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Did Tebowmania Jump The Shark?

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DENVER, CO - JANUARY 08: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos directs the offense against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 29-23 in overtime of their AFC Wild Card Playoff game. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

DENVER, CO – JANUARY 08: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Denver Broncos directs the offense against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on January 8, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos defeated the Steelers 29-23 in overtime of their AFC Wild Card Playoff game. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – When ESPN dedicated an hour of programming for the second time to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow Thursday morning; it gave the appearance that Tebowmania may have jumped the proverbial shark.

Jumping the shark is a reference to the Happy Days series when Fonzie literally jumped the shark and everything became so ridiculous it was a parody of itself and the ratings quickly declined.

Tebowmania, as it’s being called, is referencing the phenomenon that is the fans love for Tim Tebow. It grew last Sunday when he led the Broncos to an upset victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 2012 NFL playoffs.

For his part, Tebow has handled the increased media presence very well. He’s not pushing the coverage and instead trying to focus on improving his game. But the coverage has almost been nonsensical based on his success versus that of other athletes.

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley addressed Tebow and the coverage of it in an interview with a Philadelphia radio station Thursday.

“The national nightmare continues. Hey listen I like Tim Tebow but there comes a point, he had a great game,” according to a transcript from sportsradiointerviews.com. He’s supposed to have a great game. They want to make it seem like oh the world is aligned correct. I’m like he does play quarterback. He is supposed to play well.”

Barkley continued, “He seems like a nice kid but these ups and downs are so different. The jury is still out on Tebow. Just because he had a great game and made four or five great throws yesterday doesn’t mean he’s gonna be a great starting quarterback in the NFL.”

ESPN, which has never had a problem oversaturating something like they did in 2005 with the USC Trojans, made it a point to have things in the Tebowcenter like “You Don’t Know Tebow.”

Local reaction to the “Tebowcenter” on ESPN was not positive.

Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post tweeted: “Tebow in danger of becoming like the ‘I didn’t do it boy’ on the Simpsons. We can’t get enough now, but there’s such a thing as oversaturation.”

Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel agreed, “Another Tim Tebow hour on SportsCenter? Can’t wait for this NBC Sports Network to launch.”

But Tebow’s biggest challenge is not going to be in the studios of ESPN or the cloud that is Twitter. He now has to face future Hall of Famer Tom Brady and the New England Patriots in Massachusetts on Saturday night.

The early weather forecast for Foxborough, Massachusetts is for a temperature hovering around nine degrees. That could work in Tebow’s favor if Tom Brady has to battle any winds when he’s throwing the football.

Brady has never had problems in the past throwing the ball in any weather New England tosses at him. That means Tebow will have to outwit a Bill Belichick-led defense that typically feasts on young quarterbacks the second time it faces them.

Still, Tebowmania is here to stay, regardless of  how Tebow’s overall play is, or whether the Broncos can win Saturday night against the Patriots.

The game can be seen exclusively on CBS4 starting at 8 p.m.

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