RIP: The Whole Tim Tebow Thing (October 23, 2011—January 14, 2012)

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Tebowmania is dead.After a strange and captivating three months, order was restored to the football world tonight as Tom Brady and the Patriots bludgeoned the Broncos 45-10.

Tebow played like crap.

But then again he’s often played like crap this season.

What was missing tonight was a competent Denver defence (so terrible), a willingly befuddled opponent (where are the Steelers when you need them?), and a heavy dose of magic (God-given, or otherwise)

So what does it mean?

For Tebow the quarterback, not a whole lot really. He’s a young player with a unique skill set who may or may not find a way to succeed as an NFL quarterback. He’ll be back next year with more experience and (hopefully) an improved passing game. His career is far from over.

But as of tonight, the whole “Tim Tebow thing” is dead. The memes and bad jokes are all finished. What was once a national obsession will quickly fade into the past, and sometime soon we’ll only have fragmentary memories of how crazy this phenomenon actually was.

But it was a hell of a three months.

In its own absurd way, Tebowmania was the definition of what sports ought to be — entertaining, irrational, and impossible to predict.

Most sports stories that transcend sports and go mainstream do so because they’re associated with a meaningful societal issue. But the Tim Tebow thing managed to touch every area of American culture on the sheer strength of its own absurdity.

It was dumb and fun and over-the-top. 

It will be missed.