I’ll try to keep this short, for my non football following friends… If you missed the Broncos-Steelers wildcard game yesterday, you missed something pretty awesome. A Broncos team that lost it’s last 3 games pulled out the victory over a defense built to force what everyone said the Broncos couldn’t do. The Steelers have been stopping the run all year long, and the Broncos have consistently depended on their run. The Broncos managed to plug away for about 130 yards, but had none of the huge back breaking type of runs that seem to have become a staple again this season. They HAD to be able to pass.
And they did. Broncos receivers caught 316 yards of Tebow passes, including several HUGE connections. They finally exorcised their 2nd Quarter demons and scored 20 points in that quarter alone. Despite holding a lead going into the half, the Steelers worked their way back into the game and tied it up by the end of regulation.
For the first time in the league, the new overtime rules would be in effect: no more sudden death in the playoffs. Each team would swap possessions – UNLESS the team with the first possession scored a touchdown. Should that happen, the game would be over. It took the referee a while to explain… then Denver won the toss & chose to receive the ball. They started at the 20, where Tebow threw a great 15 yard pass to Thomas that sailed precisely where it needed to be. Thomas pushed his way away from the defender and outran the safety to the corner of the end zone 65 yards away. TD. 11 seconds off the clock. Game Over.
I’m a big Broncos fan, so the excitement level here was pretty high. But almost immediately, a thought came to mind that made me groan: they’re going to call this a miracle. All season long we’ve heard how Tebow isn’t an NFL quarterback, then how he can’t even throw a football, then how he can’t win in the NFL, then how he can’t win consistently, then how he’ll never make the playoffs, then how there’s no way he can win in the playoffs… it makes you wonder what they’ll say next. (At some point you’d think people would stop embarrassing themselves with their claims of what can’t be done by a VERY determined young man.) A lot of people have uncritically bought into the dominant media meme about what Tebow can’t do…
So a win like this is called miraculous. There’s no other explanation, right? Only divine intervention in the natural order of all things NFL could account for this kind outcome, right? Wrong. Please don’t call it a miracle. It discounts a lot of hard work that’s been done by players and coaches to make it to this point… It ignores the way this team has pulled together and united to win football games… It ignores a game turning horrible call that allowed the Steelers to score on a drive that should’ve ended with a fumbled lateral toss… It ignores a dropped interception by All-Pro, future Hall of Fame cornerback, Champ Bailey that would’ve crushed the Steelers late game hopes… It ignores the fact the men of God were roaming both sides of the field… This was no miracle. This was the result of a LOT of hard work, good planning, and gameday execution.
Again, I’m a big Broncos fan. I have Tebow’s biography on my table right now – I’m a fan of his, too. Above that, I’m a follower of Jesus and owe Him everything – I always want to give credit where it’s due. But to make a big deal about whether God is on the Broncos side and how Tebow threw for exactly 316 yards and his favorite verse is John 3:16 is just ridiculous.
Church friends, don’t make yourself look silly, if God really was for the Broncos, he’d throw for 316 yards every game, right?
Football friends, please don’t call it a miracle.
Broncos friends – Enjoy the postseason!
(Sorry, I guess I lied about the ‘keeping it short’ thing…)