This is sure to rankle a ton of axe-grinders, which makes it remarkable the development team for Madden NFL 13 chose to poke this snake. But there will be a "Tebowing" celebration animation in the game this year, according to Mike Young, the game's creative director.
When one Tebows, he drops to a knee and puts a balled fist to his forehead, somewhat looking like the armor-lock pose from Halo: Reach. There's no signing of the cross or pointing to heaven, but because its namesake, the New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow, is such a visibly religious person, everyone gets fired up about mixing religion and sport even though that has been done in the end zone for decades. The gesture has been parodied and co-opted by other athletes, even outside the NFL, since Tebow introduced it.
I reached out to Young for a clarification on this on Friday but didn't hear back. Madden and NCAA Football have, for a couple of years, had an animation where a player drops almost to one knee but he shakes his right fist, which is as close as the game has come to this so far.
Then again, maybe I'm making too much out of the potential for controversy here. Including President Obama in a White House ceremony (since 2010) is a much more provocative statement to his political opposition, and EA did it anyway. Still wondering if they'll do that in an election year. Remind me to ask about that at E3.
Madden NFL 13 to Include Tebowing [Operation Sports]