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.
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Latest in Sport
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City: Five things we learnt from the Allianz Arena
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City player ratings: Joe Hart? Thomas Muller? Jerome Boateng? Who was the star man?
Gareth Bale has his car kicked by angry Real Madrid fans after refusing to stop for autographs
- 2 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 3 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 4 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...