As the dust begins to settle on a very memorable three week period in the Broncos’ offseason, fans are left to adjust to a new normal as the team begins training/planning for the 2012 season. Whether you’re pro/anti-Peyton, Tebow, and/or Elway, it is evident that we owe a big, old “thank you” to Tim Tebow for a very memorable 2011 season.
Whatever direction Peyton Manning and the Broncos go, or whatever direction Tim Tebow/Mark Sanchez lead the New York Jets, Broncos Country cannot deny the fact that Tebow has secured a spot in the Broncos’ history forever. Tebow’s accomplishments obviously don’t earn him consideration for the Broncos’ Ring of Fame, but they definitely earn him the right to become a proud part of our history and tradition.
After replacing Kyle Orton as starter when the Broncos were 1-4, Tebow led the Broncos to an 8-8 record that included a stretch that saw the Broncos win six consecutive games in exciting fashion. As Bronco fans look back on the 2011 season, I am sure each one of us will remember different games or different plays that, in a sense, define or capture the entire season for various reasons. Most fans, and definitely most players, will admit football is the ultimate team game, but Tebow’s leadership was easily seen; he not only inspired the team, but he turned an ailing season into an exciting season leading the team to earn their first divisional championship in six years.
Unfortunately, the Broncos ended the season with a three game losing streak and limped into the playoffs. Despite the fact that a lot of people nationwide gave the Broncos no chance of beating the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wildcard round, Bronco fans were ecstatic their team was back in the playoffs, and if they knew one thing, it was that this team would fight to the very end. Not only will the final score of this game (Broncos 29, Steelers 23) be etched in our minds years from now, the means of how this game ended will be forever known to Bronco fans everywhere…. even Bronco fans that aren’t even born yet. Tim Tebow’s 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime against Pittsburgh is arguably one of the top five most exciting plays in Broncos’ history, if not the entire league. One week later in New England, the 2011 season came to an end as the Broncos were unable to get any momentum and had no answers for the powerful New England Patriots. Little did we know, at the time, this would be our last opportunity to see Tim Tebow in a Bronco uniform.
As expected, there are many opinions regarding the moves John Elway has recently made with the Denver Broncos. Only time will tell if they were the right moves. Regardless of what camp you choose to be in, Tim Tebow most definitely deserves our thanks and appreciation for the role he played in last year’s successful season. The Broncos didn’t reach their ultimate goal last season, but they made tremendous strides – on the field, as well as off the field. The fans expectation of winning, not just during the regular season, but also in the playoffs, has been restored. I wish Tebow much success in the NFL… just not when he faces the best team in the AFC West – THE Denver Broncos!
If you’re struggling with the recent staff changes within the Bronco organization, remember this is a business, and good players and bad players will come and go. For us die-hard fans, we must never forget that it is all about the horse… PERIOD!