Kiszla: Broncos’ Freudian battle pits Tebow vs. Elway

By Mark Kiszla
The Denver Post

Posted: 09/30/2011 01:00:00 AM MDT
Updated: 09/30/2011 07:19:48 AM MDT

Why won’t the Broncos let Tim Tebow​ touch the football? Ask Sigmund Freud. He blames John Elway​.

“Elway is jealous of Tebow. Could that be the reason why Tebow doesn’t get off the bench during games?” said Fred Coolidge, proud owner of a Ph.D. in psychology and a professor at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs for 32 years.

The heart of Denver isn’t big enough to give Elway and Tebow the love both quarterbacks crave.

“Elway doesn’t like the fact his star has been eclipsed by this young punk Tebow,” Coolidge explained in a telephone interview. “Tebow has barely played a game in the NFL. And Elway has two Super Bowl rings. So, at some level, he is jealous of Tebow. Elway believes there should be no footballgods before him. I think this whole thing is very Freudian.

OK, Doc. I acknowledge this Tebow Thing has made everybody in town a little crazy. There is a tower of Tebow babble raging 2 4/7, from the pages of your newspaper to deep cyberspace. The cacophony argues about everything from throwing mechanics to the Bible. It gives some people a headache, especially Kyle Orton​.

But now you want us to believe something in the dark recesses of Elway’s brilliant football mind subconsciously wishes for Tebow to fail? After being hired as a front-office executive to resurrect the team’s fortunes, Elway would want anything except the best for the Broncos? For real? No disrespect intended, Mr. Coolidge, but are you on crack?

“This is called an Oedipal conflict,” Coolidge said. The good professor was sober. And serious.

“Freud said all little boys naturally fight with their father,” he said. “The Oedipal conflict can be exacerbated, especially if the son is bigger than the father.”

OK, I wouldn’t even know how to spell Sophocles without Wikipedia and admit to dozing when “Oedipus Rex​” was taught in high school. But I do know football statistics:

As the greatest player to ever wear orange, Elway was listed at 6-foot-3 and weighed 215 pounds.

Tebow stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 236 pounds.

You don’t need a tape measure or scale to know which quarterback is bigger in town right now.

It’s Tebow. That’s trouble.

While everybody has an opinion about who should start at quarterback for the Broncos, Elway told The Post that “I don’t want to be in there meddling.”

There’s absolutely no hard evidence the invisible hand of No. 7 is holding back Tebow.

Perhaps it also should be noted that while Elway finds the time to tweet, he has seldom been seen on the practice field mentoring Tebow on the secrets of winning at the NFL level.

There’s delicious irony in all this for Coolidge, who religiously attends home games in Denver and volunteers he has already stood up this season and screamed “Put in Tebow!” at coach John Fox.

“It’s just an educated guess. But the guess is (former coach) Mike Shana- han had his own Oedipal conflict with Elway back when the Broncos were trying to win their first Super Bowl,” said Coolidge, whose awards include recognition as a presidential teaching scholar.

“Shanahan, the genius, wanted to be able to say to Elway: ‘I made you.’ But after they won and Elway walked away from the game at the right time, the Broncos weren’t as good. That’s what kept Shanahan awake at night: Maybe it was Elway who made the coach.”

If you believe Freud, it was out of resentment that Shanahan made certain Elway had no role in the organization after his playing days were done. Coolidge rides shotgun with Freud. He believes Tebow brings the story full circle for Elway.

“Elway suffered in exile from the Broncos — for what, 15 years? — and when (team owner) Pat Bowlen​ finally saw the wisdom in bringing him back to the organization, Elway gets eclipsed in popularity by Tebow,” said Coolidge, who bleeds orange and blue for a number of reasons, including the fact the good professor owns three degrees from the University of Florida. “Oh, you think Elway couldn’t be a little jealous of his young quarterback? He says this guy’s not ready for prime time. And Elway believes that. But, unconsciously, he’s jealous of Tebow.”

Take a seat on the shrink’s couch, Broncomaniacs.

This season figures to only get loonier with every loss by Denver.

When it comes to a city’s insatiable obsession with this Tebow Thing, maybe we all need our heads examined.

Mark Kiszla: 303-954-1053 or

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