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Think Different: Believe in Tim Tebow

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By Andrew Bank
November 8, 2011 at 11:01 am



The idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover” clearly doesn’t apply to NFL quarterbacks.

Especially to one who notoriously judges himself based on content in The Book.

In addition to being the most bizarrely polarizing athlete of his generation, Tim Tebow is living, scrambling proof that (passing) form overshadows substance.

Tebow is way more ironic than rain on your wedding day (sorry, Alanis). He throws like a girl, but plays like a man. Tebow’s teams win games, but he loses them. His unshakable Christian faith is only rivaled by public doubt in his ability to be another Elway-esque savior. Maybe it’s time to suspend disbelief.

After Sunday’s surprising 38-24 victory over the Oakland Raiders, the Broncos climbed within one game of the AFC West lead (that sound you just heard was Al “Just Win, Baby” Davis rolling over in his grave). Tebow and Willis McGahee each rushed for over 100 yards, becoming the first Broncos’ quarterback-running back combo to do so since 1976. Tebow outperformed fellow Heisman winner Carson Palmer, who has inexplicably dodged widespread criticism after turning his back on the Bengals (a surging squad that cleaned up in the Blockbuster trade). Palmer is now 0-2 since joining the Raider Nation, but most NFL execs would still prefer his big arm over Tebow’s big heart.

I guess Palmer knows how to lose more conventionally than Tebow knows how to win.

Tebow haters believe his poor throwing mechanics make him a liability at the professional level. Perhaps technique is overvalued in a league where more highly touted QBs (such as Kyle Boller, David Carr, Joey Harrington, Ryan Leaf, Matt Leinart, & JaMarcus Russell) have failed to live up to their hype. Unless Tebow’s aspiring to pimp instructional videos like Fred McGriff, unique style isn’t necessarily a sign of futility. I’m sure two-time World Series Champion Kevin Youkilis would agree. According to Moneyball, the awkward swinging “Youk” may have been the missing piece on Billy Beane’s team of fundamentally flawed (but highly effective) ugly ducklings.

Tebow doesn’t have to win a Super Bowl to be a productive player and a positive role model. Still, many of the same analysts pulling for ex-cons like Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress genuinely want to see Tebow fail. Must one overcome sin to win the public’s affection? If so, Tebow’s proven character and leadership skills will undoubtedly prevent him from reaching Football Heaven.

The late Steve Jobs would have enjoyed watching Tim Tebow’s recent success. Apple’s iconic “Think Different” campaign praised the “misfits,” “round pegs in the square holes,” and innovators who have achieved wonders despite being labeled as “crazy.”

While the ad has now become a fitting tribute to Jobs himself, it also applies to #15. You can quote him, disagree with him, glorify or vilify him. But the only thing you can’t do is ignore him. Tebow is crazy enough to think he can win in the NFL. I’m not crazy enough to bet against him.

Following an embarrassing 31-3 loss to the winless Miami Dolphins, the Kansas City Chiefs will have their hands full next weekend when Tebow comes to Arrowhead. If the Chiefs don’t already believe in Tebow, they may find themselves questioning their faith on Monday morning.

Read Andrew Bank’s full HyperVocal archive here. Follow him on Twitter @andrewbank.

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