There has been a lot of talk about the "BroncoGator" phenomenon, by Broncos fans and Gator fans alike (in addition to other fans around the country, who are just mocking the whole thing).
Let me clarify my own position on this:
*I absolutely count myself as one of those people who began rooting for the Broncos the moment they drafted Tim Tebow. I would have rooted for any other team that drafted Tim Tebow. I will root for whatever NFL team Tebow plays for.
*I see no shame in this, in large part because I recognize and acknowledge the shamelessness. I think that most Gator fans developed an instant partisanship for Tebow's NFL team.
*This new fandom is entirely sincere -- Gator fans-turned-Broncos fans want nothing more than to see Tebow wildly succeed, which will translate into the Broncos succeeding.
*No Gator-turned-Broncos fan would ever claim that our fandom is as "strong" or "deep" or "real" as a long-time (ie, pre-Tebow) Broncos fan.
As an aside, let's all remember that even the most "die-hard" Broncos fan came to that allegiance arbitrarily: Born in Colorado, parents were Broncos fans, college admissions or new job brought you to Broncos Country, really liked Elway, spouse is a Broncos fan.
The upshot: Rooting for the Broncos for Tim Tebow's presence is hardly less arbitrary than those "classic" rooting roots. But again: Happy to defer to you, Broncos lifer, as the "better" fan, if that makes you feel better.
*Most Broncos fans I have talked with were happy to have the Gator fans on board. They recognize that expanding Broncos Country into Florida makes the Broncos more of a "national" football brand, which is good for their team.
*All that said: Yes, that "BroncoGator" logo is kind of a travesty. Why do we need to conflate the two rooting interests?
There is Gator fandom, which transcends whoever is QB of the team. And then there is Broncos fandom, which is entirely dependent on a certain QB being on the team.
I see no reason to flaunt that connection like some sort of weird hybrid animal, like we are on the Island of Dr. Moreau.
The point is this: The "BroncoGator" logo is, unintentionally, a farce -- creating a mockery of Gator fans-turned-Broncos fans far more than it is honoring them.
Here's the deal: Gator fans will root for the Broncos. Some of us might even buy Tebow Broncos jerseys -- and why wouldn't we?
And we can happily co-exist with tried-and-true Broncos fans -- just like we happily co-existed with all of the Tebow fans across the country who found themselves rooting for the Gators the past four years.