American Football: New outbreak of 'Tebowing' as quarterback puts Broncos on track for Super Bowl
Known for his commentary on international relations and US politics, Rupert Cornwell also contributes obituaries and occasionally even a column for the sports pages. With The Independent since its launch in 1986, he was the paper's first Moscow correspondent - covering the collapse of the Soviet Union – during which time he won two British Press Awards. Previously a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times and Reuters, he has also been a diplomatic correspondent, leader writer and columnist, and has served as Washington bureau editor. In 1983 he published God's Banker, about Roberto Calvi, the Italian banker found hanging from Blackfriars Bridge.
Tuesday 10 January 2012
If it ever went away, Tebow-mania is back in the NFL. For much of the regular season, Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow made himself a national cult – hurling winning, last-minute touchdown passes and then kneeling on the touchline to give thanks to the Almighty for his deliverance, in a gesture that spawned its own word, "Tebowing". But in the last few games the magic had deserted him, and the Broncos barely made the play-offs.
Tebow had a lousy throwing technique, poor field vision and had just got lucky, the critics said. There was even talk of replacing him by an untried back-up if he continued to struggle against Pittsburgh Steelers in Sunday's AFC wildcard round.
No one need have worried. First Tebow threw for an impressive 316 yards against one of the NFL's toughest defences, never being sacked and without throwing an interception. If the Steelers managed to tie the game 23-23 late in the final quarter, it was not his fault. And then as overtime began, he produced his biggest miracle yet. With the very first play of the extra period, he connected with a 20-yard pass to receiver Demaryius Thomas. That seemed to be that – until Thomas raced away for an 80-yard touchdown. A sensational upset win for the Broncos, and there was Tebow dropping to his knees. "First of all, thank you Lord," was how he described his initial thought as he saw Thomas head for the endzone.
Across the land, a new outbreak was reported of tebowing, defined by the website tebowing.com as "to get down on a knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different". Even Lady Gaga was amazed. "Tebow, Thats what the (****) a champion looks like," the flamboyant pop diva tweeted on Sunday to her 17m followers.
Denver fans are dreaming of another Super Bowl run, 13 years after the Broncos' championships in 1998 and 1999. In the next round the Broncos meet the New England Patriots. If they do make it to Super Bowl XLVI, Denver's most likely opponents will be either Green Bay or New Orleans, generally rated the two best teams in the entire NFL. WIth Tim Tebow, however, anything is possible.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Besiktas: Seven reasons why Arsenal could suffer a Champions League upset
Manchester United transfer news: Is Angel Di Maria really worth £59.7m?
MK Dons vs Manchester United League Cup match report: Louis van Gaal is humiliated after Jonny Evans' error sparks drubbing
Fernando Torres: Chelsea striker insisting on permanent AC Milan deal - reports
Angel Di Maria to Manchester United: Winger was once sold for 35 footballs - now it's £60m
- 1 Rice Bucket Challenge: India's take on the Ice Bucket Challenge 'for Indian needs'
- 2 Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 4 Rubble Bucket Challenge: Ice Bucket Challenge adapted in solidarity with Gazans whose homes have been destroyed in conflict
- 5 Teenager dies after suspected ice bucket challenge goes horribly wrong
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
£65000 - £75000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...
£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: School Receptionist - Part ...
£500 - £550 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently...
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A large and well established business is look...