I received a chain email the other day. Usually, it’s my mom thinking I’m interested in seeing a bulldog ride a skateboard on YouTube, but this time it was about none other than Tim Tebow. Basically, it was a story about how Tim’s mother Pam had medical problems during her pregnancy, and doctors recommended an abortion. Now, normally I’d rather watch the skateboarding dog, but I think the concept of an abortion is an interesting parallel to Tebow’s career and development. After fascinating us during his time at Florida, we were done with him. Sure, we were interested in where he landed, and if he actually got to play, but nobody actually expected him to be in the second round of the playoffs. We always wonder how athletes that just seem to win do it. In general, it’s a reaction. A reaction to the naysayers convincing the world that they’re run of success is simply up. It’s a cliché that rings true. The longer we expect the worst from Tebow, the more he’ll continue to surprise us. SportsCenter ran a whole program on Tebow the other day, and led it off by demonstrating how Tom Brady’s first playoff game had similar numbers to Tebow’s first playoff game (both very good fantasy football games). They are by no means similar. Brady has always had form. Religion wasn’t a factor.
But what is similar about the two sensations is doubt, skepticism and what makes them fight. Maybe even more in Brady’s case. At Michigan, he began seventh on the depth chart. He fought and eventually got the starting job. He won the Citrus and Orange bowl. He finished with a completion percentage of about 60 percent. Apparently, his success was completely missed by every scout in the country, because he ended up getting drafted in the 6th round. Unlike Tebow, Brady’s struggles were mostly internal, because the world didn’t know his story until he was successful. Even after Drew Bledsoe got injured (a huge thanks to the Jets for that from a Pats fan) Brady was criticized. His playoff win against the Raiders was neutralized about the controversy of the “tuck rule.” Eventually the Patriots were the largest Super Bowl underdogs of all time, and Brady once again reacted to the lack of expectations with focus and strength. Both the 2001 Patriots and 2011 Broncos mostly relied on defense and good special teams. Commentators and analysts can’t preach enough that the Broncos success is, in most part, due to the parts of the team other than Tebow. But the truth that everybody who watched the Steelers game last week or the Raiders game in 2001 knows is that whatever the numbers are, these teams would be mediocre without the magic from their resilient quarterbacks. And I can guarantee that even ten years after his first Super Bowl, Brady will come on the field Sunday with the same chip on his shoulder that he did in that snowy battle with the Raiders; and Tebow wouldn’t want it any other way. Expect hug fantasy points from both quarterbacks, something to think about when picking your FanSaloon Fantasy Football Playoff Team.