Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The spirit of giving is strong in Leduc

Year after year, I am always surprised by the things people do for Christmas gifts. Parents go out of their way to find the specific toy of the season for their child, spouses search high and low to find that ‘perfect’ gift for their significant other. Then there are those who give more than just a gift card by donating their time or making a financial donation to a non-profit group.

Although I am not a fan of the commercialization of Christmas and the need to buy, buy, buy, I do enjoy giving people thoughtful gifts this time of year more so than receiving. I know, it sounds cheesy and has been used before, but I truly do enjoy trying to think of something unique and thoughtful for everyone on my list. Although many revert to gift cards for their loved ones (which there is nothing wrong with), I make it my mission to try to remember a random conversation I had with someone or think of something my parents might have mentioned in passing. I often found it’s the details and putting enough effort into a gift that makes for a good one.

And in recent weeks, I have noticed that many Leduc residents do exactly that. Whether it’s a local business donating time and money or volunteers giving their time during this holiday, I have noticed that Leduc area residents work really hard at making sure others have a great holiday. Businesses donating their time and profits to local organizations, free Christmas dinners for the less fortunate and people collecting toys for children in the area are just some of the examples of Leduc residents’ kindness.

I’m sure many residents are already aware of the community’s collective big heart and take pride in the spirit of giving found in the community, as they should. It’s refreshing to see. It reminds people that everyone adds to the collective generous spirit of a community and it shouldn’t be up to a couple of corporate sponsors to continue to support the local food bank or women’s shelter. It should be everyone that helps out and in my opinion, it seems Leduc overall is a pretty generous community.

Although many wish people would show their generous natures’ year-round, I think it is a good thing the Christmas spirit of giving —whether you celebrate the holiday or not— generally comes once a year. It is a reminder that there is more to life than opening presents on Christmas day and if we are willing to spend a few dollars on a gift card, why not spend the money on something we can all use: happy people this holiday season.

Happy holidays!

Monday, 12 December 2011

It's Tebow Time whether you like it or not

Bobby Roy

The Extra Point

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Denver Bronco’s quarterback Tim Tebow had a section of his own terms in the dictionary by the end of this season.

“Tebow,” “Tebow Time,” and “Tebowmania” are a few of the terms starting to appear each weekly miracle performed by the former Florida Gator, Tebow.

And just when you think the hype, criticism, interest and play surrounding Tebow should start to simmer down, the most talked about player this NFL season keeps giving people reasons to talk, gossip and stare in awe about.

What he and his team have been doing on the field recently are being called miracles and for good reason.

Dec. 11’s 13-10 overtime victory over the Chicago Bears at home is latest, craziest miracle performed by Tebow and the Broncos.

It’s a game they shouldn’t have won, but the Broncos have heard plenty of that talk in their current six game-winning streak.

“He did what?” “Did that just happen?” How is that even possible?”

Those are some of questions I asked watching the improbable unfold in the 13-10 Bronco win.

With his team down 10-0 with less than three minutes to play in the game and with no timeouts, he engineered a drive where he completed seven of seven passes, culminating in an easy touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas to cut the lead down to three.

An unthinkable mistake by the Bears’ runningback Marion Barber gave Tebow and the Broncos the ball back and a chance. A few throws later and the Broncos had a realistic chance. A 59-yard field goal try with three seconds left? No problem. Tie game and we’re headed to overtime.

The Broncos lose the toss and the Bears drive into field goal range. Maybe the miracle is finally over? Wrong. Barber proceeds to do the unthinkable again, fumbling the ball on a third down play to give the Broncos the ball.

It’s Tebow Time.

Two completions later and the Broncos are well within their kicker’s range — a 51-yard field goal attempt.

It could have been good from 70 and the Broncos win their six straight and most amazing win of the streak.

Amazing. Stunning. Unbelievable.

Those are just some of the words that come to mind looking back at the game. But those words have been following Tebow around for the past eight games.

Since taking over for the then 1-4 Broncos, Tebow is 7-1, but his passing numbers have been less than convincing and he still isn’t receiving respect from players, fans and media around the league.

In those eight games he’s only gone over the 200 passing yard mark twice —202 against Minnesota and 238 against Chicago (he was 3-16 after three quarters).

The Bears’ Brian Urlacher called him a good running back afterwards.

His numbers are anything but impressive.

In the first three quarters that is.

Tebow is 18 of 24, 191 yards, one touchdown, and no picks in the fourth quarter and overtime. He is clutch when it comes to crunch time, no doubt about it.

And he’s captured anyone and everyone who follows the NFL. There’s just something about Tebow’s aura that has accrued him more and more followers every week.

He was criticized before he got the job, while he has the job and will be, no matter how the Bronco’s fairytale season ends.

And he should be, because I’m (and I’m sure there are plenty of others) not convinced he is and will be a great quarterback in the NFL.

The Broncos’ defense, timely offense and special teams are the reason why they are on a six game winning streak and in control of the AFC West.

But maybe people expected too much on what kind of player Tebow would be when he was drafted. He’s been compared to the likes of John Elway and other great quarterbacks, but he doesn’t share the same qualities.

He has shown he is a running quarterback first and foremost, but he comes up big with his arm in the fourth and overtime quarters. Tebow doesn’t strike fear in opposing teams like Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady or Drew Brees do, but he does share a similar quality with those three —he wins.

And that’s all that matters in the NFL. If doesn’t matter how you win as long as you win and Tebow has done that, even though all those wins haven’t been the most convincing. The Broncos have won all of those seven games by six points or less.

It may be only a matter of time until Tebow Time is over in Denver or maybe not, but what everyone can agree upon is that it is fun to watch, read and talk about Tebow and the Broncos are doing right now.