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On Dec. 4 he completed 10 of 15 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-32 win over Minnesota. Still, says former Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner, "he's just not a great passer right now." Warner, another man of deep faith, labels Tebow's success "a modern-day miracle."
But miracles are by definition rare. According to some stats geeks, Tebow is just lucky. Denver's defense has played better in Tebow's starts. A recent post to a Harvard sports-analytics blog, titled "A Statistical Analysis of the Miracles of Tim Tebow," argues that his raw stats have yielded an unexpected number of wins and notes that young NFL quarterbacks who get off to fast starts tend to regress to the mean as opposing teams decipher their weaknesses. "If Tim Tebow continues to play how he's been playing," says co-author Chris Bruce, an MIT grad and Harvard MBA student, "he's not likely to win as he's been winning."
So the debate rages on. NFL.com linked to Bruce's piece; so did SpiritDaily.com a Catholic news site. Even political pundits are weighing in. "Critics have a problem with who Tebow is as a man," conservative commentator Bill Bennett recently wrote on CNN.com "They are bothered by his faith, character and conviction."
Those hoping Tebow will hush up about Jesus should prepare for a letdown. "People say, 'Why isn't it enough to do it one time?'" says Tebow, who addresses interviewers as "Mr." and "Ms.," stays out of trouble and is raising money to build a hospital in the Philippines, where his family has long done missionary work. "But say I'm getting married. Is it enough for me to tell my wife on the day of our wedding that I love her? Or do I tell her at every opportunity?"
Tebow calls his faith a tonic for Tebowmania itself. "I know who holds tomorrow," he says. "That's what gives me comfort in all situations, from the praise to the haters. Because thank goodness I don't have to live the roller coaster that everybody else lives about my life."