Tim Tebow didn't take a single snap during the 2013 NFL season, but he's already a champion on the internet.
Tebow was the most-searched athlete on line this year, according to Bing Trends.
And while Boston's teams won eight major championships in the past dozen years, they were shut out of the top 10 most-searched teams in this year's survey.
Not even the Red Sox, who helped heal the city's wounded soul in 2013 by compiling a worst-to-first season and won a championship within the sacred walls of Fenway Park for the first time in 95 years, couldn't crack the list of top 10 most-searched teams.
And neither could the never-say-die 10-3 Patriots. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have seen their team shredded by injuries, a player charged with murder, allegations of spying and some putrid calls, but they missed the cut.
The Celtics would be the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference if the NBA playoffs began today. And the Bruins are atop the Atlantic Division. But they too didn't make it.
So, where do Boston's mighty sports teams rank in the world of on-line searches?
Somewhere below the Miami Dolphins, Atlanta Braves and Green Bay Packers.
- Dallas Cowboys
- Miami Heat
- New York Yankees
- New York Giants
- Chicago Bears
- Baltimore Ravens
- Detroit Tigers
- Miami Dolphins
- Atlanta Braves
- Green Bay Packers
Of course, people don't need search engines to find the latest news on the Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins because they already know where to look.
That would be right here on Boston.Com.
[Gotta go for the cheap plugs when we can.]
But there is one unemployed athlete who played in New England this summer and was cut before the regular season who continues to dominate the internet.
That would be Tebow. The former New England Patriots' would-be third-string quarterback was the most-searched athlete this year on Bing's list, moving up from the No. 3 spot in last year's rankings.
Of course, on-line searches for athletes are all too often ranked in inverse proportion to their talent and success.
To wit, Peyton Manning topped this same survey last year but fell out of the top 10 in 2013 despite leading the Broncos to the current-best-record in the AFC,
Here's the rest of the Top 10 list of most-searched athletes on the internet in 2013 according to Bing Trends.
2. Lindsey Vonn - She's struggling to make next year's Olympic team. But having Tiger Woods as a boyfriend means never having to say you're sorry when you want internet clicks.
3. Tiger Woods - Being Lindsey Vonn's boyfriend doesn't hurt when looking for internet clicks, either. Neither does being Tiger Woods, or winning five tournaments.
4. Kevin Ware - A gruesome injury during the NCAA Tournament that was televised on national TV and his subsequent recovery - including his first dunk - made him the most-searched basketball player of 2013, even with LeBron James winning his second straight NBA title.
5. Ray Lewis - Not even a blackout could stop Lewis from getting his second Super Bowl ring. He was the most-searched NFL player in 2013 who actually played in 2013. Interest in Lewis was also driven by his past, his present, his retirement after 17 seasons in the NFL and his various pronouncements of faith.
6. LeBron James - In the world of the internet, winning a second-straight NBA title in dominant fashion is good enough for sixth place. Go internet!
7. Danica Patrick - Further proof that performance means nothing when it comes to on-line sports popularity. Those GoDaddy commercials, her first season on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit and winning the pole for the Daytona 500 generated a gazillion clicks. Her average finish this season was 26th and she lost out on Rookie of the Year honors to her beau and fellow John W. Henry minion Ricky Stenhouse. But she was easily her sport's most-popular presence on line.
Even her stare-down of Jay Mohr at last week's NASCAR season awards show drew lots of buzz.
If looks could kill . . . Mohr would be dead for sure.
8. Dwight Howard - The NBA's biggest soap opera kept internet users following the Lakers into obscurity and bad rumors and false leads for weeks afterward. Howard eventually ended up in Houston which means he'll be long gone on this list in 2014.
9. Derek Jeter - The top-searched baseball player for the third straight year played in 17 games this season and only appeared once before July 28. Jeter turns 40 in June and will get $12 million for next season/his farewell tour.
10. Maria Sharapova - Yes, that includes photos. She hasn't played since August.
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