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Tim Tebow is now America’s favorite active pro athlete, topping a monthly poll that has produced only 11 different number-ones in the nearly two decades it has been taken.
The survey in question comes from ESPN, which asks Americans to pick their favorite pro stars each month. In December’s poll – taken before Tebow quarterbacked his Denver Broncos to an upset playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday – the former Florida Gator standout was picked by 3 percent of respondents. That was good enough for the win over Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant (2 percent) and a trio of Super Bowl MVPs: Aaron Rodger (1.9 percent), Peyton Manning (1.8 percent) and Tom Brady (1.5 percent).
The results were gathered from 1,502 interviews from a nationally representative sample of Americans 12 and older.
"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, founder and director of the ESPN Sports Poll. "I think we may be at the front end of a new era in sports stars."
Since 2007, there have been only five other athletes in the monthly list's top spot: Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, Tiger Woods, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.