Monday, December 12, 2011

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition


John Elway, of the Denver Broncos, is the only NFL quarterback to lead his team to FIVE Super Bowl victories. Although he is not considered to be “the best of the best”, he DOES wind up on the list of the 10 best quarterbacks of all time. Interestingly enough, the lone Chicago Bear entry on the list is Sid Luckman, who got on the list because of a playoff game that was played BEFORE the start of WWII.

Elway is best known for “The Drive”, which allowed him to lead his team to a 23-20 overtime victory over the Cleveland Browns in 1986. A few of those passes were “Hail Mary” passes, which would most accurately be described as hopelessly long passes that somehow managed to get to the intended receiver.

The first use of the “Hail Mary” pass in the NFL was in 1975, when Roger Staubach of the Dallas Cowboys threw a 50 yard pass to Drew Pearson to beat the Minnesota Vikings, whom the Cowboys were trailing 14-10 with less than a minute remaining in the game.

Religion has recently returned to Denver football, in the unlikely person of Tim Tebow. He scrambles in a weirdly jittery fashion, throws one of the ugliest balls in the game, and completes fewer than half his passes, but he somehow manages to win football games.

On Sunday, December 11, the Broncos were trailing the Bears in Denver by 10 points, with less than 3 minutes to play. Ultimately, Tebow and the Broncos beat the Bears 13-10 in overtime. Their victory over the Bears was their sixth in a row, and they have won 7 of their last 8 (with 3 of those games coming in overtime).

Tebow attributes his success to his personal savior, Jesus Christ, and he has been known to frequently quote scripture when he is in the huddle with his teammates. To quote Frank Bruni of the New York Times the Broncos are the talk of the league, and a lot of folks are watching them just to see how far God can take a team.

The “ammunition” that a modern quarterback uses is superior athletic ability (he was a superstar at the University of Florida), talented teammates, and an awful lot of what is commonly called grit. I’m not about to say that Divine Providence is responsible for the resurgence in the fortunes of the Denver Broncos, but if their streak continues, Pat Bowlen (the owner of the team) may want to starting playing the song below at the rest of their home games:

praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

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