Oklahoma Sooners, Cleveland Indians, San Antonio Spurs/Oklahoma City Thunder, and Denver Broncos. That’s a pretty bizarre group of sports teams to root for, but that’s the sort of thing that happens growing up an Army brat. I never grew up anywhere near an NFL team, so when it came time to pick a team, I did what any preteen would do – find out which team was currently winning Super Bowls. In 1998, that team happened to be the Denver Broncos, and so a Broncos fan I became (on the other hand, my favorite baseball team hasn’t won a championship since 1948, so I can anti-bandwagon as well). I wasn’t too much into the Broncos, however, until my dad returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan with a football signed by John Elway. That pretty much sealed the deal. Over the past few years, though, I was slowly starting to drift into football atheism. Maybe not atheism – I knew the Broncos existed – but I certainly was starting to wonder if I should care. I could never root for another team, but the Broncos grew increasingly frustrating to watch. They were stuck in no-man’s land. Year after year, they’d be just good enough to get a teasing whiff of the playoffs, and just awful enough to not get there. I started to wish 24-year-old me had sat down with 11-year-old me and explained that over the next 13 years the Broncos’ quarterbacks would include the likes of Jay Cutler, Jake Plummer’s Pedophile Impression, and Kyle Orton’s Possibly Worse Facial Hair. But because no such intervention took place, I was stuck rooting for those teams. And then, a miracle happened. No, seriously, a miracle.

When the Broncos drafted Tim Tebow, I’ll be honest – I didn’t like him at all. In 2008, Tebow crushed my hopes of another Sooners national championship when he led the Florida Gators to a 24-14 win over Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford and my beloved Sooners. Maybe I’m just overly cynical, but I found his rah-rah routine overly boring. It wasn’t until this absolutely insane stretch of games over the past several months that I started to grow attached to Tebow. His comeback wins defy explanation, and that’s why it’s equally entertaining to watch the game itself as it is to watch the ESPN analysts attempt to rationalize what just happened after the game. Even though this roller coaster has been awesome mainly because he’s pulled off some spectacular wins, I’ve figured out exactly why I love Tim Tebow so much – I go into each game with absolutely no expectations whatsoever. Tebow can pull off the most amazing comeback of all time one week, and the next week be absolutely abysmal, and it doesn’t shift my expectations at all. If they lose, I shrug and figure that’s what was supposed to happen. If they win, I am surprised without fail. Before the Broncos even played the Pittsburgh Steelers this past weekend in the first round of the playoffs, I was telling people that this year was so much fun I didn’t even care if the Broncos lost, and that was after a three game losing streak. I’d spent the majority of this past fall watching an uninspiring Oklahoma Sooners squad fumble their way to yet another disappointing season, and the Broncos were just plain fun in contrast. I didn’t care that they made the playoffs even without a winning record (8-8), every snap was a must-see moment.

That was never more true than in last week’s Steelers game, when in the first play of overtime Tebow threw an 80-yard touchdown pass for the dramatic playoff win. I watched it live, and didn’t know what to do with myself. I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry, and eventually settled on a mix of both. Not only was his all-time great playoff performance awesome, but the stupid coincidences that popped up after the game made me laugh even harder. In college, Tebow always had Bible verses written on his black eye paint, one of his most common verses being the always-popular John 3:16. After the game, people started to notice that Tebow finished with 316 passing yards. And 31.6 yards per completion. And the Nielsen ratings peaked at 31.6. It was a stupid coincidence, but by golly if it wasn’t just fun to watch and talk about. Even after that dramatic win, the same old narrative popped up – Tebow couldn’t possibly work that magic in New England this Saturday, against a team that had already beaten the Broncos that season. For as many jokes that popped up touting the virtues of Tebow (Rome wasn’t built in a day, but if Tebow were alive then, it would’ve only taken the 4th quarter), there were just as many that mocked the struggles of Tebow (Superhero Tebow’s main nemesis is a supervillain called Open Receiver). Almost all of them were funny.

The Oklahoma Sooners, my favorite sports team, are a college football powerhouse – the opposite of an underdog. Tebow is the perpetual underdog, and that’s precisely why I love him. I had no idea how much fun it was to root for an underdog week after week, much less an underdog who made inspiring, inexplicable comebacks week after week. This entire season, I felt like those brain damaged patients you see on PBS psychology shows who can’t remember what happened 20 seconds ago, where everything that happens is new and unexpected. “What? A miraculous Tebow comeback in overtime? This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen!” I never saw it coming, and that made it all the more riveting. No matter how many amazing comebacks he engineers, no matter how many all-time great playoff performances he puts up, there will always be legitimate questions about his quarterback skills. At times, his mechanics and decision-making can be so atrocious that it continues to give all the analysts ammunition for the “Tebow is just a flash in the pan” argument. This Tebow-driven season has been so wild that not only have I allowed myself to dream of the Broncos winning the Super Bowl over the 15-1 and seemingly unbeatable Green Bay Packers, I also fully expect the Broncos to lose to the Patriots this Saturday. If they win, I’ll just shake my head and laugh in disbelief like I always do. And it’s been so much fun that if they lose, I won’t mind one bit.