ESPN NFL analyst Merril Hoge, who sounded off on Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow on Twitter in August, writing that “it’s embarrassing to think the Broncos could win with Tebow,” began to change his tune about the second-year signal caller in an interview Monday with ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning.
Though Hoge once believed that “college credentials do not transfer to NFL, rah-rah speeches do not work” and that someone like Tebow “must possess a skill set to play [and win],” he is beginning to rescind some of those comments.
“My analyst eyes have been clouded by something that’s more important in sports than trophies and Super Bowls,” Hoge said at the beginning of a two-minute exaltation (audio). “I wrote a book last year called “Find a Way,” and those words have always inspired me to help me live the dream and fight to live. The living part of the dream was playing in the NFL; the fighting part was to beat cancer when I was diagnosed with cancer.
“As I watch what Tim Tebow – and actually the Denver Broncos – are doing, I’m not saying they’re going to win a Super Bowl, but the lessons that they are showing what sports is about. Regardless of your skill set – and I’ve been obviously hard on Tim Tebow, very critical of him as a quarterback and his skill set. Those eyes have clouded probably something that’s more important in sports than a standard skill set but how you maximize that skill set. What you do with what you’ve been given and how you work at it, how you harness it, how you build it.
“And I’ve been wrong on a lot of levels with him. The opportunity now is to shed light on what an amazing story on how he has worked, persevered, changed, his diligence. All of those [are] things that you try to teach young people, that you want sports to really be about. What makes sports great is there are life lessons to be taught there.
“You have a certain skill set. Will you work hard on that skill set and will you give it all you have? You can look in the mirror [and say], ‘I gave it all I had, and I don’t have anything to be ashamed about or embarrassed by.’ That to me is what I see in the Denver Broncos and in Tim Tebow. I’ve been wrong on a lot of levels, and I’ve become now a huge fan in watching not only the Broncos play but Tim Tebow play.”
Hoge’s rants on Tebow did not conclude with his August tweets as he continued to dismiss the player’s success on numerous occasions via the network’s various media outlets. However, like so many others who once doubted Tebow’s ability to win, it appears as if Hoge is finally willing to let the results speak for themselves.