Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow has created a national sensation with his late-game heroics. He even has people imitating him by going to one knee, as Tebow does to give thanks after a touchdown or a win.
"Tebowing" is the latest craze, and it has become part of pop culture as the quarterback put together a remarkable run to get the Broncos into at least the second round of the playoffs.
But Tebow is hardly the first to genuflect on the field. Giants tight end Mark Bavaro started doing it 25 years ago. The first time was after he scored a touchdown in the Giants' Super Bowl XXI win over the Broncos. He went to one knee every time he scored a touchdown for the rest of his career.
"I always thought it would be cool if I got the opportunity," Bavaro said from his home in Boston. "I was really grateful and thankful to God for the ability to do those things."
But even Bavaro wasn't the first.
"I remember seeing guys kneeling down in the end zone and I said, 'That's really cool.' So I said if I was ever going to score in the Super Bowl, I would think about doing that," said Bavaro, who is a religious man but didn't talk about it as much as Tebow does. (In fact, Bavaro rarely talked much at all during his career.)
"It was also kind of spontaneous,'' he said. "Over time, it became a superstitious thing, so I felt obligated to do it all the time from there on."
Fisher a good fit
Jeff Fisher has chosen the Rams over the Dolphins, ending more than a week of speculation about where the former Titans coach would end up after taking the 2011 season off to recharge. It's a good fit for Fisher, even though the Rams are coming off a 2-14 season.
The biggest advantage: quarterback Sam Bradford, a former No. 1 overall pick who has the makings of a terrific passer over the long haul. Not only that, but the Rams have the second overall pick this year, and they're in good position salary cap-wise.
Fisher had only six winning years in 16 full seasons with Tennessee and Houston, and his last playoff victory came in January 2004. But he led his teams to at least 12 wins four times, and he has a more than respectable career record of 142-120.
Jets 'not the enemy'
Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said the team's 29-14 victory over the Jets on Christmas Eve was a huge turning point, but Tisch insists there's no bad blood between the teams.
"The Jets aren't the enemy," Tisch said. "They're our partners in this stadium. We are co-hosting a Super Bowl in 2014, we both have great football teams, great coaching, great players, a fan base that is divided amongst Jets fans and Giants fans, different cultures, different philosophies, different mythologies. But they're our partners, not our enemies."
Crennel gets second chance
After being fired by the Browns after the 2008 season, Romeo Crennel thought he might never get another chance to be a head coach. But the longtime defensive coach, who replaced Todd Haley on an interim basis for the final three games of the 2011 season, got the Chiefs' job on a full-time basis.
"I was doubtful I'd get a second opportunity, but I'm glad I got that chance," said Crennel, who was 24-40 with the Browns from 2005-08. Crennel went 2-1 in the Chiefs' final three games, including an upset win over the unbeaten Packers at home -- the only game Green Bay lost all season -- and a road win over the Broncos that nearly knocked Denver out of the playoffs.
"I don't know if helped or not, but it might have opened some eyes with the way the guys played," said Crennel, a former assistant under Bill Parcells with the Giants and Bill Belichick with the Patriots. "I told and Hunt that I was just going to do the best I could for those three games and let the chips fall where they may."
Eli Manning's 11 career postseason touchdown passes
are the most by a Giants quarterback.
The Ravens' Joe Flacco is the first quarterback in the
Super Bowl era to start a playoff game in each of his first
The Packers have the league's best postseason winning
percentage at .644 (29-16).
Jets vice president of college scouting Joey Clinkscales has
removed his name from consideration for the job as Rams
general manager. The Rams had asked the Jets permission
to interview Clinkscales, who is a highly regarded personnel
executive. The Rams have already named Jeff Fisher