September 30, 2011
It wasn't done by the group of Kentucky-based Broncos fans that said they'd do it, but we have indeed seen the first billboard in Denver exhorting the Broncos franchise to start Tim Tebow(notes) at quarterback in place of Kyle Orton(notes). A business called Multiline International Imports has taken its large digital sign outside its downtown Denver headquarters and sacrificed it to what it considers to be the greater good.
"Tebow's the man. He's bringing excitement to Denver like we haven't seen in a few years," Multiline employee Mohammad Suleiman told the Denver Post. That's a lot to say for a backup quarterback who's thrown 41 career completions, but there you go.
"It's still early in the season to be frustrated, but I mean -- fans are asking for Tebow," Suleiman continued. "Why not give us a little dose of him? If we can be heard, if we can reach the Broncos staff and make some change, that would be great."
"I think if he can convince coach Fox to make a change, then he's a genius," said Tariq Suleiman, Mohammad's brother. "I don't think John Fox is that stubborn. What more can we do as fans to show what's needed?"
The company also apparently has a website with a poll where fans can go and support the notion of Tebow as the team's starting quarterback.
Of course, the fact that Multiline put the billboard up outside its facility presents one problem — it's about 20 miles from the team's Dove Valley complex. If Suleiman and his cohorts are hoping to get some subliminal messages going to head coach John Fox, it's a bit tough when the coach may actually never see it.
"We have the best fans in the NFL," said team spokesman Patrick Smyth in a statement. "This is another example of their unrivaled passion and enthusiasm for the Broncos."
It's also a fine example of tilting at windmills. Fans may want Tebow out there as the starting quarterback for whatever reason, but they might want to recalibrate their desires and ask that the former first-round pick be moved to goal-line back — last season, Tebow actually led the team in rushing touchdowns in limited action, and this year, the Broncos have just one rushing touchdown through their first three games. Of course, Orton put up one of the more feeble statistical performances last Sunday against the Tennessee Titans — he averaged an unbelievable 4.44 yards per attempt by going 24 of 39 for 173 yards.
Now, THAT's what I call checking down.
At some point, the Broncos will likely be well-served to at least see what Tebow can do at quarterback — they have Orton under contract through the end of this season, and Tebow's signed up through 2014. Through the first three games, the only place we've seen Tebow is at receiver -- he hasn't been the target of any Orton throws; more a fill-in as the Broncos look to get past a number of injuries to their receivers.
Fans have been chanting for Tebow since he was selected in the 2010 NFL draft, and it looks as if they'll have to shine it on a bit longer; billboard or not. But if Orton continues to be ineffective, and the Broncos fall out of contention (as most expect they will), the Broncos faithful will likely get their wish.
And at that point, it will be more about being careful what they wished for.
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