If there is a state more rabid about its professional football than Texas, it may be Colorado, where the Denver Broncos are nearly a certifiable obsession for its mile-high sports fans. And if there is a pro football player with a more devoted – and at times, rabid – following than Broncos’ second-year quarterback Tim Tebow, well, there may may not be one.
Award-winning Colorado Springs Gazette sports columnist David Ramsey (’81) recently found himself near the epicenter of public debate about the worthiness of Tebow for the starting quarterback job in Denver. Tebow is a devout Christian who does not shy away from witnessing about his faith in matters large and small each day, which endears him to some and draws fire from others who have come to equate his religion with his football prowess.
Tebow defenders among his fans have taken to renting billboards to try to influence Broncos management to dump Kyle Orton from atop the depth chart and insert Tebow instead. Thanks to Tebow’s heroics in a 29-24 loss last Sunday to the San Diego Chargers, it appears he has earned a start Oct. 23 after this week’s bye in the Denver schedule.
Ramsey writes about Denver pro sports and the Air Force Academy for the Gazette. He and his wife, Sheryl (Hamby ’83), have two sons enrolled at Abilene Christian University this fall: Luke (’12) and Caleb (’13).
In his Oct. 11 Gazette column, David urged the Broncos to give Tebow a shot at the job for the rest of the season, rather than changing quarterbacks like they change their socks. In a Sept. 11 column, “Tebow Supporters Lob Phony Charges of Persecution,” Ramsey brought his own faith story into the public discussion, answering fans who criticized him for being too tough on Tebow because of the player’s Christianity. Ramsey explained that he grew up in a Church of Christ, graduated from ACU and knows well the lifestyle Tebow espouses.
He also wrote that the young player’s performance had a lot more to do with a not-so-accurate left arm and questionable judgment in the face of a pass rush than his belief in Jesus.
The debate rages on for who should captain the ship of the 1-4 Broncos, for whom the NFL playoffs seem unattainable this season. Whether or not Tebow can lead Denver to success is an unfinished story, but Ramsey will be there with a well-qualified background from which to evaluate the young quarterback for whom faith and football most certainly mix.