Even the most causal fan knows that Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow wears his religion on his sleeve. But if it's a matchup of Biblical cred, ye of little faith should cleave to "Caleb" and the Chicago Bears over "Tim" and the Broncos on Sunday. Here's why.
In one of the most famous stories from the Old Testament, God orders Moses to send spies from each of the tribes of Israel into Canaan. Although God has just taken the Children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt, the scouting report from these easily spooked spies says this new land is filled with inhabitants too fearsome to conquer. The exceptions to the consensus view are Joshua and Caleb.
Caleb seeks to counter the "evil report" and "reassure the people." (Are you listening, Bears fans?) God, perhaps worried the people have been spending too much time listening to sports radio, sends the whole bunch back to the desert for 40 years to kill off the defeatists. However, God singles out Joshua and Caleb for survival because they "wholly followed the Lord."
Later Christians praised Caleb as a role model for someone who followed what Jesus called the "greatest commandment" of all; i.e., to love God wholeheartedly. You can search diligently through the Old and New Testaments and the didn't-quite-make-it-into-the-Bible Apocrypha and never once will you find phrases like "my servant Caleb" applied to anyone named, "Tim."
Oh, and those spies? Twelve of them, one for each tribe. Caleb Hanie's jersey number? Number 12. Coincidence? I think not.
Bears by one. After a fourth quarter touchdown, they disdain the tie and go for two points. Hanie sneaks over the goal line, making the conversion. Bears win.
Not the Promised Land, but, for now, the Wild Card is promise enough.