Time for the Tim Tebow Experience


Well football fans, buckle up!  The time has finally arrived.  The Kyle Orton reign appears to be over and like it or not, the Tim Tebow Experience finally takes off this week for the NFL (and the Denver Broncos).  No matter what the outcome of the Experience it’s sure to make for good viewing in an otherwise dreadful rebuilding year for Denver.

In a move that many fans in the Mile High City have been hoping for, and following their previous game’s loss to the San Diego Chargers, the Broncos announced the move that had been expected for weeks, if not months.  The switch from Kyle Orton to Tebow followed a game in which Orton had little success in the first half against a Charger team that in recent years has owned the Broncos.  In the second half Tebow led a comeback effort that fell just short on the last play of the game.  Was that enough to wrestle the job away from the starter Orton?  It’s hard to think that ONE game had enough impact to force a move like this and the offense had been struggling for some time before the Charger game.  I have to say that I am not really surprised by the move, and like many I was expecting the move for some time.

For those that subscribe to conspiracy theories it’s a field day.  In the preseason there were rumors about a Miami-Denver back-alley deal that would put Tebow into the starting lineup by the time both teams met following Denver’s bye week.  This was to coincide with Miami’s celebration of the Florida Gators national championship from a few years ago.  “Tim Tebow” day would work out great for the Dolphins, as the attendance would sure to be up from the rest of the season.  With the struggling Denver offense and the subsequent switch to Tebow the change could be explained as a move to light a fire on the team.  Of course it’s all speculation and rumors that cannot be confirmed, and it sounds a little contrived to me, but if you’re a conspiracy theorist, I guess things seem to add up.

I’m not so sure that the duo of John Elway and John Fox is into manipulating their team in such a way, but at this point it really doesn’t matter.  What’s done is done.  Given the current condition of the franchise, there’s no doubt the move to Tebow would help garner interest for the rest of the season in the once-proud Broncos.  This 11-game audition would also allow the team to see if Tebow was the answer at the position.  The team has already traded it’s best receiver and if the season was going to be a rebuilding one, I suppose it’s time to see what you’ve got.

One thing that cannot be debated is this: for whatever reason the team seems to respond to Tebow better than it did to Orton.  Maybe it’s the new coaching staff.  Maybe it’s the fact that the rumors have swirled around the team for so long and the team is just ready for them to be over.  I don’t know, but the energy in the stadium and with the players on the field appears to be at another level when Tebow is in the game.  Maybe the coaches sensed that too.  It’s no doubt the fans in the stands have.

In years gone by the Broncos enjoyed one of the best home-field advantages in the league.  Part of it was the altitude.  Part of it was the stadium.  Part of it was the team itself.  In the days of Elway and the Orange Crush the idea of playing the Broncos in Denver was not something any opponent relished.  With a shaking stadium (yes the stadium actually MOVED) every Sunday it appeared that the TV camera was broadcasting an earthquake rather than a Broncos home game.  The energy in those games was like none other, and for brief (very brief) moments over the last two seasons it appeared again.  Those times were when Tim Tebow took the field.  He has a following that’s not easily explained, but it’s there.  His jersey sales prove that.  Whether he’s great or not at this point really doesn’t matter.  The difference is clearly noticed.  His competitiveness seems to spread throughout the team, raising their level of play beyond what they had shown earlier.  That’s what the greatest players have always done.  They seem to bring out the best in everyone around them.  It’s a little early to call him GREAT, but that part of his game seems just fine.

The Tim Tebow Experience begins Sunday in Miami and it marks an important time for the Broncos and the NFL.  One game won’t tell the story, no matter how it goes.  The NFL has been waiting for this and for sure wants him to perform well.  The league can always use another “Captain America”, another Roger Staubach.  The “All-American Hero” that fans can get behind.  Tim Tebow is that guy.  Even if the Broncos aren’t sure yet, the league is hoping the Experience lasts for a long time.  So here we go.  Get your seats now and buckle up, because the ride is about to begin.