|'Put down the boldness in regards to the words, and keep living the way you're living,' Warner said of Tebow. (US PRESSWIRE)|
Posted by Ryan Wilson
There are any number of theories for why Tim Tebow is so divisive: his funky throwing motion (more precisely: his struggles with arm strength and accuracy), the media deification dating back to his days at Florida and, occasionally, his religious beliefs are cited.
The real reason: Tebow wins. Nobody cares about losers, the god they pray to or how they go about their business. They're losers, after all.
Well, since taking over the starting job from Kyle Orton in late October, Tebow and the Broncos are 5-1, 6-5 overall, and just one game back of the Raiders in the AFC West. Ironically, winning has converted some of Tebow's critics because he's shown that a high school offense, in the right hands, can work in the complicated world of NFL schemes and strategies.
Still, some folks have grown tired of all the ancillary stuff, including the Tebowing phenomenon and the religious implications behind it.
Last week, former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer said this: "I think [Tebow's] a winner and I respect that about him. I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ then I think I’ll like him a little better. I don’t hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every single time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff … like you know, I understand dude where you’re coming from … but he is a baller."
Tim Tebow has won three straight games and is 5-1 since becoming the starter in Week 7. CBS Sports' Shannon Sharpe sat down with Tebow, head coach John Fox and Champ Bailey to discuss the Broncos turnaround as well as Tebow's future at QB.
Tebow's response: "I respect Jake’s opinion, and I really appreciate his compliment of calling me a winner, but I feel like every time I get the opportunity to give the Lord some praise he is due for it because what he did for me, and what he did on the cross for all of us."
But Kurt Warner, former Super Bowl champion and NFL MVP whose faith is also a big part of his existence, also thinks Tebow should tone it down a tad.
"You can't help but cheer for a guy like that," Warner said, according to the Arizona Republic. "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."
Warner speaks from experience. There was a time earlier in his career when he was a lot like Tebow. And he found that networks would often edit out his religious references during taped interviews.
"There's almost a faith cliche, where (athletes) come out and say, 'I want to thank my Lord and savior,' " Warner said. "As soon as you say that, the guard goes up, the walls go up, and I came to realize you have to be more strategic.
"The greatest impact you can have on people is never what you say, but how you live. When you speak and represent the person of Jesus Christ in all actions of your life, people are drawn to that. You set the standard with your actions. The words can come after."
Warner's onto something. He's well respected by those in the league, the media, and the fans, and his actions -- more than this words -- carry weight with all of them. Tebow is free to worship as he sees fit, but as the Republic's Dan Bickley writes, "On his journey, Warner found his biggest impact on people came during his personal struggles, when he had no platform, when he was relegated to the bench and people witnessed how magnificently he handled demotions and adversity."
Which is what Plummer was saying and Warner reiterated.
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