Posted Sun Mar 25th by Jon Heath
This is an opinion article and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the rest of the BT staff.
Of course, I must first start with a disclaimer: I have been following quarterback Tim Tebow since his sophomore season at the University of Florida and have been a big fan of him since his collegiate football days. I will continue to follow him throughout his career and acknowledge that he is an incredible athlete, fantastic football player and a great person with commendable character.
With that said, I have become increasingly disappointed and extremely frustrated with the magnitude of Broncos fans who have also followed Tebow — some of whom followed him all the way to New York. There’s nothing wrong with being a fan of Tebow and hoping he has success with his new team, but some facts need to be set straight.
“I have been a Broncos fan for [a certain amount of] years but I despise the way John Elway treated Tim Tebow and will have trouble rooting for Denver this season,” has been said countless times on this site and many others since the team traded Tebow. We’ll talk about that, first.
Elway — though he did have a hand in the process — was not the one that “ran Tebow out of town.” If you’re still bitter about it and want to have somebody to blame, spit your venom toward Owner Pat Bowlen, not Elway. It was Bowlen who initiated moving on from Tebow.
Many fans mention all of Tebow’s heroics from 2011 and the fact that he won a playoff game in Denver last season. Those same fans fail to mention all of the horrendous performances — including one a week after Tebow’s playoff victory — in a Denver Broncos‘ uniform.
Bowlen, who is looking for perfection in a quarterback, has one goal in mind and that is to win a Super Bowl. Nothing comes before that — not money, jersey sales or fans’ opinions — and nothing will stop Bowlen from doing what he believes gives Denver the best chance to win a Super Bowl. A 45-10 embarrassing playoff loss to the New England Patriots was the final straw for Bowlen, who had seen Tebow struggle mightily four times earlier in the season.
After the game, in which Tebow went 9-of-26 for 136 yards and was sacked five times (fumbling once), a Denver Post columnists quoted Bowlen as saying he wanted to win Championships, not Division Titles. Fair or not, Bowlen was ready to move on from Tebow.
Twelve weeks before Denver’s loss in Foxborough, Tebow had suffered a similar 45-10 loss at the hands of the Lions of Detroit. Going 18-of-39 for 172 yards, Tebow’s one touchdown pass was matched by an interception returned for a touchdown and doubled by a fumble that was also returned for a score.
Since becoming the starter a week before the loss to the Lions, Tebow had now been sacked thirteen times and fumbled four times in a mere two games. Bouncing back, Tebow would go on to have a hot streak — which has been well documented — that ultimately earned Denver a playoff birth.
In reality however, Denver backed into the playoffs with an 8-8 record after losing all of their final three contests of the 2011 season. In those three games, Tebow threw one touchdown and four interceptions, rushed for three touchdowns and was sacked ten times.
A week later, Tebow defeated a Pittsburgh Steelers team in a game that will be forever remembered in Broncos’ history. It was all for naught however as Denver would prove the following week that they were not prepared to face the true powers of the AFC en route to the Super Bowl.
Since then, Bowlen has instructed his front office to bring a quarterback that is capable of matching up with, and defeating, the big boys of the AFC. Elway and Co. brought in Manning for that purpose, and in the process traded away a quarterback in whom the team’s owner was no longer confident his leadership could win a Super Bowl.
The fans response has been to ridicule and harass Broncos’ Executive Vice President of Football Operations John Elway on social media sites and talk radio shows. The reason being, Elway supported Bowlen’s opinions of Tebow and has been the face of the franchise since he returned to the team as a front office executive last off-season.
So stop saying “Elway ran Tebow out of town.” If you really want to, say “Bowlen instructed Elway to run Tebow out of town and he followed instructions.” More accurately, Bowlen instructed EFX — Elway, Head Coach John Fox and General Manager Brian Xanders — to bring in a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback.
Secondly, I want to discuss the belief that “Denver stabbed Tebow in the back.” This is the NFL; players are traded every day. And by-the-way, the Indianapolis Colts did the exact same thing to Peyt0n Manning.
That’s right, the same man that some fans are hoping injures himself this season to “serve the Broncos right!” That is so uncalled for and disgusting but a subject for another time. In the words of Tebowmaniacs, “he was disrespected by the team that he had shed blood sweat and tears for on the football field and was stabbed in the back after doing everything in his power to help his team win.”
That’s right, the Colts cut Peyton Manning, who won four League MVP Awards while with the team, because it was the best move for their franchise. How could they release a player that earned the fourth-most wins in the NFL history? That’s uncalled for, and it’s not fair!
Do you hear the Tebow fans saying that? Nope.
Stop with the “Denver stabbed Tebow in the back” nonsense. They made a football decision, a very hard one , because they think it was the best move for the franchise. They took a risk — gasp! — because that’s what it takes to get anywhere in this life, and in the NFL.
Just move on. Tebow is gone! Get over it. If this comes back to bite the Broncos in the butt, we’ll talk about it then. Let’s not worry that could happen and let’s certainly not “hope” that it does like many “Bronco fans” say they do.
If the Denver Broncos go on hot streak and make a Super Bowl run with Peyton Manning at the helm, every Bronco fan will be excited about it. If you wouldn’t be excited to see Peyton Manning leading the Denver Broncos to victory, dare I ask, are you really even a fan?
To be clear, I’m not trying to deny or belittle the great things Tebow did while with the Denver Broncos. I am however trying to suggest that we move on from the subject and wait and see how this season turns out before casting judgment on Denver’s front office, particularly John Elway, who has taken a lot of heat over the situation.