After four seasons in the Mets' minor-league system, former Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow retired last week from professional baseball.
In honor of the former Heisman Trophy winner's decision to step away from another professional sport — he made it to the triple-A level in 2019 — Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer examined when Tebow became a household name in the NFL.
Tebow, the 25th-overall pick by the Broncos in the 2010 NFL Draft, became known for his late-game heroics during the 2011 season and willed the Broncos to their first playoff berth since 2005. Once there, he and Demaryius Thomas provided one of the single best moments in team history with a walk-off overtime touchdown against the Steelers.
Tebowmania was about more than that one game, though, and Breer spoke with Tebow's head coach, John Fox, and offensive coordinator, Mike McCoy, to hear more about what it was like to be in the building during a time in which Tebow captured the attention of the entire NFL audience.
"I coached in this league for 30 years," Fox told Breer. "It was probably the most fun and interesting, just-great-to-be-a-part-of season I've ever been involved in. There were probably four games that season where with four minutes to go in the fourth quarter, you're like, There's no way we're winning this game. And sure enough, we found a way. And at that time, Tim was the quarterback. I mean, it was just remarkable.
"It was almost like divine intervention. It was crazy."
Perhaps the craziest aspect, as Fox reveals, is that Tebowmania almost never got off the ground. When the team switched quarterbacks against the Chargers in Week 5 after Kyle Orton struggled early, several offensive coaches pushed for Fox to insert Brady Quinn into the lineup.
Instead, Fox turned to the two-time collegiate national champion.
For more good nuggets of info from Breer's look at Tebowmania — including how it ended — make sure to check out the whole piece.
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