It looks like today may be the end of Tim Tebow era in Denver. I've been watching Denver Broncos games ever since i can remember. The routine was generally the same when i was young. My two brothers and i would go to the sock drawer, pull out a huge pair of tube socks (as make shift flags) and head out to the back yard. My older brother Shane would always be the quarterback and pretended he was Craig Morton while my younger brother Shell and i would square up against each other and pretend we were Rick Upchurch and Haven Moses.
We learned to play and appreciate sports from my Dad. We watched Broncos games together, went to punt-pass-and-kick events together, and supported each other all the way through high school. Today, many moons later, i can still recall those days and all the fun we had together both playing and watching football games together as a family. I don't think we ever missed a Broncos Game from 1st grade through our senior year. Now grown up, I've made it a point to have similar experiences with my boys.
On Thursday, November 17, 2011 i had an opportunity to take my ten year old son Kyle to the Broncos-NY Jets game. We arrived early, threw some passes in the parking lot, loaded up on hotdogs and pretzels, and got down near the field just before the game started. As you would expect in Colorado in November the night was cool so we snuggled up close, had a couple hot chocolates, and cheered on the Broncos against the visiting Jets.
For most of the game and true to his usual form, Tim Tebow and the Broncos offense struggled. Nothing seemed to be working but when dads and sons are together it all seemed to be ok anyway. If nothing else, our bellies were full. As the fourth quarter arrived, a general buzz began to stir in our section. Down by 3, with less than five minutes to go things didn't look good. Especially when the Broncos got the ball at their own 5 yard line. Deep in his own territory, Tim Tebow ran onto the field, as the fans (including my son and i) began to cheer "Tebow, Tebow, Tebow." Unfortunately, our seats were in the exact opposite endzone so Tebow seemed five miles away as that last chance for victory began to unfold.
And then like a fairy tale , it all began to happen. A completion here, a scramble there, and a nervous coach Ryan pacing up and down the sidelines. Simultaneously, my son's eyes began to light up. He eventually had to stand up, unable to contain himself anymore. Play after play, tick after tick, Tebow and the Broncos marched their way closer to our side of the field. Then, next thing you know, the Broncos are on the 20 yard line and heading right towards our seats in the endzone. Being a gung-ho photographer, i first grabbed my camera and got ready for the next play. I just knew (everyone there knew) that something special was about to happen. But then it hit me, i thought about my brothers, and my dad, and our times together watching the Broncos over all those years growing up and i decided to put the camera in my pocket and picked up my son and put him on the chair in front of me so he could see better. This was going to be our moment and i didn't want to miss it because i wanted a cool photo.
The ball is hiked, Tebow does a side step-shimmy and suddenly gallops 20 yards for one of the most memorable touchdowns i have ever watched a Denver Broncos player make. No it wasn't "the Drive" against the Browns,, the Elway helicopter move, or the blocked Louis Wright TD against San Diego, but it was 95 yards, against the odds, and the NY Jets, and it was me and my son hugging, dancing, and celebrating together. A moment i know he will never forget as i picked him up on my shoulders and we raised our hands together in victory!
In conclusion, for the better part of the last 18 months, my son has become an even bigger Broncos fan because of number 15. He adores Tim Tebow and his 4th quarter magic and keeps a poster of him and his jersey hung up on his bedroom wall. As a father, Tim Tebow was the perfect role model for determination, character, defeating the odds, and being thankful for what you have. My son and I are going to miss him even as we win some championships with Peyton Manning at the helm in the coming years.
I 100% support the move John Elway made to bring in this future Hall of Fame Quarterback to Denver but i will never forget Tim Tebow and the amazing 2011 season. The national attention, the example, the comeback wins, and mostly the time i got to celebrate one of those victories with my son.
Just a week ago, Kyle turned 11 and he and his friends wanted to play some pick up tackle football at Legend High School and pretended they were their favorite NFL stars . After two hours of playing my son yelled, Dad can you take a picture of us, and without prompting they all got down and Tebowed. The Broncos have had some amazing players over the years, but none of them were anything like Tim Tebow. I wonder what stories Kyle will tell his son someday about the time he and his old man watched Tim Tebow beat the Jets!
Thank you Tim Tebow! You have been a class act and a great competitor since your first day in Denver. Good luck on your next journey and my son and i look foward to following your career no matter where that will be. Go Broncos, Go Peyton Manning, and Go Tim Tebow!