Kurt Warner wasn't shy about sharing his Christian faith during his playing days, but he has a word of advice for Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.
"You can't help but cheer for a guy like that," Warner, now an NFL Network analyst, told The Arizona Republic last week. "But I'd tell him, 'Put down the boldness in regards to the words, and keep living the way you're living. Let your teammates do the talking for you. Let them cheer on your testimony.'
"I know what he's going through, and I know what he wants to accomplish, but I don't want anybody to become calloused toward Tim because they don't understand him, or are not fully aware of who he is. And you're starting to see that a little bit."
The mania surrounding Tebow is a radioactive mixture of many ingredients -- and hard to pin down. Football purists can't stand seeing Denver adopt the Tebow-friendly read-option offense. Others deride his slow-developing windup. Another group -- perhaps the most vocal -- can't tolerate Tebow thanking God for the team's five wins in six weeks, or equally thanking God for the loss.
Hundreds of NFL players pray before, after and during games -- and not all of them are Christian. The Giantsopenly prayed as a team after a rousing victory over the Patriots earlier this month, but #Gianting has yet to trend on Twitter. Instead, we have #Tebowing, a phenomenon that falls somewhere between honoring the player, praising what he believes in, or poking fun at both, depending on who you talk to.
Warner clarified his comments on Twitter this week, responding to critics who felt he shouldn't tell Tebow how to deliver his message.
Wrote Warner: "My perspective is always share&be bold w/ faith, but I learned there r multiple ways 2 do that&that is what I would share w/ Tim!"
Warner is looking out for the young man, not critiquing him, but it doesn't appear Tebow is about to change for anyone. Besides, all he's done is mow down five of six and rescue his team from total doom. In most circles, that would be enough.