Tebow by the numbers


The recent Tim Tebow mania has created quite a buzz on the web and on sports talk shows. Even mainstream media has covered some of the stories. Here's a look at a few "Timbits"

All a-twitter
According to the folks at Twitter, users fingered an all-time per-second record for sports tweets in the minutes after Tebow tossed an 80-yard touchdown pass in overtime to win a first-round victory over the favored Pittsburgh Steelers. Twitter officials said that the 9,420 tweets per second were logged after the dramatic play.

America's favorite athlete
December's monthly ESPN poll of America's Favorite Athlete found Tebow at the top for the first time. According to ESPN, Tebow was followed in the poll by Kobe Bryant, Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. The sports outlet also reported than in its 18 years of issuing the monthly poll, the top spot has only been held by 11 different athletes, including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and LeBron James.

Focused ads
Taking a page from the Tebow playbook, Focus on the Family took advantage of the national 3:16 conversation by creating a television ad in just three days. The ad used young children reciting the John 3:16 Scripture verse and was broadcast during the Broncos-Patriot game.

According to Focus' Karla Dial, when the ad was posted on YouTube, it went viral with both John 3:16 and Focus on the Family trending worldwide as the top Internet search terms.

The ad prompted this tweet from a grateful father.

"Both my sons just saw your commercial and gave their lives to Christ as a result," Sugarland, Texas resident Dave Grumme wrote on Twitter. "Thank you. #John316."

In an interview with Dial, Grumme said his 6- and 8-year-old boys were watching the commercial when the younger son announced to dad, "Well … I want to have everlasting life." After explaining salvation to the boys one on one, each prayed separately to receive Jesus into his heart.

A major TV draw
A sports blog on Yahoo reported that the CBS ratings for the Broncos-Steelers Jan. 8 showdown pulled an overall 25.9 rating, making it the highest-rated AFC wild-card game since 1988. Variety magazine estimated that 45 million people watched Tebow's touchdown pass in overtime. Although the Broncos-Patriots showdown a week later only drew 34.2 million, it broke a record for Saturday divisional round games.

Divine intervention
In a Poll Position telephone survey, 43.3 percent of people who were aware of Tebow's on-field success said they believe divine intervention had been a factor.

The January survey, posted on its website, involved 756 people who were up to date on Tebow. The youthful 18-to-29-year-old demographic was the one most apt to believe that it wasn't just the football gods who were smiling on Tebow, with 52.3 percent saying yes to the divine intervention theory.

The poll question was prompted by radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh attributing the Broncos victory over the Steelers to divine intervention in favor of Tebow.

No. 1 neighbor
Real estate website Zillow conducted its fifth annual Zillow Celebrity Neighbor Survey in December asking Americans which celebrities they would most like to have as their neighbor.

At the top of the list?

Tebow, who logged more votes than some of Hollywood's biggest celebrity couples, including Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux.

Lady Gaga gets in the act

Lada Gaga, never one to mince her words, also got on the Tebow bandwagon via tweet saying the 24-year-old athlete was "what a (expletive) champion looks like."

The jersey lore
Tebow fell short in this race, coming up second to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, whose jersey was the best-selling for the 2011 season, according to the NFL's online store sales. It is worth noting, however, that Tebow did not become the starting quarterback until one-third through the season.

And from the archives …
Known for wearing the Scripture verse John 3:16 in his eye black throughout college, Tebow continued the tradition for the 2009 BCS National Championship Game. Tebow led his No. 2 ranked Florida Gators to a 24-14 victory over the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners.

After the game, mega search engine Google noted it recorded 90 million searches for John 3:16.

Oh, and the date of the college championship game?

Jan. 8—three years to the day of Tebow's legendary 3:16 game against the Steelers.

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