What would happen if Broncos Country ever partnered with Gator Nation?
It has, and the answer is you would have the Tim Tebow Denver Broncos jersey.
I have documented very proudly how big the Broncos are, certainly the state religion for the hordes of orange-and-blue clad fanatics (and that’s a good word in this case) who have sold out 40 straight seasons (41 is coming up) and who have made us among the 10 most popular pro sports teams nationally, in one recent poll.
But there is another version of orange and blue out there, one with which our fans have some awareness if they follow college football, but it they REALLY follow the college game they know that simply and accurately put, there is nothing to match SEC football and the passion that many of their fans and alumni have for their university and team.
And among the most rabid, craziest of those fans reside the worldwide citizens of Gator Nation. And worldwide is an accurate term.
There is big, and then there is BIG. Gator Nation has adopted Broncos Country, and that’s a little like what happened in the industrialized world when the Berlin Wall came down and Germany was again unified. Big, big, big.
Tim Tebow’s new Denver Broncos #15 jersey is suddenly—suddenly in that it happened immediately and literally overnight since Thursday of last week—the most popular piece of apparel in the National Football League.
According to Bloomberg Business News, Tebow’s #15 has sold more than any rookie jersey since the league established NFLShop.com. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was the previous record holder, but Joanna Hunter of the NFL PR office says that “It’s a pretty big difference between him (Tebow) and the next guy.”
In addition, since the moment he was selected by the Broncos Thursday night, about the time our website peaked with twice the previous high volume of hits (and it is already the biggest football website in the Rocky Mountain time zone), Tebow’s jersey has been the most popular jersey among all NFL players, including all veterans.
The league does not disclose specific sales figures, but the NFL online store was expanded to include online jersey sales in 2006.
While most fans are unaware of this, back a couple of weeks ago when word leaked out that Tebow would be visiting Broncos headquarters, a number of Gators fans, some in full Florida regalia, came out and very politely hung around for several hours at our back gate just to get a glimpse of him being driven into the facility.
On the day of his introductory press conference last Friday, the Florida Marlins were in Denver to begin a series against the Colorado Rockies, and the baseball writers came out to our facility with instructions from the papers not to go to the baseball game until they got the Tim Tebow press conference, regardless of how much time it took for them to get back to their regular jobs. They had their fingers crossed for a rainout, and in one of those rare instances when things play out just right, the weatherman cooperated and they got their wish.
The Broncos’ team store should receive its first shipment of Tebow replica jerseys today (the authentic jerseys take a little longer at the factory, and they should be here in about three weeks). The women’s fashion jerseys should be delivered sometime on Thursday, according to store manager Tim Kellond.
Remember, any store is at the mercy of the vendor and the freight company, regardless of what the product is.
But they are coming, and Broncos Country/Gator Nation can’t wait.
The Rocky Mountain Gator Club, this region’s local alumni association, typically hosts 300-plus Gator fans at a local LoDo restaurant for every football and men’s basketball game, a circus-like environment replete with school fight songs, inflatables and raffles. The Denver branch of the University of Florida jersey shop is getting ready to open for business.
Tags: Tim Tebow