Stephen Strasburg's first strike for the Washington Nationals on Tuesday might start the Rapture.
God himself might carry Tim Tebow into the end zone during his first play from scrimmage for the Broncos this fall.
So how could anyone possibly choose between these two sports deities? Well, Page 2 gives you the Tale of the Tape.
Strasburg: 6-4, 220
Tebow: 6-3, 245
Advantage: Tebow. Not because he has more pounds, but because he was once described in a GQ interview as "all thick polygons and smooth flat planes and inescapable corn-fed handsomeness."
Advantage: Tebow. Although it may seem that they have the same eye color, you're actually mistaken. Tebow's eyes appear blue in photographs, but in person you see whatever color you want, much like looking through a prism or into a waterfall.
Advantage: Strasburg. It's nice that both of these guys will get to continue wearing their college numbers in the pros. And I'm sure lots of greats have worn No. 15. Thurman Munson comes to mind for the Yankees. But Strasburg shares his number with Ron Artest. Did you know he had a friend who got stabbed through the heart with a piece of a table leg during a pickup game?
Number of bracelets worn
Advantage: Strasburg. Tebow has one of those rubber wristbands for just about everyone he's ever met. Strasburg doesn't believe in fashion accessories other than strikeouts. Besides, bracelets would probably weigh him down and take a couple miles an hour off his fastball. They're clearly for people who don't ever throw.
Strasburg: 4-year, $15.1 million
Advantage: Strasburg. Tebow doesn't currently have a deal with the Broncos, so he's essentially playing for free. But even when the two sides do hammer out the X's and O's, Tebow is slotted to receive only around $11 million for five years. He's going to need to pull a Shaq to close the gap: "I'm tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, wear Reebok."
Strasburg: 2008 Olympic bronze medal with Team USA
Tebow: 2007 Heisman Trophy
Advantage: Tebow. He's the first player to win the Heisman as a sophomore. That's impressive. A bronze medal, on the other hand? Lots of people have them, and some don't even want theirs -- for example, Swedish wrestler Ara Abrahamian, who threw his bronze medal down and walked off in Beijing.
First pro opponent
Strasburg: Pittsburgh Pirates on June 8
Tebow: Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 12
Advantage: Strasburg. The Jaguars were bad last season, but the Pirates are terrible. I wouldn't be surprised if he were to throw a perfect game against them. Let's just hope Jim Joyce isn't working that night.
Strasburg: baby bowl
Tebow: modified buzz
Advantage: Tebow. This isn't so much a win for Tebow as it is a loss for Strasburg. As haircuts go, you could do worse than the newest Denver Bronco, and Strasburg is proof of that. It's as though he broke curfew and his mom cut his hair as a punishment. No wonder he never takes his cap off.
Stephen: Ranked 201 in '09
Timothy: Ranked 110 in '09
Advantage: Kobe. Even if somehow the Nationals and Broncos could play some sort of baseball-football hybrid that was broadcast in every delivery room in America, they still couldn't top the number of Kobes that will be conceived over the next two weeks.
Steve wrote:I don't know why I always seem to picture the angel wings when I look at the almighty Tebow.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Champ Bailey has been around the Denver Broncos long enough to see stunning changes. Mike Shanahan, fired. Jay Cutler, traded. Brandon Marshall, traded.
Of those three events in the past two years, Bailey cites Shanahan's firing as the most shocking to him "because he had been here 14 years and won two Super Bowls. The other two guys [Cutler and Marshall] really hadn't done anything here."
It could be said that second-year coach Josh McDaniels hasn't done anything either, except go .500 in his first season, make headlines by kicking Cutler and Marshall out of town and stun some by drafting Tim Tebow in the first round.
It might surprise you that despite Denver blowing a 6-0 start in 2009 and suffering a slew of injuries in camp, the 34-year-old McDaniels has the two strongest believers a coach could want in the 32-year-old Bailey and 36-year-old safety Brian Dawkins.
"If we don't win with this guy … I mean, he's doing everything possible to get us ready," Bailey said. "I give this coach credit. I've learned so much from this guy and I'm in my 13th year. We know we are going to be a prepared football team the way he coaches us to be smart, tough, physical, and [McDaniels] knows everything about different game situations."
Dawkins loves that McDaniels has not allowed the distractions of trades and injuries to become an excuse in 2010. The Broncos have suffered a rash of injuries, including losing standout defensive end Elvis Dumervil (17 sacks in 2009) to a torn pectoral muscle.
"Other people talk about this rebuilding stuff, but Coach is talking about winning right now, and he is very, very passionate about winning right now," Dawkins said. "He is consistent with his message. It's team first, period. He is consistent with his preparation and what he expects of us. What you do in the meeting rooms, what you do in practice, what you do on and off the field will define what you're going to mean to this football team."
McDaniels rejected the moniker of "Bad News Broncos."
"It's not fitting, but I think it fits something we stress about adversity," McDaniels said. "OK, we have some adversity right in front of us. There's always going to be a time in your life or your surroundings that doesn't go the way you'd want. But just like in 2008 with the Patriots, Tom [Brady] went down 11 plays into the season, you have a choice. You can say, 'Well, it's over.' Or you can say, 'It's different, but we've got to win anyway.'
"Yeah, we've got eight players down [with injuries] right now, but we're getting five back today and with the exception of Elvis, we hope we'll have the rest back by the time we open the season. What we have to do better than last year is handle the highs and lows better, and this adversity we're experiencing right now is a way to build that culture of change."
More observations on the Broncos:
• Make no mistake, Kyle Orton is the starting quarterback and there has been nothing to suggest he won't remain the starter. "Kyle now knows this offense like the back of his hand," McDaniels said.
• Tebow has made a strong early impression on veteran players, including Dawkins. "Tim's a great guy. Very humble … very hard worker, always asking me questions that he's hoping can make him a better player."
• Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos' first No. 1 pick, has created a huge buzz with his 6-3, 229-pound frame. He did twist his foot making a great catch in Saturday's scrimmage -- the same one that kept him out of the scouting combine -- but the team insists the injury is minor.
• McDaniels and others had high praise for receiver Eddie Royal, who had a disappointing second season. He hooked up with Orton for some big plays during Tuesday's practice.
• Last year's first-round pick, 6-foot-3, 274-pound linebacker Robert Ayers, has played well in camp.
• The Broncos are optimistic Pro Bowl offensive tackle Ryan Clady (knee) will be ready for the season opener. He suffered the injury in an offseason basketball game.
• The Broncos expect running back Knowshon Moreno (hamstring) back for the opener. They recently signed LenDale White, who stunned Denver with how sharp he looked in practice last week.
ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen will file reports from all the training camps and send updates on the road via Twitter (@mortreport).
Other people talk about this rebuilding stuff, but Coach is talking about winning right now, and he is very, very passionate about winning right now," Dawkins said. "He is consistent with his message. It's team first, period. He is consistent with his preparation and what he expects of us. What you do in the meeting rooms, what you do in practice, what you do on and off the field will define what you're going to mean to this football team
If we don't win with this guy … I mean, he's doing everything possible to get us ready," Bailey said. "I give this coach credit. I've learned so much from this guy and I'm in my 13th year. We know we are going to be a prepared football team the way he coaches us to be smart, tough, physical, and [McDaniels] knows everything about different game situations.
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