefs along the way.[13] In 1996, legislation was passed in Florida allowing homeschooled students to compete in local high school sporting events. The law specifies that homeschooled students may participate on the team of the local school in the school district in which they live.[18] The Tebows lived in Jacksonville, Florida, and he played linebacker and tight end at the local Trinity Christian Academy for one season. Tebow's preferred position was quarterback, but Trinity football team's offense did not rely on passing the football, so he moved into an apartment in nearby St. Johns County, making him eligible to play for the pass-oriented offense at Nease. His performance soon turned heads and led to a minor controversy regarding the fact that he was a home-schooled student having his choice of school to play for.[19]
Tebow came into national prominence as a junior at Florida's 4A Nease High School. Tebow was soon known not only for his running and throwing, but for his intense competitiveness and uncommon physical courage. Later that same year, he suffered an injury to his right leg late in the first half of a game. Originally thought by the Nease coaching staff to be a bad cramp, he played the entire second half with a broken fibula, at one point rushing for a 29-yard touchdown. After the game the extent of the injury was discovered and he was held out for the remainder of his junior season.[20] Nevertheless he was named Florida's Player of the Year and became a major college football quarterback prospect.[21] During his senior season he led the Nease Panthers to a state title, earned All-State honors, was named Florida's Mr. Football and a Parade magazine high school All-American, and repeated as Florida's Player of the Year.[21][22] Tebow played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas which featured the top 78 senior high school football players in the nation and was shown nationally on NBC television.[23]
Tebow was considered one of the nation's top recruits and was the subject of an ESPN "Faces in Sports" documentary. The segment was titled "Tim Tebow: The Chosen One", and focused on Tim's homeschool controversy and missionary work in the Philippines, as well as his exploits on the field of play and the college recruiting process.[24] Tim Tebow was also featured in Sports Illustrated on the "Faces in the Crowd" page.[25] In 2007 he was named to FHSAA's All-Century Team that listed the Top 33 football players in the state of Florida's 100 year history of high school football.[26]
Despite having family ties to the University of Florida, where his parents first met as students,[27] Tebow considered other schools, including Alabama.[28] One of the reasons he gave for eventually choosing Florida was coach Urban Meyer's spread option offense, an offense for which Tebow was deemed an archetypal quarterback.[29]
Tebow spent the three summers prior to enrolling at the University of Florida in the Philippines, assisting with his father's orphanage and missionary work.[30]

Effect on homeschooling movement

On January 7, 2007, Tebow was featured prominently in an ESPN "Outside The Lines" feature on homeschooled athletes seeking equal access to high school athletics in other states. Because a homeschooler's access to public and private school athletic functions vary by state, Tebow and New York Jets defensive end Jason Taylor (who was allowed to play at his local high school in Pennsylvania) argue in favor of extending the right to play for local teams to more states.[31]
Upon becoming the first home-schooled athlete to be nominated for the Heisman Trophy, Tebow remarked, "That's really cool. A lot of times people have this stereotype of homeschoolers as not very athletic – it's like, go win a spelling bee or something like that – it's an honor for me to be the first one to do that."[32]
Tebow's example inspired equal access supporters in other states, including Alabama and Kentucky.[33][34][35] Tebow received the 2008 Quaqua Protégé Award as an outstanding home-education graduate.[36]

College career

Tebow received an athletic scholarship to attend and play for the Florida Gators football team from 2006 to 2009.[37] While he spent his freshman year as a backup, eventual career highlights at Florida include winning the Heisman Trophy in 2007, leading the team to a BCS championship in 2008, and a 13–1 2009 season. The Gators coaches selected him as a team captain in 2008 and 2009, and he is the only three-time recipient of the Gators' most valuable player award, having been chosen by his teammates in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

2006

Despite a strong showing in his first intersquad scrimmage, Coach Urban Meyer named Tebow second string behind Chris Leak.[38] Although Tebow remained the backup throughout the season, Tebow was a significant contributor to the Gators' 2006 success.
Tebow made his college debut coming off the bench in a goal line situation against Southern Miss. He rushed for a touchdown on a designed quarterback scramble on his first play.[39] In his next game, he led the team in rushing yards against UCF.[40]
Tebow made his SEC debut against the Tennessee Volunteers on September 16. His performance included a ten-yard run on his first carry and converting a critical fourth down near the end of the game, which led to the Gators' go-ahead touchdown.[41] Tebow's biggest game in the season came against the LSU Tigers on October 7, where he accounted for all three of the Gators' touchdowns, passing for two and rushing for another.[42] Tebow played a role in the Gators' victory in the 2007 BCS National Championship Game against Ohio State. He threw for one touchdown and rushed for another, finishing with 39 rushing yards.[43] He finished 2006 with the second-most rushing yards on the Gator team.[44]

2007

Tebow (on right) and other Gator QBs during pre-game warm-ups.
Although questions about his passing skill loomed, Tebow was named the Florida Gators starting quarterback for the 2007 season.[45] He opened the year 13-of-17 for 300 yards and three touchdowns in his starting debut against Western Kentucky University.[46] Tebow finished the regular season with the second highest passing efficiency in the nation with 177.8. Additionally, he averaged 4.3 yards per carry on the ground.[47]
Tebow set numerous personal, school and national records in the 2007 season, including:
  • University of Florida single-game quarterback rushing yards, 166, week 4[48]
  • SEC season rushing touchdown record, 20[49]
  • Career high single game rushing touchdowns, 5, Nov. 10
  • SEC season total touchdowns (passing and rushing), 55[50]
On November 24, against the Florida State Seminoles, Tebow threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two in a 45–12 rout of the Seminoles. It was later revealed that Tebow fractured his right hand during the third quarter but played the rest of the game. He had to wear a cast for the next three weeks.[51]
After the 2007 season was over, Tebow was recognized as a first-team All-SEC selection and a consensus first-team All-American,[52] and won the Heisman Trophy, given to the most outstanding college football player of the year. He also received the Davey O'Brien Award, annually given to the best quarterback in the nation, on February 18 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Heisman Trophy

Tebow in 2007
On December 8, 2007, Tebow was awarded the Heisman Trophy, finishing ahead of Arkansas's Darren McFadden, Hawaii's Colt Brennan, and Missouri's Chase Daniel. He was the first sophomore to win the Heisman Trophy.[20] He garnered 462 first-place votes and 1,957 points, 254 points ahead of the runner-up, Arkansas running back Darren McFadden.[53][54] He finished the regular season as the only player in FBS history to rush and pass for at least 20 touchdowns in both categories in the same season.[55] He had 32 passing touchdowns, and 23 rushing touchdowns. Tebow's rushing TD total in the 2007 season is the most recorded for any position in SEC history.[56] The total also set the record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in FBS history. Tebow became the third UF player to win the Heisman Trophy, joining Steve Spurrier and Danny Wuerffel.[57]

2008

Before the 2007 season had even come to a close, Florida coach Urban Meyer stated that he would likely use two quarterbacks during the 2008 season to take some of the workload off of Tebow's shoulders.[58] Tebow led the Gators in rushing in 2007[59] but also had to play through a bruised shoulder and broken non-throwing hand.[58]
Before the 2008 season even started, Tebow had his name pulled from consideration for the Playboy Preseason All-American team because it conflicted with his Christian beliefs.[60]
On November 1, 2008, playing against the Georgia Bulldogs, Tebow ran for his 37th rushing touchdown, breaking the school record previously held by former Florida running back Emmitt Smith.
Tebow led the Gators to a 12–1 record in 2008. After clinching the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title, the team played for and won the SEC title in the 2008 SEC Championship Game against the Alabama Crimson Tide. The win secured the #2 ranking in the final BCS standings, which earned the Gators the chance to play the #1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game, which they won 24–14.
Tebow finished third in the 2008 Heisman Trophy voting, with Oklahoma's Sam Bradford taking the top spot followed by Texas' Colt McCoy, despite Tebow receiving the most first-place votes.[61][62] Tebow also won the Maxwell Award in 2008, becoming only the second player to win the award twice.[63]
On January 11, 2009, at a national championship celebration held at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, Tebow announced that he would not make himself eligible for the 2009 NFL Draft, but would instead return for his senior season at Florida.[64] One day later, he had surgery on his right shoulder to remove a bone spur in an effort to reduce chronic inflammation.[65]
2008 Heisman Trophy Finalist Voting
Finalist First place votes
(3 pts. each)
Second place votes
(2 pts. each)
Third place votes
(1 pt. each)
Total points
Sam Bradford 300 315 196 1,726
Colt McCoy 266 288 230 1,604
Tim Tebow 309 207 234 1,575
Source:[66]

2009

Tebow opened the 2009 season continuing a streak of throwing and running for a touchdown in blowout wins over Charleston Southern and Troy. He ran for a touchdown in the third game, a win against Tennessee, but failed to throw for a touchdown for the first time since his freshman season.
In answer to an interview question, Tebow stated that he was a virgin.[67] The statement was subject to much discussion about whether the question was necessary, including criticism of the reporter who originally asked.[68]
Tebow started against Kentucky despite suffering from a respiratory illness and taking two bags of intravenous fluids before the game.[69] He ran for two touchdowns to put him in 2nd place on the all-time SEC touchdown list and he also threw for a touchdown. Late in the third quarter, he was hit in the chest by Kentucky defensive end Taylor Wyndham, fell backwards, and hit the back of his head on the knee of Florida tackle Marcus Gilbert, who was wearing a hard knee brace. Upon impact, Tebow briefly displayed a prominent fencing response with his left arm, indicating that a concussion had taken place.[70] He lay motionless for several minutes before being helped to the sidelines. Once there, he vomited. He was taken by ambulance to the University of Kentucky Chandler Medical Center.[71][72] A CT scan showed no bleeding in the brain, with the injury described as a mild concussion.[73][74] Coach Urban Meyer stayed the night in the hospital with Tebow, who was discharged in the morning.[75] Coincidentally, Florida did not have a game scheduled for the following Saturday, and Tebow was cleared to play in the Gators' next contest at LSU on Oct. 10, two weeks after the incident[76]
On October 31, 2009, while playing against the Georgia Bulldogs, Tebow ran for his 50th and 51st rushing touchdowns, breaking the SEC career record previously held by former Georgia running back Herschel Walker.[77] His penultimate collegiate game, the 2009 SEC Championship, saw him once again facing the University of Alabama. Tebow threw for 245 yards and a touchdown and led the team with 63 yards rushing, but the Gators fell 32-13 and lost their chance to play for a second consecutive national title.[78] Florida beat Cincinnati 51-24 in the 2010 Sugar Bowl the following January. In what was Tebow's last college game, he completed 31-of-35 passes for 482 yards and three touchdowns and accounted for four total touchdowns and 533 yards of total offense, which set a record for a Bowl Championship Series game.[79]
Tebow graduated from the University of Florida in December 2009, with a bachelor's degree in family, youth and community sciences.[80]

College statistics and records

At the end of his college career, Tebow held 5 NCAA, 14 Southeastern Conference, and 28 University of Florida statistical records.[81] He was the SEC's all-time leader in career passing efficiency (170.8), completion percentage (67.1%), passing touchdown to interception ratio (5.5 to 1), rushing yards by a quarterback (2947), rushing touchdowns (any position) (57), and total touchdowns responsible for (145).[8][82] Among many mentions in the NCAA Division-I record book, Tebow is ranked second in career passing efficiency, third in career yards per attempt (9.33), 8th in career rushing touchdowns, and also owns the record for most consecutive games in which he both threw at least one touchdown pass and scored at least one rushing touchdown (14).[83]
[84][84]
    Passing   Rushing
Season Team GP Rating Att Comp Pct Yds TD INT Sack Att Yds TD
2006 Florida Gators 14 201.7 33 22 66.7 358 5 1 0 89 469 8
2007 Florida Gators 13 172.5 350 234 66.9 3,286 32 6 13 210 895 23
2008 Florida Gators 14 172.4 298 192 64.4 2,747 30 4 15 176 673 12
2009 Florida Gators 14 155.6 304 213 70.1 2,895 21 5 25 217 910 14

Totals 55 170.8 985 661 67.1 9,286 88 15 53 692 2947 57

"The Tebow Rule"

In 2010 a new rule for the next NCAA football season banned messages on eye paint. This rule was dubbed "The Tebow Rule"[85][86][87] by media because it would have affected him.[87] During his college football career, Tebow frequently wore references to biblical verses on his eye black. In the 2009 BCS Championship Game, he wore John 3:16 on his eye black; the verse was the highest-ranked Google search term over the next 24 hours, generating over 90 million searches.[88][89][90][91][92] Additionally, later, when Tebow switched to another verse, there were 3.43 million searches of "Tim Tebow" and "Proverbs 3:5-6" together.[93] Tebow stated of the searches "It just goes to show you the influence and the platform that you have as a student-athlete and as a quarterback at Florida".[93]
The NFL already has a rule like this in prohibiting players from wearing messages on eye black; so, Tebow would not be able to continue the practice in the NFL.[87] Despite the media labeling it as the Tebow rule, the NCAA denies the rule was influenced by Tebow particularly, since many other notable players (Reggie Bush and Terrelle Pryor for example) wear or have worn messages on eye black.[94][95] An NCAA spokesman said "When this rule was proposed the committee did not focus on any one team or student athlete. That measure reinforces what the intended use of eye black is, which is to shade the eyes from the sun."[95]

Professional career

Pre-draft

After passing on the 2009 NFL Draft for his senior season at Florida, Tebow went on to enter the 2010 NFL Draft. Despite his college success, Tebow's NFL potential was much debated. According to former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, he could "revolutionize" the pro game. Says Gruden: "Tim Tebow is 250 pounds, and he's the strongest human being that's ever played the position. He can throw well enough at any level."[96] Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy said he would pick Tebow with a top 10 pick, and would take him over any quarterback in the 2010 draft.[97] On the other hand, NFL analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. believed Tebow did not have the intangibles to play quarterback in the NFL. "I don't think he can be a fulltime quarterback. I don't think he can be the quarterback of the future for you, but I do think in the third round, maybe the second round, he'll be the same as Pat White", said Kiper.[98]
Tebow was particularly mentioned as a potential third round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, his hometown team. Some, including Florida governor Charlie Crist, suggested that Tebow could be the remedy for dwindling Jaguars ticket sales at EverBank Field.[99] Early in the 2009 season, Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver stated: "He (Tebow) clearly is an outstanding football player and would be an asset to any football organization. Clearly there's going to be a groundswell for Tebow, and we'll have to make that evaluation if we have a draft pick that's going to be anywhere near him."[100] Not everyone in the organization agreed, as Jaguar lineman Uche Nwaneri posted doubts about Tebow's potential NFL success on his team's website message board.[101]
Pre-draft measureables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP Wonderlic
6 ft 2¾ in 236 lb 4.71 s 1.55 s 2.66 s 4.17 s 6.66 s 38½ in 9 ft 7 in
22
All results from NFL Combine[102][103]

Denver Broncos

2010

Tebow during warm-ups with the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in 2010.
Tebow was selected by the Denver Broncos in the first round (25th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. The Broncos had acquired the pick in a trade with the Baltimore Ravens on the first night of the draft on April 22.[104] The Ravens received picks in the second, third and fourth rounds which were used to select Sergio Kindle, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta respectively.[105] Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels said about his two first-round selections, which included Tebow, "We want players who are tough, smart, have great character, love football and are passionate about coming here and helping the Broncos win a championship. I think both players fit that role, and I think that's something that we're looking for in all of our players. What we're trying to build here is team chemistry and a team that cares about winning and winning a championship, and that's it." He also added specifically about Tebow, "He has all the traits you look for. It's a good pick."[106] Tebow responded in an interview, saying, "My greatest joy in Denver is going to be to repay Coach McDaniels for believing in me." Tebow also said of his critics, "I just have a passion to play football. When you do things different than other people sometimes do them, and you don't settle for just being average, you open yourself up for criticism. But, I'm ready for it. I've learned to live with it. I never just wanted to do things the same way everybody else does."[107]
ESPN.com's Bill Williamson said, "Josh McDaniels' legacy is Tim Tebow."[106]
When asked how Tebow will be used, McDaniels commented that Tebow probably won't start at quarterback as a rookie; although, he said he'll "play when he's ready." He also said that there could be some packages custom-made for Tebow right away and indicated that he could initially contribute to Denver's variation of the wildcat formation, called the wild horse formation.[106]
The Denver Post columnist Woody Paige praised the pick, saying "Tim Tremendous may be high risk, but he will be a Mile High Reward...Tebow has become the most celebrated fourth-string rookie quarterback in NFL history, the most controversial quarterback pick by the Broncos since Tommy Maddox was chosen in exactly the same spot in the first round in 1992, the most decorated player and the most determined quarterback, and the most puzzling dichotomy, in the entire draft."[108]
Tebow wore number 15 on his jersey for the Broncos, the same number he wore in college.[109] He set an NFL Draft record for jersey sales.[110] He also had the best-selling jersey in the entire NFL each month since being drafted. The Broncos, as a whole, led the NFL among all teams in jersey sales as well.[111][112]
On July 29, Tebow signed a five-year contract with the Broncos that had a base value of $11.25 million (he can make as much as $33 million through certain performance-based incentives). The contract also included $8.7 million guaranteed.[113]
On October 17, Tebow scored his first NFL touchdown, which was a five-yard running play against the New York Jets.[114] On November 14, Tebow threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Spencer Larsen on his first career NFL pass attempt, as part of a 49-29 home victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. He also added a one-yard rushing touchdown in the game.[115] His performance against the Chiefs earned him his first Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week honor.[116]
Tebow started his first NFL game on December 19, which was a 39-23 road loss to the Oakland Raiders.[117] Tebow completed eight of 16 passes for 138 yards, including a 33-yard touchdown pass. He also rushed for 78 yards, 40 of which came on a touchdown run in the first quarter of the game. It was the longest touchdown run for a quarterback in Broncos history and the longest touchdown run in NFL history for a quarterback in his first start. Tebow became just the third quarterback in NFL history to throw for a touchdown of 30 or more yards and run for a touchdown of 40 or more yards in the same game.[118] He finished the game with a 100.5 passer rating, the highest ever in team history for a professional debut.
Tebow's first career victory came in his second start on December 26. The Broncos defeated the Houston Texans, 24-23, in Denver. Tebow helped rally the Broncos from a 17-0 deficit at halftime, as he finished the game with 308 passing yards and one touchdown pass. He also added a fourth quarter rushing touchdown, which capped the comeback.[119] Tebow received his second Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Week honor following his performance.[120]
Tebow finished his rookie season playing sparingly in six games as a back-up (primarily on plays involving the wild horse formation, which is Denver's variation of the wildcat formation) before starting the last three games of the Broncos' season. He threw for a total of 654 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions. He also rushed for 227 yards and six touchdowns. Tebow became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for a touchdown in each of his first three career starts.

2011

Tebow playing against the Kansas City Chiefs in January 2012
Tebow began the 2011 season as the Denver Broncos' backup quarterback, with Kyle Orton acting as the starter. After a 1–4 start and some poor performances, Orton was replaced by Tebow at halftime during a home game against the San Diego Chargers in the fifth week of the season. Tebow nearly led the Broncos back from a 16-point deficit, as he passed and ran for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Chargers ultimately won the game, 29–24. Shortly afterward, Broncos' head coach John Fox announced Tebow would start in the following game on the road against the Miami Dolphins. Tebow and the Broncos struggled in the first three-and-a-half quarters against the Dolphins, but rallied from a 15–0 deficit in the last three minutes to win the game, 18–15, in overtime. Denver became the first team in NFL history to win a game after being down by at least 15 points with three minutes to play in a game.[121]
On November 6, Tebow rushed for 117 yards, along with passing for 124 yards and two touchdowns, as part of a 38–24 road victory over the Oakland Raiders. It was the first game in his NFL career that Tebow rushed for at least 100 yards. Broncos' running back Willis McGahee ran for 163 yards and two touchdowns, making Tebow and McGahee only the fifth quarterback and running back tandem in NFL history to run for at least 100 yards in the same game.[122] The Broncos followed up a road win over division-rival Oakland with another road win over a division rival, the Kansas City Chiefs. Tebow completed two passes on eight attempts for 69 yards and a touchdown. His second completion, a 56-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to wide receiver Eric Decker, sealed the game for Denver. Tebow became the fifth quarterback since 1980 to win a game after being the sole quarterback on the winning team to complete two or fewer passes.[123] Four days later, Tebow was 9-for-20 with 104 yards in a Thursday Night Football home game against the New York Jets. He led a 95-yard, game-winning touchdown drive with less than six minutes to play, and the Broncos trailing, 13–10. On third-and-four, Tebow ran for a 20-yard touchdown with less than one minute remaining. The Broncos won the game, 17–13.[124] Tebow guided the Broncos to another comeback victory the next week—a 16–13 overtime road win over the San Diego Chargers. He ran the ball 22 times for 67 yards. His 22 rushing attempts were the most by an NFL quarterback since 1950.[125]
In the 10th start of his NFL career, Tebow led the Broncos to their third consecutive come-from-behind win of the season after trailing going into the fourth quarter, as Denver beat the Minnesota Vikings on the road, 35–32. The following Sunday, Tebow once again guided a comeback victory, this time at home over the Chicago Bears. Denver won 13-10 in overtime after facing a 10-0 deficit with just over two minutes to play in regulation. Tebow's sixth come-from-behind fourth quarter or overtime victory in his 11 career starts was the most in NFL history for any quarterback in that time span.[126]
Tebow and the Broncos' winning streak was broken by the New England Patriots in week 15. Tebow rushed for 2 touchdowns and accounted for almost 300 total yards against the Patriots, but Denver lost 41-23. In the Broncos' 40-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills the following week, Tebow had 1 passing and 1 rushing touchdown, but he also threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. He struggled for a second straight game the following week in a 7-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, completing only 6 of 22 passes and finishing with a career low quarterback rating of 20.6 But with a week 17 loss by the Oakland Raiders, the Broncos won the AFC West title in a tiebreaker.[127]
After the three consecutive losses, Broncos vice president and former quarterback John Elway said Tebow was playing tentatively and needed to "pull the trigger."[128][129] On January 8, Denver hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first round of the NFL playoffs. Tebow threw for a career high 316 yards and two touchdowns, including an 80 yard TD to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime, as the Broncos won 29–23.[129] Tebow completed 10 of 21 passes in the contest, setting the franchise record for quarterback rating in a playoff game (125.6)[129] and an NFL record for yards per completion (31.6) in a playoff game.[130] Media sources noted Tebow's passing yards (316) and yards per completion (31.6) evoked the Bible's John 3:16. The Nielsen ratings for the game also peaked at 31.6. John 3:16 was the top search item on Google the next morning, followed by Tebow and Tim Tebow.[131][132]
The Broncos were handed a 45–10 defeat by the New England Patriots the following week, knocking them out of the playoffs.[133] After the season, Elway confirmed that Tebow would be the Broncos starting quarterback going into training camp in 2012.[134]
On April 28, 2012, the NFL announced its 91st-100th ranked players of its NFL Top 100 in which Tebow was ranked 95th by his fellow peers.[135][136]

New York Jets

On March 21, 2012, in the wake of the Broncos signing free agent Peyton Manning, Tebow was traded, along with the Broncos' 2012 7th round draft pick, to the New York Jets in exchange for the Jets' 4th and 6th round picks.[137][138]

NFL Statistics

Regular season

Season Team Games Passing Sacks Rushing Fumbles
GP GS W–L Comp Att Pct Yds Y/Att TD INT Rating # Yds Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost
2010 Denver Broncos 9 3 1–2 41 82 50.0 654 8.0 5 3 82.1 6 26 43 227 5.3 6 1 0
2011 Denver Broncos 14 11 7–4 126 271 46.5 1,729 6.4 12 6 72.9 33 225 122 660 5.4 6 13 6
Total 23 14 8–6 167 353 47.3 2,383 6.8 17 9 75.1 39 251 165 887 5.4 12 14 6

Playoffs

Season Team Games Passing Sacks Rushing Fumbles
GP GS W–L Comp Att Pct Yds Y/Att TD INT Rating # Yds Att Yds Avg TD FUM Lost
2011-12 Denver Broncos 2 2 1–1 19 47 40.4 452 9.6 2 0 90.0 5 28 15 63 4.2 1 1 1

In the media

Books

On May 31, 2011, HarperCollins released Through My Eyes, an autobiography that Tebow co-wrote with author Nathan Whitaker. Tebow details his early life growing up in Jacksonville and the Philippines, as well as his college football experiences.[139] By March 04, 2012 it had spent 24 weeks on the New York Times best seller list. [140] It was named the #1 sports book of 2011 [141] and the bestselling religion book of 2011 [142]. Tim followed his memoir with a young readers’ edition entitled Through My Eyes: A Quarterback’s Journey, also co-written with Nathan Whitaker [143].

Magazines and Endorsements

Tebow is a spokesperson for Nike, Jockey International and FRS Health Energy.[144][145][146]
In September 2008, Tebow appeared on the cover of Men's Fitness magazine.
On April 8, 2010, Tebow was announced as the cover athlete for all three game platforms of the video game NCAA Football 11.[147]
In 2011, Tebow was the first quarterback featured in ESPN's "Year of the Quarterback" series. The documentary, entitled "Tim Tebow: Everything in Between," followed him from the 2010 Sugar Bowl to the 2010 NFL Draft. It premiered on January 6, 2011.[148] On November 8, 2011 the documentary was released on DVD.
On December 13, 2011, Tebow was the athlete featured on the cover of the first edition of the NFL's official magazine.[149]
In 2011, Tebow was rendered as a superhero by Marvel Comics. His character was known as "Super Tim."[150]

Music videos

YouTube, Google Videos, Godtube, and other video-sharing websites have numerous variations of Tim Tebow college and professional football highlights in video clips of varying lengths (such as 'Tebow Magic' and 'All He Does is Win'), with various video and musical backdrops, and user views reaching into the multi-millions.[151]

Super Bowl ad

A nationwide controversy surrounded Tebow's decision to appear in an ad funded by the socially conservative organization Focus on the Family that was broadcast February 7, 2010, during Super Bowl XLIV on CBS.[152][153] There were two 30-second commercials, which included Tebow's personal story as part of an overall pro-life stance. The abortion issue was not specifically mentioned in the ad.[154] Pro-choice groups condemned the ad,[155] while pro-life groups rallied around Tebow.[156]

Tebowing

Tebow kneeling in prayer.
Tebowing is a neologism for the act of kneeling on one knee in prayer with one's head resting on one's fist.[157][158] It is derived from Tebow's propensity for kneeling and praying. The origin of the phrase is credited to fan Jared Kleinstein, who posted a picture with friends on Facebook, in which they mimicked a pose of Tebow following the Broncos' comeback overtime victory over the Dolphins on October 23, 2011.[159] The popularity of the picture led Kleinstein to set up a website showing pictures submitted by people depicting various interpretations of Tebowing all over the world.[159] After two and a half-months, the site received 20,000 photograph submissions from all seven continents and 20 million page views from 2 million unique visitors.[160] The New York Times wrote "it can be hard to tell whether [people tebowing] are celebrating or mocking [Tebow] for his virtuous ways."[158] Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl tebowed as part of a bet with the mayor of Denver following the Broncos playoff victory over the Steelers in 2012.[161]
Tebowing was recognized as a word in the English language by the Global Language Monitor, due to its level of worldwide usage, which was comparable to the word Obamamania (referencing President Barack Obama).[157][162] In December 2011, the life-sized wall adhesions company Fathead released a "Tebowing" sticker that became the company's best-selling product in two days.[163]

Evangelism

In the Philippines, Tim Tebow preached the Christian Gospel in front of schoolchildren and entire villages and assisted in medical care.[164][165] Moreover, Tebow supports more than 40 national evangelists working in that nation.[165] In the United States, he has shared his Christian faith in prisons and schools, to church and youth groups, and at meetings and conferences.[164][9]
An Easter Sunday crowd of roughly 20,000 listened to Tebow on April 8, 2012. He only briefly mentioned his move from Denver to New York. "Kind of got traded. I'm on another team -- excited to be a Jet," Tebow said. "Regardless of what happens, I still honor my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, because at the end of the day, that's what's important, win or lose. … We need to get back to one nation under God, and be role models for kids," Tebow added. [166][167]

Philanthropic work

Tebow envisioned a foundation to give back to others during his college career, and he, along with other University of Florida students, created First and 15. Through this organization, Tebow raised funds for Uncle Dick's Orphanage in the Philippines, founded by his father’s nonprofit association, the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association.[168] He also raised monies for Shands Hospital pediatric cancer center in Gainesville and a Disney trip for disadvantaged children. Upon graduation from University of Florida, Tebow launched the Tim Tebow Foundation in January 2010.[169]

Tebow CURE Hospital

CURE and the Tebow Foundation announced plans to build a children's hospital in the fall of 2011 in the Philippines, the country where Tebow was born. The Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao City, on the island of Mindanao, will hold 30 beds and will specialize in orthopedics. Construction began in January 2012 and it is expected to open in mid-2013. CURE's 12th hospital worldwide, they hope to heal deformities such as clubfoot, untreated burns, hydrocephalus and other conditions correctable with surgery. The cost of the project, $3 million, will come from donors from CURE and the Tebow Foundation. The hospital will include a "Timmy's Playroom."[170]

Awards and honors

College

2006 season

2007 season

Tim Tebow in 2007

2008 season

2009 season

Professional

See also

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