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18 November, 2011

The Tebow Clause

   by Gus Ramsey

   In the movie The Santa Clause, Scott Calvin spends a large chunk of the movie trying to convince his ex-wife and her husband, Neil, that he is, in fact, Santa Claus.  Scott's son, Charlie, believes all along but despite Scott putting on 100 pounds, growing the big, white beard and taking on the complete physical appearance of Santa Claus, his ex and Neil aren't buying it. Then, late in the movie, Neil looks deep into Scott's eyes and it hits him. "Santa?" he says in total bewilderment. After a few moments of confusion, Scott talks himself back into his rational state of disbelief. But a little later, when Neil sees Scott fly off in a sleigh, he finally believes. He turns to his stepson and says, "Charlie, I'm sorry," to which Charlie responds, "that's OK, you were just denying your inner child."
   And that's where we are with Tim Tebow and John Fox. Tim Tebow has been telling everyone he is a quarterback, but no one believed him. He lined up under center, yelled "Blue 90!! Blue 90!!" and even completed some passes. But no one believed. He made reindeer fly and pulled off a Christmas miracle of a comeback against the Dolphins. Then he spearheaded wins over the Raiders and Cheifs, but Fox was still skeptical. His rational coaching voice talked him back to reality. But last night, after that 95-yard, game-winning drive,  Fox finally looked Tebow in the eyes and said "Santa?" Fox is no longer denying his inner child. He's ready to let everything he thought to be true about succeeding in the NFL go and is willing to hop aboard the Tebow sleigh ride.
   According to Mike Klis of the Denver Post, who was in the locker room talking to Tebow's teammates after the game, they all made the leap last night too. They went from thinking the "Tebow thing" could work, with a healthy dose of "yeah, but..." to true believers. They're not alone. When Eddie Royal fair caught the punt on the 5-yard line, 95% of me said "We have no chance," but 5% of me said, "We have Tim Tebow." And for now, that seems to be a good thing. A really good thing.

   ***other Tebow thoughts***
   Speaking of Christmas, I'm guessing Tebow jerseys will be the most popular gift under the trees in Denver this year.

    I'm not buying the "John Elway is mad that Tebow is winning" stuff. John Elway is all about winning. I don't see any circumstance where he goes home happy if the Broncos lose. Is he conflicted? Maybe. Would he rather have Andrew Luck as his QB next season? Probably. Is he happy if the Broncos lose? No chance. That's not how winners think.

  Speaking of "winners," Tebow is redefining what it means to be a winner right before our very eyes. Sounds weird, I know. Winners win. What's so complicated about that? But when I think of the biggest winners of the last 25 years (Charlie Sheen doesn't count), three names come to mind: Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter and Tiger Woods. MJ didn't stink for 3 1/2 quarters, going 2-17 from the floor, and then suddenly get hot and hit game winning shots. Derek Jeter wasn't a .225 hitter who always seemed to get the game winning hit. Tiger Woods wasn't barely making the cut and then miraculously winning tournaments. Those guys were great, consistent performers who also won. When people say about Tebow, "All he does is win," I think they mean literally.

   I love how Broncos victories have become like UFO crop circles, people see them, but can't really explain them. Analysts on all the networks are "dumbfounded," "amazed," and "bewildered." No one can explain how a guy can look so bad and then throw the switch and win. I suggested on Twitter he's like Teen Wolf, totally generic until he becomes "The Wolf" and then he can't be stopped. A Twitter follower said he's like Buzz Lightyear, he can't really fly but he does spectacular stunts that make you believe he can.

   I'm excited to see what Denver will do with 10 days to practice. Most of the players are still learning to run this offense. It will be fun to see what they add to it and how it looks after they've honed their skills over the next week and a half.

   I wonder if we'll hear some "good free agent wide receivers won't want to sign in Denver" talk if this keeps up.

   So far Tebow has done a great job of avoiding big shots. Bart Scott got him on the second play of the game (which made me wonder if that was partly the reason Tebow didn't run the ball once in the first quarter), but he is not getting drilled. The concern with this offense is that Tebow can't handle the sustained beating this offense is sure to provide. If he gets hurt, Denver would be stuck with Brady Quinn trying to run read-option. So far, so good.

   Before the game yesterday I was at the gym and saw a 60ish year old man wearing a Broncs t-shirt. That's not common in central Connecticut,  so I asked him if he was a Broncos fan and he said, "Actually, I'm a Tim Tebow fan."
   I didn't ask him if he still believed in Santa.

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