Tim Tebow timeline: The history of The Chosen One in Denver
Denver may be landlocked, but the town was hit by a hurricane two years ago -- and its name was Tim Tebow. Now that Peyton Manning has signed with the Broncos and Tebow's trade to the New York Jets is offical, the time is right to look back on Tebowmania, from the first time his name ever appeared in this space to the fateful day earlier this week when he became part of team's past rather than its future. Remember the madness below.
April 28, 2009
This post represented our initial mention of Tebow, in the context of complaints about Josh McDaniels's decision to trade the first pick in the 2010 draft to Seattle for a 2009 second-rounder used to select cornerback Alphonso Smith.
Feel free to ask, "Alphonso who?" anytime.
As we noted in this item, CBS Sports' Pete Prisco had talked up a number of quarterbacks expected to be available for drafting the following year, including Tebow.
In response, I wrote, "I can't agree with Prisco on this last one: Tebow seems like an NFL bust in the making."
Let the hating begin.
January 29, 2010
Tebow's 2010 Super Bowl ad for Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family made headlines for weeks before it actually aired due to curiosity about how heavy-handed its pro-life message might be. The final version constituted a relative soft-sell, but it's hard-hitting in a different way, as Tebow can be seen sacking his mom. Here's the spot:
February 5, 2010
Kyle from the blog Bronco Talk voiced this plaintive viewpoint. But did Josh McDaniels listen to him?
April 23, 2010
Lotsa criticism of the selection, particularly given that it was in the first round. But not from our friends to the south....
May 4, 2010
"John Elway talks up Broncos' Tim Tebow pick." Paraphrasing Elway's comments to 9News before he was part of team management: "He hints that Tebow won't start right away, but he expects him to be the guy in the next year or two, with McDaniels tinkering with the playbook to take advantage of Double-T's skill set. As for questions about mechanics, he defers to McDaniels, who he complements for his work with Tom Brady and Matt Cassel. He adds that he's excited to see Tebow play."
July 7, 2010
This was before he'd even taken a snap in an NFL game....
September 9, 2010
Quoth Taibbi: "There's a dreary kind of logic to Tebow stepping in late in the year and shoving all our noses in how wrong we were about him. Or he could be an epic bust like Lions QB Andre Ware, but I don't think so."
October 18, 2010
Josh McDaniels didn't use Tebow much during the early part of the 2010 season, and when he did, McD used his talents in one-dimensional fashion. An excerpt: "As for Tebow, he got onto the field for the first time since week one and proved fairly effective -- particularly on his first regular season NFL touchdown. But at this point, coach Josh McDaniels seems to see him as only a glorified extra running back, not someone capable of actually throwing the ball. And unless I'm very much mistaken, he'll have to pass every once in a while if he's ever going to become the Broncos' signal caller of the future."
October 28, 2010
"Tim Tebow should start at QB for Broncos, says almost half of America on ESPN's SportsNation."
After the Broncos' 59-14 blowout loss to the hated Oakland Raiders, the pressure to replace Kyle Orton with Tebow began to build nationally as well as locally.
After McDaniels's much-deserved sacking, Jim Rome tweeted this:
The only one taking the firing of coach/clone Josh McDaniels harder than me is Tim Tebow. Unless Urb gets the gig,Timmy could have a problem
December 27, 2010
With McDaniels gone and the season shot, Tebow got some starts, and he gave fans a few reasons to smile. As our Kiernan Maletsky wrote about a win over the Houston Texans, "Verily did Tim Tebow lift the forlorn Broncos on his broad shoulders and dump-off screen pass them over the worst pass defense in football. This win is hardly cause for a re-evaluation of the Broncos' historically awful season, but hey: they got the win after being down by 17 at the half. Story of Tebow's career."
August 3, 2011
"Tim Tebow can't play, Kyle Orton should be Broncos QB, tweets ESPN's Merril Hoge."
During the offseason, Kyle Orton seemed sure to be traded to the Miami Dolphins. But as that deal went south, it became clear both Orton and Tebow would be competing for the starting job in Denver. Merrill Hoge made his opinion about who should be handed the ball clear in tweets like this one:
Sitting watching tape off bronco offense from last year! Orton or Tebow? It's embarrassing to think the broncos could win with tebow!!
August 12, 2011
My analysis of Tebow in a contest that proved key to determining who would start at QB during the regular season: "You could see the wheels turning as he dropped back in the pocket, and frequently, they didn't spin fast enough, prompting him overlook open receivers in favor of taking off and running. Granted, he does that very well, but he leaps to this option too quickly -- and if he doesn't figure out a way to use this skill less frequently, the only endorsement deal open to him will be Blue Cross."
September 16, 2011
Orton got the starting job, but the team stank under his leadership, prompting Tebow Nation to beseech Coach John Fox to give The Chosen One a chance. A planned billboard encouraging him to do so inspired us to come up with placards of our own. Like this one:
October 10, 2011
During a game against the San Diego Chargers, Orton reeked so aggressively that Tebow was allowed to start the second half -- and while he looked terrible at times, he almost willed the team to victory. John Fox couldn't quite put into words what happened, but he still handed Timmy the starting gig.
The first miracle....
October 27, 2011
A phenomenon is born. And anyone can do it! Here's one of the earliest examples:
October 31, 2011
Not only did the Lions demolish the Broncos 45-10, but one lineman Tebowed after planting Timmy into the turf. Go to hell, Satan's spawn!
November 7, 2011
After a week of being a punchline (Shannon Sharpe compared him to a bad date -- the kind that might burn down your house), Tebow led the Broncos to one of their most convincing victories of the season.
November 14, 2011
Whoever invented the phrase "winning ugly" probably didn't mean this ugly. But the Broncos were three and one under Tebow, so who could complain?
November 18, 2011
Why did the Jets trade for Tebow? In all likelihood, this game -- a comeback W so shocking that NYC coach Rex Ryan had to be hospitalized afterward. Here's a look back at Tebow's late touchdown.
Amid another startling Broncos win, San Diego kicker Novak sprang a leak.
December 12, 2011
The most inexplicable triumph yet -- a gift from Bears' running back Marion Barber. An excerpt from our post: "In his post-game press conference, head coach John Fox sounded downright evangelical, thanking the good Lord for his players and saying he'd been blessed. And he wasn't the only one."
December 19, 2011
"Jesus visits Tim Tebow on Saturday Night Live, reveals that Tom Brady is God's nephew."
On the evening before a game against the New England Patriots, Tebow was brutally (and hilariously) lampooned on Saturday Night Live, and everything seemed to go into the crapper after that. Why hath thou forsaken Tim, My Lord?
December 29, 2011
The losses began to accumulate, and so did the strain in John Elway's voice as he had to keep supporting Tebow. Here's one pre-Christmas endorsement that's hilarious in retrospect: "Tim Tebow's not going anywhere. I mean, he's going to be a Bronco and we're going to do everything we can and hopefully he's that guy."January 8, 2011
The Broncos had no chance to defeat the Steelers in the playoffs -- so, of course, they did exactly that. Obviously, this was a team of destiny!
January 14, 2012
...or they would have been a team of destiny if the New England Patriots hadn't turned out to be way too good. Humiliation. Dejection. Fear -- so much so that an aging quarterback who'd just missed an entire season with a neck injury that seemingly didn't want to heal suddenly looked better than Mama Tebow's little boy.
March 19, 2012
The end had come. Or was it a new beginning?
Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.
More from our Sports archive: "Tim Tebow's 10 most motivational Bible verse recommendations & when to use them (PICS)."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.