Tim Tebow was on his knees on the Denver sideline, part of a chain of Bronco players that were holding hands and looking at the ground on the sideline at Sun Life Stadium in Miami. He couldn’t watch, not after so much else go wrong during the course of the game.
Maybe he should have peeked.
After all, he missed the kick that turned his 2011 debut into a success- and possibly officially resurrected his career.
Matt Prater made that kick after missing a pair of field goals in regulation and Denver won 18-15 in OT, capping off a furious comeback by the former Gators star QB on a day the Gators 2008 National Championship team was honored at halftime.
But it wasn’t all pretty.
In fact, it was uglier than a Georgia Bulldogs football game for 3 and a half quarters.
With Urban Meyer and a bunch of former teammates in attendance, Tebow got off to a Georgia type start, going 4-14 for 40 yards. He did have a youtube worthy 21 yard scramble, but it was his lone highlight. He continued to play like he was wearing a UGA uniform, throwing wounded ducks that landed no better than four feet away from his receiver, holding the ball too long and getting sacked, and even fumbling once, something that happened once in a blue moon at UF.
So with under 6 minutes to play, and the Broncos trailing 15-0, Jim Rome had his anti-Tebow script all written out, and was simply looking for which tie he wanted to wear when he bashed Tebow the next time his B-rated show aired.
Merril Hoge had already turned the game off, and was already thinking of which fancy restaurant to give some of his well earned money from ESPN (for being the network buffoon) in exchange for a nice dinner. Even he gets bored sometimes.
Mel Kiper was actually busy breaking down last night’s Michigan State-Wisconsin and Texas Tech-Oklahoma games (amazing finishes in both games, might I add) with the same scholarly approach that he tore Tebow down with, but then he saw the score and smirked.
Joke’s on you, clowns.
Tebow then engineered one of the most incredible comebacks in recent memory, driving the Broncos all the way for a touchdown on a beautiful throw to a receiver, that, as Nick Saban would say, wasn’t friggin open. DeMaryius Thomas made a great move to find some separation, but fell. Tebow then tossed it right on the money and Thomas caught it as he fell.
So with the score 15-7 Broncos with 2 and a half minutes to play, John Fox elected to go for the onside kick- and got it. Tebow then directed a second touchdown drive, that ended when he took a step to the left, then lobbed it back to Dan Fells on the right side. Fells caught it and went in for the touchdown as Miami players just shook their heads, victims of a perfectly executed screen play that would have suckered the Baltimore Ravens.
But it was still 15-13. Denver still needed the two point conversion. So Tebow then did what he did best as a Gator- he plowed into the end zone to tie the game at 15.
So the game went into overtime.
Each team punted, and then the Broncos defense forced a fumble. Matt Prater came on and booted the clutch field goal through the uprights to even Tebow’s record to 2-2 as a starter.
The haters and morons (really, that’s the same group of people) see the game as “Tebow got lucky”, “Why were they struggling against a winless team in the first place”, and finally, “Tebow’s still horrible”.
Those people can go (insert your profane and offensive phrase of choice HERE).
Honestly? I see the game as an instant replay of Florida-Arkansas 2009, minus the bad calls against the Razorbacks (let’s be honest, Ramon Broadway did NOT interfere with Deonte Thompson… and the unnecessary roughness was BS… but of course as a Gator fan I will take it).
Tebow did not play well. Nor did his teammates. Everybody was talking about Tebow’s issues, since he was a senior and the talk had already begun about whether he could make it as an NFL QB. Gary Danielson made one specific comment when Arkansas defensive lineman Jake Bequette stripped Tebow that made me nod in sad agreement: “That’s going to be a problem.” It was. It gave Arkansas a free field goal- one of the many freebies the Gators handed the Hogs that day.
But late in the game, the Gators offense came alive. Tebow directed the tying drive (with the aforementioned referee assistance) and later the winning drive (with no ref assistance). He shook off what was an otherwise horrible day and got the win.
And so my hat goes off to you, Tim. You haven’t played perfect football, but you’ve done everything in your power to get the win.
There’s been so much talk about Tebow, as you know, about his issues and his potential problems he would have in the pros because of them. One thing that’s been kind of quiet- no, sorry, more like SILENT or COMPLETELY UNMENTIONED- is the fact that he’s a winner.
He wins games.
Sure, it was only an 0-6 Miami team, but Tebow found a way to win the game.
He’s a winner, always was, and always will be, and no amount of trash spewed by haters can change that.
Broncos 18, Dolphins 15.
And Tebow scored both touchdowns.
Chomp on that, haters.