By David Outten
Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos (playing the Pittsburgh Steelers) drew an audience share of 31.6 for the classic end of the game heroics. This translates to an audience of over 50 million people. According to THE NUMBERS, a prominent Hollywood website, movie AVATAR drew about 47 million ticket buyers in 2009 the year it came out.
USA Today reported that the Saturday NFL Wild Card Game between New Orleans and Detroit drew a share of 19.3 (down 7% from the previous year). The Broncos/Steelers game averaged a 25.9 share (up 36% from the previous year).
While it takes a team effort to make the playoffs and beat the Steelers, clearly Tim Tebow is driving a huge increase in television viewing and Internet traffic. He’s even a major boost to radio sports-talk. He’s been on back-to-back Sports Illustrated magazine covers this fall and on the cover of the first edition of NFL magazine.
The reason for his popularity is a hunger for righteousness. Huge numbers of football fans (and non-football fans) are delighted to follow Tim Tebow because they see him as a good role model. A December poll by ESPN found Tim Tebow to be America’s most popular professional athlete.
In a game against the Chicago Bears, Denver wide receiver Demarius Thomas dropped a much needed touchdown pass from Tim Tebow. Shortly thereafter, a despondent Thomas apologized to Tebow. Tim said, “Don’t worry, you’re going to catch the game winner.” He did catch a touchdown later in that game, which the Broncos won in overtime, but he also caught the dramatic game winner in the Steelers’ game.
One of the amazing things about the 2011 NFL football season has been the dramatic story of the Denver Broncos. The way in which they’ve won games is like something out of a movie script. What’s really delightful to watch is the way Tim Tebow reacts, win or lose, by honoring God and his teammates and working to get better.