Tom Brady got his actress girlfriend pregnant out of wedlock, then promptly dumped her for a new model girlfriend – whom the New England Patriots quarterback married instead of the mother of his child.
Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assault by a 20-year-old college student who said the Pittsburgh Steelers QB followed her into the ladies room of a Georgia night club and had his way with her. That followed a previous accusation that “Big Ben” sexually assualted a 31-year-old casino host at a Lake Tahoe hotel.
As reprehensible the behavior of both Brady and Roethlisberger, neither pro footballer experienced the kind of hateration directed at Tim Tebow because the second-year Denver Broncos QB dared to publicly profess his Christian faith.
Well, now the Tebow haters have something to slap high fives about. The Broncos have decided to replace their gritty young quarterback with former Indiana Colts signal caller Peyton Manning.
Never mind that Tebow took the Broncos from worst to first in the AFC West this past season, orchestrating six improbable late-game comeback victories in the process. Never mind that No. 15 – who had the second-best selling NFL jersey last year – led Denver to the second round of the playoffs, after besting Roethlisberger’s Steelers in the opening round.
Broncos management said it just couldn’t pass up an opportunity to acquire free agent Manning, who had a Hall of Fame career with the Colts, but who is attempting to come back from a neck injury that required four surgeries, and which kept him sidelined all of last season.
Of course, it’s the Broncos prerogative to sign or deal players as management sees fit. But the duplicity with which the club has dealt with Tebow leaves a lasting stain upon the franchise.
Back in November, Broncos owner Pat Bowlen said of Tebow, “I believe he’ll be a great one.
In January, Broncos Executive Vice President John Elway said, “I think Tim has earned the right to be the starting quarterback going into training camp.”
And, just last month, Broncos Head Coach John Fox said of Tebow, “He is going to be a great quarterback in this league.”
I’m sure Bowlen, Elway and Fox will maintain that they meant what they said (when they said it). But the actions of the NFL club reveal what truly was in the hearts of the three men.
So there will be no Tebowing in Denver next football season. If Broncos management reaps what it has sown, the team will return to worst from first in its division.