My wife is a Tim Tebow fan. But it’s not because of his looks (I hope) or his ability. It’s because of his faith and because he wins games in dramatic fashion and because she’s been rooting for the Broncos since she was a toddler.
For me, the man of the house, it means that watching football in our first year as a married couple is a good thing. It means that she wants to be sitting on the coach watching the game as much as I do, even if she spends the first three quarters checking Facebook for scintillating status updates.
If it wasn’t for Tim Tebow’s awe-inspiring story of faith and determination, the sporting world would still be smarting from the blackness created by the Penn State scandal.
I can’t think of a more hurtful chain of events than what happened in Happy Valley. A well-respected man started a foundation to support kids. According to reports, he used his position lure young, unassuming boys to him and abused them sexually. Then, when it was reported, one of the most respected men in America in Joe Paterno, turned a blind eye and pretended that the sexual abuse was not happening.
When I talk about blackness, I mean evil, or a void of good. There was nothing good that has come from this situation, except that it has heightened awareness about sexual abuse.
But football went on. And Tim Tebow carried the day.
His genuine, outspoken faith in God, coupled with his improbable success has made the Denver Broncos story nearly unbelievable. I would venture to say that it has raised the hopes of most of the sports-loving nation (Outside of Raider Nation) at a time when sports genuinely needed it.
Rather than wallow in the disgust of Jerry Sandusky, or celebrate the accomplishments of Tim Tebow, this year has provided an opportunity. We have been provided an opportunity to talk about real life situations in the context of sports. From religion to ethics, real-life topics invaded the sports world in 2011.
In my time-honored tradition, here are my 2012 predictions. But first, I should let you know that in last year’s column, I predicted the Giants would make the playoffs (wrong), I predicted the Sharks would be the three seed in the playoffs (they were No. 2), that the Raiders would win the west at 10-6 (they did not, and went 8-8) and that the 49ers would miss the playoffs (they did). Finally, I picked the Oakland A’s to surprise the Bay Area (they didn’t).
So this year, I will make several “stone cold locks.”
n Riding their pitching staff, the San Francisco Giants will win the division, but fall in the playoffs. However, they will re-sign Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain to multi-year contracts.
n The Golden State Warriors will not make the playoffs despite marked improvement on the defensive end of the floor under first-year Head Coach Mark Jackson.
n On their way to the playoffs for the first time since 2002, the 49ers will defeat Green Bay in the NFC championship game but lose in the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots.
n The poor Oakland Raiders will once again go 8-8.
n The San Jose Sharks will make the playoffs as the No. 6 seed, and fall once again the conference finals. Until Big Joe Thornton goes, that’s as far as the Sharks will go.
Thanks for an interesting year, 2011.