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Tim Tebow Was the Most Popular Active Athlete in December 2011

You want to know why you are seeing so much Tim Tebow coverage everywhere? It’s because of you. Well, not you, guy over there in the corner, sophisticated hater of all things Skip Bayless. But definitely the rest of you. According to the monthly ESPN Sports Poll for December 2011, Tim Tebow was named as the favorite athlete by 3% of those polled, ahead of Kobe Bryant (2.0%), Aaron Rodgers (1.9%), Peyton Manning (1.8%) and Tom Brady (1.5%).

Now, keep in mind that this poll was prior to the playoff game against Pittsburgh when he actually played really well, and where he threw one of the most memorable touchdown passes in Wildcard history. This poll was conducted while Tebow was in the middle of losing three straight games and struggling mightily, yet the upward popularity surge continued.

In being named “Most Popular Athlete”, Tebow is just the 11th different athlete to top the poll for any particular month over the 18 years since the poll began, joining names like Jordan, Tiger, Kobe, LeBron, Favre, and Peyton. I think it’s also pretty safe to say that he is by far the least accomplished on the field/court/course/athletic venue of choice by the time he peaked at #1.

Good news if you are a fan of Tebow coverage on ESPN, by the way, and were afraid they might not have any Tebow Sportscenters.

“This is an exciting finding and one that reflects the sentiment of all sports fans, not just the online or social media world,” said Artie Bulgrin, Senior VP for Research and Analytics, ESPN Sales and Marketing.

Tebow is not just Now. He’s also Next, if these poll results are going to influence the future. ESPN has only just begun Tebowing.

[photo via Getty]

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