Denver native Jared Kleinstein was sitting in Sidebar, a Gators/Broncos watering hole in the Big Apple, on October 23 to watch the Broncos stage a 18-15 win in overtime against the Dolphins. The game was finished, when Tim Tebow dropped to to a knee and assumed a prayer-like position. A Broncos fan since childhood, Kleinstein wanted to pay tribute to Tebow’s first win, so the 24-year-old copied the player’s kneeling pose for a photo op (pictured) with friends outside the bar.
The frenzy started soon after that. Kleinstein created a Tumblr page the next day, purchased the domain Tebowing.com, and watched it go viral. In the past week, Kleinstein and a crew of eight friends set up a makeshift office in a Midtown apartment. And while the crew still have day jobs, Tebowing.com takes up their after-work hours. Between interviews, running the site and its social media outlets, and selling T-shirts, Kleinstein hasn’t been asleep before 3 a.m. for the past six nights. But with 1,154 followers on Twitter and about 86,000 people linking to Tebowing.com on Facebook, he’s gotten the attention of ESPN, the Wall Street Journal, and Tim Tebow.
“When we created it we didn’t realize how much this would unify the fans of Tebow and the NFL,” Kleinstein says. “It’s not just like planking where you are doing something silly in a random place. It’s not silly at all. This is something that everyone can relate to that has a purpose.”
Tebowing.com has 40+ pages of people taking a knee and assuming the praying position, like armed forces members, brides, University of Florida cheerleaders, tourists, and toddlers. Even the Colorado Avalanche’s mascot, the Colorado Rapids’ Omar Cummings, and Broncos’ rookie Von Miller were caught Tebowing. “Everyone’s the most inspired by the chemo by Tebowing picture of a cancer patient,” Kleinstein says, adding that his new favorite is of a man Tebowing next to a Boeing plane engine.
As for his critics, Kleinstein hopes Tebowing will turn into a tradition for Broncos’ fans (similar to the Atlanta Braves’ tomahawk) and that Tebow admirers will keep this trend alive. And even if the Tebowing fad goes as quickly as it came, at least it forced Kleinstein’s parents, residents of the Hilltop neighborhood in Denver, to learn the ins and outs of social media to keep up with their son’s success.