But, it was a Jewish fan who came up with the idea for the Tebowing homage-to-Tebow web site. Patton Dodd writes about this in an article in The Wall Street Journal, "Tim Tebow: God's Quarterback."
As Mr. Tebow's acts of goodwill merged with his achievements on the field for the Florida team, Tebow fandom morphed into Tebow piety. Students launched websites dedicated to the young man, and blogs and message boards lit up with tributes. The blogosphere and Twitterverse produced a flood of over-the-top jokes declaring Tebow's greatness: "Tim Tebow has counted to infinity…twice." "When Tim Tebow walks on water, his feet don't get wet."
In recent weeks, as Tebow mania has re-emerged alongside the unexpected success of the Broncos, it has become clear that the fever is not confined to the quarterback's fellow evangelical Christians. Mr. Tebow's habit of taking to one knee in prayer on the field has given rise to an Internet meme called "Tebowing." Fans have posted pictures of themselves praying on one knee while doing everything from surfing and fighting fires to touring China and going into battle.
"Tebowing" is the brainchild of Jared Kleinstein, 24, a real-estate marketer in New York City who was raised in Denver, where he grew into a devoted sports fan. Mr. Kleinstein, who is Jewish, just wanted to pay tribute to the inspirational quarterback of his favorite team. He launched Tebowing.com from Manhattan in October, on the night after Mr. Tebow led the Broncos to victory over the Miami Dolphins.
"We were at a bar watching the game," he says, "and when he came back to win, everybody was cheering like we won the Super Bowl, even though we had just beat the last-place team in the league." Mr. Kleinstein noticed that as the Bronco players were jumping up and down on the sidelines, Mr. Tebow took a knee in prayer. He snapped a picture of himself and his friends doing the same, called it "Tebowing," then created the site and sent it to eight people.
Within 48 hours, Mr. Kleinstein had been interviewed by this paper, CBS, Fox, ABC and other media outlets. The site has received millions of visits and page views in its short life. Mr. Kleinstein receives pictures of people Tebowing all day long, and often posts new pictures every hour.
With his site, Mr. Kleinstein says, "people found hope through a gesture," noting a much-discussed photo that he posted of a young boy with an IV attached to his arm who wrote that he was "Tebowing while chemoing." Mr. Kleinstein adds that a lot of support for the trend has come from rabbis. "It has made prayer in public something to not be ashamed of," he says. "I think that crosses all religious boundaries."