With this post, I’m knowingly about to engage a game of Evangelical ‘Whack-a-Mole…’ and I’ll be the mole. It is for the simple reason that I got a little thrill (actually a lot of thrill) when I opened the news yesterday to learn that Peyton Manning was meeting with my beloved Denver Broncos.
Let the whacking begin.
First, I should say that I am a life-long Denver Broncos fan. I blame Aaron Visse, my buddy in the fourth grade. He introduced me to the Orange Crush of the 80′s and I have been devoted since well before the Elway era.
Second, I really appreciate the man that Tim Tebow as well as what he is as a football player. What he accomplished last year on the field, with what appears to be a limited skill-set (who am I to say), is nothing short of amazing. What he accomplished in the locker room is undeniably great.
When all emotion and devotion to the Jesus is set aside, everyone seems to agree on the idea that Tebow is the real deal as a man. It is a lot of pressure for a person of faith to carry but when the world looks at Tebow, they fully expect that he’ll continue to be exactly what he says he is without a hint of failure. For Tebow’s sake, I really hope so. That’s a tough yoke to stick your neck into.
As a Christ-follower, I’m proud of Tebow. Given the opportunity to coach him, I would wish that he would simply excise every Christian cliche’ from his oratory toolkit. I think it would broaden his audience and eliminate all of the reasons for the rest of the world to, at times, be dismissive. That said, I think Tebow’s audience is about 65 million strong and there’s probably not a lot of need for increase. Otherwise, what’s to change or improve?
To the point of the Broncos and their quarterback position, Tebow has filled the bill for a season and he has done the thing that nobody has done since John Elway – He has inspired greatness.
With an absolute willingness to be wrong, I don’t know that last season is repeatable with the current iteration of Tim Tebow. I fear for his sake that he is one bad season from being flushed out of the league save the fact that he is held onto by virtue of his sheer popularity. That said, I hope for his future and that it is a bright one as an NFL quarterback, but one that comes about in the manner that it has for so many NFL greats: Sitting for a few years behind another great quarterback and having the fullness of the NFL game become such a part of who you are that when you finally get your shot, you rise immediately. Young, Brady and Rogers all come to mind.
Guys like Joey Harrington also come to mind. His glory moment was the draft only to be followed by a few seasons of playing for Detroit. It was a rough life. I would have wished for him to have had the opportunity to sit a few seasons behind a Montana, Bledsoe or Favre. I think it would have been a much different story.
In my perfect world, Peyton Manning would become a Bronco, finishing out his career in Denver matching Elways’s back-t0-back titles and then handing the keys to the car over to a more seasoned Tim Tebow. I believe that Tebow has the kind of stuff to gain what he doesn’t have over time.
I realize that its a fantasy world and that for Manning to come Tebow will probably have to go, but I also think that it could work. John Elway is faced with the impossible task of finding a quarterback solution in place of the most popular player in the league. It is hard to imagine a scenario that Tebow-ing Bronco fans will tolerate. The only thing less popular than shipping Tebow would be sliding him to number two. Except, maybe, if your number one is Peyton Manning. Then Bronco fans would have two players that remind them of Elway.