Who is America's favorite athlete? According to poll results released today by ESPN, it's Tim Tebow and it's not even close.
The monthly poll conducted by the Worldwide Leader showed Tebow garnering 3.0 percent of the vote for December, well ahead of Kobe Bryant (2.0), Aaron Rodgers (1.9), Peyton Manning (1.8) and Tom Brady (1.5). This is the first time atop the rankings for the Denver Broncos' star quarterback -- he's only the 11th different athlete to hold the No. 1 spot in the 18 years of the poll's history.
"To put this in perspective, Tim Tebow rose to the top before the end of his second pro season. It took Tiger Woods three years, LeBron James eight years and Kobe Bryant 11 years," said Rich Luker, the poll's founder and director. "I think we may be at the front end of a new era in sports stars."
Tebow took over the Denver starting job on Oct. 23 and won seven of his first eight starts. He led the Broncos to a 29-23 overtime victory over the Steelers in Sunday's wild-card playoff game, throwing a game-winning 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas.