While growing up in Colorado in the 1980s and 1990s, I heard my fair share about a man named John Elway. Whether I liked it or not, I couldnâ€™t turn on the television set or open up a newspaper without having this household name mentioned, especially each year between the months of September and December. What were John Elway and the Broncos going to accomplish, or not accomplish this week? How can they improve their defense/offense? Do they have a shot at the playoffs? Lastly, and most importantly, were they going to win the Super Bowl this time around?
I was born in Denver in the summer of 1977. By the time I was six years old, John Elway had signed on to be the Broncoâ€™s new quarterback. This is also around the time when my earliest memories were starting to form. So for years upon years, fifteen to be exact, this Colorado Native has seen more number seven jerseys than she can possibly count. The Orange Crush was everywhere I looked; there was no escaping it. The old Mile High Stadium sat proudly off to the west of interstate 25, and Coloradoans were hooked on Elway and their orange and blue.
Unfortunately, as a child and teenager, I had absolutely no interest in anything that had to do with sports â€“especially football. I loathed Sunday afternoons around my house. Once we got home from a two-hour church service, my dad (a transplant from the state of Pennsylvania and huge Bronco fan) would flip on the only television my family owned. For the next three hours he monopolized the family room with total Bronco mania.
I would occupy those three hours in any possible way that I could, mostly just to get away from all the noise. That usually meant hopping on my bicycle and riding over to a friendâ€™s house, or in my later teen years, taking off in my car and going anywhere else. By the time Elway retired in May of 1999, I was 22 years old and a journalism student at Colorado State University. Once again, my attentions were anywhere but football.
It’s Tebow Time in Colorado
So why is this self professed football â€œavoiderâ€ writing about a subject she obviously knows little about? Well, it all has to do with a guy named Tim Tebow. Being that I am still living in Colorado to this very day, I am finding that once again I canâ€™t turn on the local news stations, open a local newspaper, or even look at my Facebook wall without hearing about the â€œMile High Messiahâ€.
The various stories usually consist mostly of Tebowâ€™s religious s on the field, coined as â€œTebowing.â€ Then the debate begins over his ability to run and throw the ball, but the life span of all of this Tebowmania really depends on, once again, hearing more about Elway. Especially now that Elway has been named the executive vice president of the football operations for the Denver Broncos. Will Elway name Tebow as the new starting quarterback for the next season? More importantly, will Elway make Tebow our new franchise quarterback? I guess weâ€™ll just have to wait and see.
All things aside, it is very apparent to me that Tebow, like Elway, has officially become a new household name, not only in Colorado, but also across the nation. He has reached the platform of fame, and from what I hear he already sells more of his number fifteen jerseys than any other rookie out there.
Andrew Hall, a dentist who practices in Colorado Springs, is a huge Tebow fan, and his connection to Tebow stems back to his dental school days at the University of Florida. â€œIâ€™ve followed him from when he was recruited out of Nease High Schoolâ€ said Hall. â€œWhen I was finishing up dental school, he was just finishing up high school. We knew who he was in the state of Florida, and we knew his recruitment very well. It was either Alabama or Florida.â€
According to Hall, Tebow was already a rock star the day he showed up at UF, so when he came to the NFL, it was sort of the same thing. â€œHe just has that magnetic personality and thereâ€™s just something about him that people are intrigued by.â€ Hall said. â€œPeople either love him or hate him, but I think by far youâ€™ll find that people really love him.â€
With all the buzz over this 24-year-old football star, it is clear to me that Tebowmania in Colorado is here to stay, and I should just get used to it, well at least for the next month or two. The Denver Broncos play the Patriots this Sunday. Maybe Iâ€™ll watch and see what all the hype is about, and maybe this Tebow guy can turn this football â€œavoiderâ€ into a fan.