Tebow joining LeBron and Tiger as stars moving the sports needle
Perhaps the most remarkable finding is that Tebow now rates alongside such celebrities as Jennifer Aniston, Lady Gaga, Tom Hanks, Will Smith and Taylor Swift when it comes to aspiration (the degree to which consumers feel a celebrity has a life to which they would aspire) and influence (the degree to which consumers believe a celebrity is an influence in today’s world).
Happy Friday, friends. It’s time to Digest the New England Patriots. This isn’t the same Patriots team that we’re used to, and the Broncos obviously aren’t the same Broncos team that Tom Brady and company are used to losing to, so it should be very interesting.
Off the top, it’s interesting that the Patriots are seven-point favorites on the road against a team that has won six straight games. I almost never talk about betting lines, because I don’t believe in betting on sports, but this is an interesting bit of narrative psychology to me. The media has set a narrative around the Broncos such that Joe Six-pack is led to believe that there was some magic happening, and a plucky QB who loves his Jesus was behind it, but just wait until the Tebows play the Bradys. The Tebows will come back to Earth. People are betting heavy for the Patriots, obviously, I think because they think in terms of media narratives.
Of course, I think conflating a whole team with its QB is completely stupid. There’s so much happening on a football field on any play that it’s silly to just focus on who’s throwing the ball. As always, today, we’re going to explore the rest of the story.
5 questions for ... Shannon Sharpe
You played in Denver, do you think Tim Tebow can keep this up?
I’m treating this like I’m dating a Victoria’s Secret model. I’m not worried about if we’ll be together three years from now, I’m enjoying this right now. Why should John Elway come out and say this is our guy? John Skelton has won four of five for the Cardinals, so I guess they should commit to him? No, let it play out. This isn’t Aaron Rodgers. He’s winning, but there’s limitations on what he can do.
Three to Focus On: Patriots @ Broncos, Week 15
The Patriots’ defense is misleadingly efficient at keeping teams out of the end zone despite giving up over 400 yards per game, so Denver needs to capitalize on whatever opportunities they earn.
It’s hard to picture Tebowmania extending another week against a quality opponent like New England, but the Broncos have been counted out before and proved their doubters wrong. To beat the Patriots, Denver needs an inspired defensive effort. If it comes down to a shootout between Tim Tebow and Brady, the Broncos could find themselves out of the game quickly.
Peek at the Week: If Tebow beats Pats, critics have less to crow about
So now it’s that he’s lucky or is carried by a defense that, oh, by the way, yielded close to 500 yards to a rookie quarterback two weeks ago…In any case, the more Tebow and the Broncos win, the more it infuriates critics who refuse to admit that maybe, just maybe, they might have been wrong. So they search for something, anything, not to give the guy credit, waiting for him to screw up and to declare themselves victors.
I know, Tebow isn’t doing this alone, but consider this the next time you shred the guy: He has one of the league’s worst sets of running backs and receivers around him, with Denver trading away Brandon Lloyd—its top pass catcher—soon after Tebow took over. OK, so Willis McGahee has been a load. He was also all but washed up when Baltimore let him walk. And tell me what you know about Tebow’s go-to receiver, Eric Decker. Someone? Anyone?
Never mind that the Broncos' best player was on the sideline in Minnesota. Yeah, the defense ain't any good either.
Happy Friday, Broncos fans! As Dave Krieger points out, John Fox is now the first NFL coach to win three OT games in a single season for two different teams, as his 2003 Panthers played in five extra-session games including one in the playoffs, and winning four of them. Interestingly, Fox's teams have only been to overtime three times in his other eight seasons, and when combined, those '03 Panthers and these '11 Broncos are 7-1 in overtime.
Another crazy set of numbers? Those two squads are a combined 19-10 despite a mediocre minus-12 in point differential. Naturally, a point differential like that would suggest a record more along the lines of 14-15 or 15-14. Luck? Great coaching? Crappy offenses? Conservative coaching? Obviously, it's a combination of all of those. Perhaps at some point we'll take a look at OT coaching records and how they compare to regulation records. OT records will of course provide tiny samples, but it'd be interesting to see if they mirror a coach's overall record as he coaches more OT games.
Rick Perry wants to be the “Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses,” he said in Thursday night’s debate in Sioux City.
Taking on the perception that he’s not up to the task of debating President Obama, Perry said he thinks he’s been getting better in the debates and looks forward to facing the president. “We will get it on,” Perry said
The Texas governor noted that there were doubters of Tim Tebow, too, who said he didn’t have the right “throwing mechanisms” and “wasn’t going to be a very good NFL quarterback.” Well, Perry said, “I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses.”
I've seen it all now, but I guess we shouldn't be surprised that even the politicians want a piece of the Tebow mojo.
If the Broncos beat the Patriots this Sunday, look for Vladimir Putin to come out and say he "just wins elections."
Brian Dawkins and Andre' Goodman were both back at practice today for Denver, pretty much a prerequisite for the Broncos to have any chance at winning Sunday.
Meanwhile, plenty of news involving old friends - PFW is hearing Josh McDaniels is the current frontrunner to replace Handshake Haley in Kansas City, it appears that Kyle Orton will be starting for the Chiefs on Sunday, and Wade Phillips had surgery on his kidney and gall bladder.
Obviously, McDaniels ending up in KC would be a perpetual fountain of storylines - Denver's most emphatic victory of last season came at the Chiefs' expense and ended in the infamous non-handshake, the rematch in KC three weeks later would be McDaniels' final game as Denver's coach, and of course his pursuit of Matt Cassel led to the trade of Jay Cutler in return for Orton and the draft picks that would eventually be part of Denver acquiring Tim Tebow.
Lastly, this Sam Hurd story is only going to get more and more interesting - not only was Hurd apparently one of the biggest dealers in Chi-town, but the police have a list of fellow NFL players Hurd dealt to.
Did the Packers untying Ndamukong Suh’s shoes set him off?
Was Ndamukong Suh’s Thanksgiving outburst caused by a juvenile prank ordered by a Green Bay Packers coach? According to former Packers offensive lineman Matt Brock, that’s exactly what happened. Brock was being interviewed on KXTG in Portland, Ore., when he floated the theory that his former teammate, current offensive line coach James Campen, may have told Evan Dietrich-Smith to untie Ndamukong Suh’s shoes during the game as a way of getting under the skin of the volatile Detroit Lions star.