Tebow-Mania stealing spotlight from Pats' Brady

Mon Jan 9, 2012 6:15pm EST

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow celebrates after his team defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime in the NFL AFC wildcard playoff football game in Denver, Colorado, January 8, 2012. REUTERS/Mark Leffingwell

Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow celebrates after his team defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime in the NFL AFC wildcard playoff football game in Denver, Colorado, January 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mark Leffingwell

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(Reuters) - Long before Tebow-Mania swept across North America, football fans had a fascination for another National Football League (NFL) quarterback with a no less compelling story.

With three Super Bowl titles and a supermodel wife, Tom Brady has been a player fans gravitated to for much of the past decade as the New England Patriots triggerman, with details of his glamorous life and glittering career filling newspapers, magazines and hours of NFL Sunday pre-game shows.

But when the Patriots host the Denver Broncos in Saturday's AFC divisional playoff, the seven-time Pro Bowler will concede the spotlight to Tim Tebow, the gridiron miracle worker who has caught the imagination of the American public.

Tebow hysteria hit new levels on Sunday when the unorthodox quarterback, whose shortcomings as an NFL passer have been well documented, tossed an 80-yard touchdown strike on the first play of an overtime win over the defending AFC champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

You can count Brady among those impressed by the Denver quarterback's pluck but he is not about to get swept up in the Tebow-Mania.

"He (Tebow) is a good player, and I think it's a lot for the defense to prepare for," Brady told Boston radio station WEEI on Monday. "It's a very different style but they're very effective.

"I know a lot of people make it out to be one player on a lot of teams, but the reason why the Denver Broncos are in this position is their team as a whole."

Turning many doubters into believers, Tebow's journey to becoming a starting NFL quarterback is a lesson in self-belief and motivation, but for those who may have forgotten, Brady's journey to NFL fame and glory is no less inspiring.

Taken in the sixth round of the 2000 Draft as an after-thought by the Patriots, Brady's NFL career is a rags-to-riches Hollywood tale, packed with stunning starlets and achievements and painful setbacks.

Brady began his professional career as New England's fourth string quarterback holding a clipboard on the sidelines but is likely to end it in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as one of the greatest ever to play the position.

He has amassed a regular season record of 124-35 and is 14-4 in the playoffs.

He has led his team to four Super Bowl appearances, helped guide the Patriots to a perfect 16-0 regular season in 2007 and this year became just the fourth quarterback to pass for 5,000 yards or more in a single campaign.

While Tebow arrived in the NFL as a celebrity, Heisman Trophy winner as the top U.S. collegiate player and national champion, Brady spent his college years at Michigan University in relative obscurity and entered the NFL the same way.

"All those opportunities different guys get at different times, whether you are a first round pick and you finally get your chance to play or you're a late round pick ... everyone has a different story to tell," explained Brady. "I was a young man, I was an 18-year-old kid who was a long way from home and battling through some challenging situations just in terms of the competition on a daily basis.

"If I was getting one rep I was going to try and do the best I could with that one rep.

"That helped my competitive spirit. I treat practice very seriously. If you can't perform in practice, I don't buy into this, I'll just flip a switch on game day.

"It's not the way it works, you have to prove it day in and day out."

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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Comments (26)
Liveslarge wrote:
Who wrote this article! 1st of all he was not obscure in college and 2nd it is NEVER refered to as Michigan University. It is and will always be THE University of Michigan. BAD reporting.

Jan 09, 2012 7:20pm EST  --  Report as abuse
bflat879 wrote:
I’m sure the Patriots and Brady are just fine with Tebow getting all the attention. You can bet there won’t be one Patriot saying that God likes the Patriot’s more than Tebow. Thank you Steelers.

Jan 09, 2012 7:22pm EST  --  Report as abuse
OklahomaBound wrote:
Tebow-mania isn’t stealing anything from Brady or the Pats. The Broncos just won a great game against a heavily favored opponent and Tebow had a great game. The Pats meanwhile have not played yet in this years play-offs so there are no stories about them. It’s as simple as that, but of course it’s the medias job to create controversy, jealously and hard feelings whenever and wherever they can so they can report on the he said / he said comments that follow. For the record I am a Pats fan and I was jumping up and down in celebration when Tebow hit that game winning TD in OT, I hope he has a great career and keeps silencing his anti-God critics…..just not this next week vs my Patriots.

Jan 09, 2012 7:47pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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