Sports Media Saturday

As the Denver Broncos prepare to face the New England Patriots on Saturday (broadcast time at 5:00 PM PDT on CBS), Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has become the biggest story to hit the NFL post-season since Joe Namath guaranteed a win over the then Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. The last thing you need is another story talking about the Broncos surprising divisional championship and subsequent playoff win behind the much maligned play of their 2nd-year quarterback. But ESPN believes otherwise.

The World Wide Leader’s coverage of Tebow leading up to Saturday’s divisional-round game in Foxsborough, MA has been interesting, if not bordering on obsessive. For example, on Thursday ESPN’s Sports Center set a show record (according to with 160 references to Tebow in one 48-minute show (excluding commercials). That equates to one mention of Tebow’s name in every 18-seconds of programming.

Locally, Tebow talk was prevalent across the dial, but there was no bigger story then Tebow and his heroics on the Scott And BR Show on XX 1090 radio (1090AM). Scott and Billy Ray Smith talked all things Tebow with the quarterback’s friend and Pastor of The Rock church, Miles McPherson, as well as Tebow’s high school football coach, Craig Howard. In fact, when they weren’t interviewing a number of athletes and analysts in the lead-up to this weekend’s playoff games, Scott could not stop talking about his admiration of, or dare I say love for, Tebow.

Whether you are craving more Tebow coverage or you are running in the complete and opposite direction, it’s not difficult to surmise why he is getting so much attention. Love him or hate him, he is what people are talking about.

Twitter announced that tweets about Tebow’s overtime touchdown against the Steelers last weekend set a sports-tweet record with 9,420 per second. Even Tebow’s favorite Bible verse, John 3:16, was trending this week following his 316-yard passing performance in Sunday’s win over the Steelers.

Google’s “Hot Searches” followed a similar trend on Monday, with “John 3:16” topping the list, followed by “Tebow” and “Tim Tebow”. As of Friday, Tim Tebow was still trending in the top 20 searches in the country.

While Tebow has had the attention of fans and media alike, not everyone is following the story.

“I don’t pay attention to the hype too much, about their team or other teams,” said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, when asked if Tebow had earned the increased spotlight placed on him in recent weeks. “I don’t hear a lot of that stuff.”

He is not paying attention? Brady must be the only one.

Pass The Remote

-If 17 mentions of Tebow (whoops, now 18) in this article (just once every 36 words) weren’t enough, here is one more. Calling Saturday’s game featuring Tebow and the Broncos versus the Patriots will be the team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms.

-Believe it or not, there are three other divisional-round playoff games this weekend. The early game on Saturday features the San Francisco 49ers at home against the New Orleans Saints, at 1:30 PM PDT on Fox, with Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston calling the action. The early game on Sunday has the Houston Texans traveling to Baltimore to face the Ravens at 10:00 AM PDT on CBS featuring the team of Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, with the Green Bay Packers squaring off against the New York Giants, in Green Bay, at 1:30 PM PDT on Fox. Joe Buck and Troy Aikman have the call.

-National TV ratings for the BCS Championship Game, featuring a rematch between top ranked Alabama and LSU, seemed to reflect the consensus opinion of the game itself. The 24-0 Alabama win scored its lowest overnight rating for a championship game in the 14-year history of the BCS.

Did you catch an interesting sports media moment? Email it to me at, and follow me on Twitter: @JSWilliams75

January 14, 2012

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