Monday, December 19, 2011

The Tim Tebow Phenomenon

As a Florida Gators fan, I certainly hoped Tim Tebow, who was one of the greatest college quarterbacks ever, would have a successful NFL career.  But I never would have believed he would attain a rock star status even greater than he had in college football.  In the last week, Tebow, now the starting QB for the Denver Broncos, appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated and was satirized on “Saturday Night Live.” Furthermore, in the last Republican debate of 2011, Rick Perry declared that he would like to be the “Tim Tebow of the Iowa Caucus,” referring to Tebow’s patented fourth-quarter comebacks as well as the quarterback’s evangelical Christianity, which is very popular with social conservatives in the Hawkeye State.  Though Sports Illustrated and “Saturday Night Live” are central institutions from an earlier era that have faded in relevance, few could have pulled off this pop culture trifecta.  The Tebow phenomenon culminated with Sunday’s Denver Broncos-New England Patriots game, which earned the second-highest ratings for an afternoon game on CBS since the network bought the rights to the AFC package in 1998.  In a manner of weeks, Tebow has gone from the backup quarterback on a losing team to perhaps the biggest sports phenomenon in the country, crossing boundaries into politics and entertainment.

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