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As the Bears try to stop Tim Tebow from his sixth straight victory on Sunday amid a fever pitch of attention on the polarizing Denver Broncos quarterback, Charles Barkley made a plea to Chicago: Stop the madness.
"I want to make a personal plea to Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, Mr. [Julius] Peppers, please stop the madness," Barkley said Friday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I'm just so tired ... I like Tim Tebow. He seems like a good kid, and I wish him success, but I am Tebowed out. So this is my personal plea for you three guys, please stop this madness."
Reeling with a 1-4 record, Broncos coach John Fox named Tebow the starting quarterback before their Week 7 game against the Miami Dolphins. Denver re-tooled its offense to fit the left-handed quarterback who is a more effective runner than passer. Tebow has responded, winning six of his seven starts and vaulting the Broncos into a tie for first in the AFC West with the Oakland Raiders.
Although Tebow only has a 47.5 completion percentage, he averages 5.7 yards per rushing attempt on 82 carries. He is the Broncos' second-leading runner (468 yards) behind tailback Willis McGahee (886 yards). Tebow also has done a good job of protecting the football, throwing one interception in 158 pass attempts.
"[He's a] scrambler ... they run him a lot ... he's one heck of a football player, and we're going to have to stop that crap," said Briggs, whose Bears have lost two in a row. "You have to be disciplined, but we have the guys that can do it. It's not rocket science."
Tebow's unorthodox style and willingness to share his strong religious beliefs have made him the subject of debate around the country, and Barkley has tired of the talk.
"It's clearly a media-driven story," Barkley said. "They just want you to argue about Tim Tebow. Dude, let the kid play. If he can play, good. If he can't play it will show. But to have this argument every single day after five or six games is just ridiculous.
"Tim Tebow is a good player. I wish him luck, but if I don't ever hear the words Brett Favre or Tim Tebow again it won't be enough."