Of course the game will be decided as much by the other players on the field as by Brady and Tebow. But it's impossible not to view the Patriots-Broncos matchup on Saturday as being about two all-American men caught up in an "Odd Couple" matchup of epic proportions.
For all their obvious differences, if anything binds the two gridiron leaders it's that ever-elusive “it” factor that goes beyond athleticism or personal beliefs, to something more essential embodied by both: an intensity and love for the game that inspires teammates to overcome pain and fulfill what they believe, at least at the time, is their destinies.
The epic confrontation should improve on the stunning TV ratings for last week's Broncos-Steelers game, won on the first overtime play after Tebow connected to Demaryius Thomas for an electrifying 80-yard touchdown.
People will watch, writes Chicago Sun-Times columnist Rick Telander, “to see if a running, bare-armed, cheerful, fundamentals-be-damned, totally retro, winning quarterback can beat ... classically formed quarterback Brady in a game that is – remember – as vicious as it is pretty.”
Zeroing in on their individual merits and broader philosophical beliefs, the two QBs could hardly be more different.
Brady represents the ushering in of the quarterback age, where what matters most is pure passing skill, cool-headed leadership, and the intellectual ability to master intricate playbook calculus – a mold that's being filled by other superstars like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.