A few years ago when Tim Tebow was the driving force behind an unstoppable Florida Gator football team, I found myself on the "hating Florida" bandwagon, simply because they were at the top. I found myself wishing Tebow would blow plays, get knocked out of the game, etc. for no justifiable reason, other than the fact he was the epitome of greatness at the college level. He did things I wish that teams could have stopped. But they couldn't.
As I've read more and more into the Tebow mania, I've come to respect the man more and more.
What I heard in his press conference on Sunday impressed me more than any professional athlete I've ever heard speak.
"...I want just want to thank Coach Fox and the coaches for giving me the opportunity and for believing in me for the entire game and for the defense keeping us in it and our receivers and offensive line, who at the end of the game made me look a lot better than I really am."
What professional athlete of any sport thanks his teammates for making him look better than he really is? I can't think of one who ever has.
And this just goes to show why Tebow is the man for the job in Denver--he's a leader. He knows it's not all about talent and first downs, but being able to pick a man up off the ground when he's down after a bad play or missed catch.
His spark is what's truly great. The fact he's not a top-tiered quarterback is irrelevant because Denver is winning.
Tebow went on to make a remark about it not being "Tebow time" in reference to the team's ability to orchestrate miraculous fourth quarter comebacks, but its rather "Broncos time," which again illustrates the thought of team before self.
It's no secret that Denver has had it's share of troubles early in the game. And a large part of Denver's early-game struggles come from Tebow not producing numbers early on. But then, things happen. Inexplicable things... like Marion Barber stepping out of bounds with two minutes left on the clock and giving Denver more time to come up with a final offensive drive.
Inexplicable things like Barber again bobbling the ball near midfield and fumbling it into Denver's hands in overtime.
Inexplicable things like Matt Prater hitting two field goals over 55 yards (59 and 57) to tie and win the game.
There's just something about this team. Nobody can explain it, and it's baffling sports journalists.
And Tebow makes a good point. He thanks the defense, the receivers, and the clutch kicker Matt Prater (who kicked the game-winning field goals against Miami and Chicago).
By himself, Tebow is not the best quarterback, nor will he likely ever be. But there's one thing that Tebow does understand, and that little something is there are 10 other players on the field.
It's a team effort.
And every team needs a leader. Someone to rally the troops, raise morale and keep the energy high.
Chris Siers is the sports editor for the Times-Gazette. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.