Tebowing, the term used for taking a knee in prayerful reflection in the midst of an athletic activity, is now officially recognized by an English language dictionary called the Global Language Monitor, which tracks language trends.
The rapid rise of use of the word has seldom been equaled, said Paul Payack, an author for the Global Language Monitor. The first mention of the word can be traced to the dramatic overtime victory of the Denver Broncos football team over the Miami Dolphins on October 23, 2011. During the victory celebration, Tim Tebow 'took a knee' and was photographed in a moment of prayerful reflection.
There is no official agency that accepts new words into the English language, which has about 1.58 billion speakers globally, but the Global Language Monitor meets the criteria for a minimum number of citations across the breadth of the English-speaking world, with the requisite depth of usage on the Internet, in social media and in the top 75,000 global print and electronic media.
Urban Dictionary defines Tebowing as to get down on one knee and start praying, even if everyone else around you is doing something completely different. The Urban Dictionary's definition may be slightly off, however, because it seems that everyone else is Tebowing as well. Millions of people around the world have taken photos of themselves Tebowing, and even Olympic skiier Lindsey Vonn celebrated a major win with Tebow's trademark pose.
Tim Tebow has grown into a sports and pop culture phenomenon, helping the Denver Broncos reverse their 1-4 season to become 8-5 on the year, giving the team the top spot in the AFC West division after six straight wins. Tebow, who has thrown for 1,290 yards and 11 touchdowns as a starting QB for the Broncos, has won seven of his eight games this season, and six of those wins were dramatic comeback victories in the fourth quarter or overtime. His uncanny ability to win games when all hope seems lost has critics calling him God's quarterback.
Despite endless criticisms about his arm mechanics, Tebow has been the (un)steady motor to the Broncos, inspiring both the offensive and defensive players to perform at high levels. Well, at least when they're about to lose the game. In the last eight games under Tebow, the defense has limited its opponents to an average of 15.9 points per game, ranking among the best in the league in both rushing and passing. With Tebow as the team's second-leading rusher on offense, the Broncos are first in the NFL in rushing yards with an average of 159 yards per game.
Eyes are glued to the field whenever Tebow straps his helmet on. He's unpredictable, he's gutsy, but most importantly, he's at his best when all hope seems lost. There hasn't been this much excitement surrounding the Denver franchise since John Elway was quarterback. In fact, Denver's current six-game win streak hasn't been accomplished since Elway ran the Broncos show in the late 80s and 90s.
It may surprise you to learn Tebow ranks among the NFL's elite quarterbacks in efficiency. Tebow gains an average of 2.6 yards each time he touches the ball, and only four quarterbacks average more yards than he, including (in order) Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, Saints QB Drew Brees, Patriots QB Tom Brady, and Texans injured QB Matt Schaub. From Hail Mary's to two-point conversions to incredible defensive plays, Tebow has led his team by example, always giving 110 percent effort through all 60 minutes of the game. And in three of Tebow's games, he's given them 75.
Next week, the Tebow show will host Tom Brady and the 10-3 AFC East-leading New England Patriots, which will be an interesting battle to say the least. If the Broncos can find a way to stop Brady in Mile High, Tebow's MVP campaign will be officially legitimate. Brady, who is this year's MVP frontrunner, better not get distracted by Dan Marino's record, or the ridiculous amount of Tebowing in Mile High Stadium, if he hopes to beat Tebow's inspired team.