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 Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
Sir Alex Ferguson reveals who he thinks is better between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi
- 2 Why this father didn’t hide his daughter’s heroin overdose in her obituary
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 The most powerful passports in the world
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£26000 - £28000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Senior Accounts Assistan...
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...