Is Rick Santorum the Tim Tebow / Jeremy Lin of 2012 Politics?

Although Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin comparisons continue to grow popular (so much that NPR created a colorful chart showing their similarities), another unlikely comparison is slowly evolving off the field. Is GOP candidate Rick Santorum the presidential race's Tebow?

Niall Stanage, a staff writer for The Hill newspaper, insists these two underdogs share similarities not necessarily in their public professions of religion, but through their lack of consistency in sports and politics. Both have their share of small, unexpected wins, which some might call miraculous, but that does not always mean they are capable of winning the entire game.

"Yet just as pigskin pundits predicted Tebow would come down to earth, their political brethren seem to think the Santorum surge will end," wrote Stanage.

However, the comparison seems rather unfair. Tebow's struggle remains a purely physical one with a team behind him. He did not lose his team's chance to make a Super Bowl because he spoke incorrectly or too much about God or religion. Tebow didn't throw his political opinions at postseason conferences. He simply thanked God for the opportunity, and said he gave the best effort possible.

Linsantiy vs. Tebowmania via NPR

Meanwhile Santorum's words highly differ than Tebow's plays. His comments on Catholicism and stances on birth control sound more radical than Tebow getting down on one knee and praying to his Lord and Savior. Unlike Tebow and his team, who constantly face unpredictable defensive schemes, Santorum knows his competitors' stances and the public's opinion on domestic issues. Yet he fearlessly goes against the status quo proclaiming that he is proud of his religion and firmly against birth control. This helps him draw more endorsements and votes, but Santorum's lead in the polls is as consistent as Tebow's pass and rush statistics. 

Despite Tebow's ability to make the playoffs in his first year as starting quarterback, the Patriots' defense brought the pressure to bring Tebow down. Perhaps New England's Romney and the polls will pressure Santorum out of the race. But for now, as Santorum said after his win at the Iowa caucus, "Game On."   

Photo Credit: Ed Clemente