Because Hollywood Says So: ESPN Sportsguy Bill Simmons explains why next week's Patriots v. Tebow rematch was inevitable

We're still trying to figure out what awful thing the good people of western Pennsylvania did to deserve God's wrath, in the form of yet another miraculous Tim Tebow victory last night. (Oh, wait, right: the good people of western Pennsylvania voted for this asshole.) And so now the rest of us in New England have another week of wondering what role destiny has in store for us: are we the Turks sent to crush Tebow's NFL crusade yet again? Or are we just a walk-on Goliath being built up for David's pentultimate magic trick?

If you believe ESPN Sportsguy (and former Phoenix columnist) Bill Simmons, it's the latter. Or at least that was the suggestion a reader brought up -- and that Simmons found persuasive -- in a Sportsguy mailbag column penned just before this weekend's upset. It went a little something like this

Q: I just had an epiphany while watching the clock tick closer to quitting time today at work. The easiest pick of the Round One weekend is the Denver Broncos. This whole thing is playing out just like any sports movie ever made. You've got a QB in Tim Tebow that overcame all kinds of obstacles to get the starting job on a crappy team. Then he leads them to unbelievable win after win. He has the team playing hard for him and everyone is starting to love him, even those in the media who were so against him. Then just when everything is going great things start to fall apart. Key players get injured, none of his tricks work anymore, and they go on a horrible losing streak. Now, just when there is no hope and everyone has counted them out the "Nobody Believes in Us" speech is delivered by Timmy Tebow. The team rallies behind him and they pull off a miracle comeback to beat the Steelers. I'm telling you … it's the easiest pick of the weekend. If Disney's already making the Tim Tebow movie there is no way the Broncos lose.
— Jason H, Dayton, OH

SG: Remember the 2008 playoffs, after Kurt Warner had told his kids he'd buy them a puppy if the Cardinals won the Super Bowl, then I had a Pakistani reader send me an e-mail urging me to bet on Warner's team because "you never bet against God and puppies"? I kind of feel the same way about Jason's Tebow/Disney e-mail. He's right … this is a sports-movie script. And we all know how sports movies play out.

The best point of Jason's e-mail: "Then just when everything is going great things start to fall apart. Key players get injured, none of his tricks work anymore, and they go on a horrible losing streak. Now, just when there is no hope and everyone has counted them out the 'Nobody Believes in Us' speech is delivered by Timmy Tebow."

Seriously, how many times have we seen that sequence in a sports movie? Fifty? Seventy-five? One hundred? It always happens around the 1:15 mark of the movie; even better, you KNOW it's coming and somehow still enjoy it. I don't know whether the inevitable Tebow/Broncos sports movie would be called God's Will, Faith Healer, Divine Intervention, And A Tebow Shall Lead Them, White Bronco, or my personal favorite, Fourth-and-God, but it's definitely been a sports movie — you have a polarizing/mesmerizing lead character, the mandatory "this team's coming together!" and "this team's falling apart!" sequences, crazy amounts of media scrutiny, and the whole damned thing is just implausible enough that you find yourself saying, "I wish this movie was about 18 percent more realistic." If you pick against Denver this weekend, you're picking against every sports movie ever made, as well as the $86 million opening weekend Disney is about to have for Fourth-and-God in 15 months. As always, tread carefully.

Well, OK, sure: he was right, and that just happened. Not to mention that it happened with an OT twist that not even Simmons could've predicted -- and that will necessitate, in the Fourth-and-God shooting script, a solid three and a half minutes of expository dialogue to get everyone up to date on those wacky new NFL overtime rules that ended up not mattering. The big question now is: what would Hollywood do next? After an ending like the one in Pittsburgh, wouldn't you just freeze-frame with Tebow rising from the knee and pointing to the sky, while the NFL Films string section reaches zig-zaggedly for the audience's heartstrings? Even if it meant running a post-scripty "where are they now" title roll that tells you Tebow made it into Canton in 2027? That's the note to end on, right? He doesn't have to make it to Indie, or even to the AFC title game for Jesus to win . . . 

. . . unless, of course, someone got ambitious and worked in a winding plot-line involving the sudden appearance, through machinations that strain credulity, of a coach from Tebow's past who unexpectedly goes all Judas and whatnot, aligning himself with the team that sent the Broncos spinning off on a three-game losing streak. See -- in that case, you'd once again expect the Great Scriptwriter to have some horrifying comeuppance in store for whatever team -- or Ugg-wearing, supermodel-banging heathen -- comes next.

Tread carefully. 

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