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Wakeup Call: Kurt Warner says Tim Tebow should cool it a bit with the God talk

Nov 29, 2011, 9:00 AM EDT

KurtWarnerpray AP

Yes, that Kurt Warner. The former St. Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals quarterback; owner of a Super Bowl ring; devout Christian. The man who said that God told him to sign with the Cardinals. The man once quoted thusly: “If you ever really want to do a story about who I am, God’s got to be at the center of it. Every time I hear a piece or read a story that doesn’t have that, they’re missing the whole lesson of who I am.”

That man, is telling Tim Tebow that he should probably tone down all the religious talk. Warner, to the Arizona Republic:

“There’s almost a faith cliche, where (athletes) come out and say, ‘I want to thank my Lord and savior.’ 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.

“You can’t help but cheer for a guy like that,” Warner said of Tebow. “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.”

That’s something, coming from Warner … a man who is so familiar with God and Jesus, he can sketch each of them from memory.

That video is from a couple of years ago, and I’m still not sure what those shoulder things are that Warner is drawing. Some sort of flying device? Does Jesus have a jet pack? How long before we get those? Come on Christ, share the wealth — you’re not the only one with important appointments across town.


Man arrested for shooting at his lawnmower while drunk: “He then stated that he shoots in the yard all the time and that fighting is what redneck people do,” records state. …

  • P. Diddy’s son commits to UCLA football. Either he knows something about who the next coach will be, or he enjoys surprises.



Don’t bother, Kelly — PETA has the place surrounded.

  1. winkeroni - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:13 AM

    Kurt Warner can do a lot of amazing things with his right arm and hand but I don’t believe drawing is not one of them.

  2. dbeehner - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    It’s all well and good while he’s praying to Jesus. But the moment a Muslim tosses down a rug on the field and starts bowing to the east, the entire country will be in an uproar.

    It’s fine to have faith in a higher power, but keep that relationship between you and your god.

    • colleenkelleybooks - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:08 AM

      dbeehner – funny, you almost exactly echoed my comments following a local news story I saw on TV last night. For some bizarre reason the Philadelphia school system now has parents advocating for bringing prayer back to the classroom. I said something along the lines of “it’s fine when the kids are saying the Hail Mary, but as soon as a couple of Muslim kids turn toward Mecca at certain time of day, the parents will be banging down the door to the school saying their childrens’ safety is being threatened.” My (unfortunately evangelical Christian) husband didn’t find it too amusing, but it doesn’t have to be funny to be the truth.

      Glad to know I’m not the only one who feels that way.

    • Amadeus - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      Right, forget God. We need more bread and circuses.

      • genericcommenter - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:13 PM

        God is in a lot of the circuses.

    • yaright76 - Nov 30, 2011 at 11:48 AM

      Whatever your crazy President OBAMA can call a football player to the White house to praise him for being Muslim but you want Tebow to calm down on praising JESUS , Ya Right when was the last time OUR PRESIDENT called a football player to the White house for being christian? ! So get out of here with that bull , you don’t like it when he is praying to JESUS change the channel or don’t watch ! Man whats this country coming to ???

      • eddieapoc - Dec 2, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        Holy run on sentence/Rant Batman!

      • genericcommenter - Dec 2, 2011 at 11:14 PM

        Yeah . What is this country coming to- with all the religious fanatics who oppose individual liberty? Certainly not what the “Christian Founders” envisioned.

      • dadawg77 - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        Are you talking about the Abdullah being invited to a White House event celebrating Ramadan? Since the Abdullah brothers are known for following the rules of Ramadan while playing and practicing professional football, you could say they are well know members of the American Muslim community. Not sure how any christian could feel slighted by this given the pray breakfast, Easter egg hunts, Christmas celebrations the White House host or the POTUS attends. The White House stands for the American people and thus hosts events celebrating the cultures of all those who live in America.

        Also if you live in the US, Obama is your President too.

      • dadawg77 - Dec 3, 2011 at 12:04 PM

        Are you talking about the Abdullah being invited to a White House event celebrating Ramadan? Since the Abdullah brothers are known for following the rules of Ramadan while playing and practicing professional football, you could say they are well know members of the American Muslim community. Not sure how any christian could feel slighted by this given the pray breakfast, Easter egg hunts, Christmas celebrations the White House host or the POTUS attends. The White House stands for the American people and thus hosts events celebrating the cultures of all those who live in America.

        Also if you live in the US, Obama is your President too.

  3. lbroberts123 - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Rick, in the Kurt Warner video the things he drew on God’s shoulders are probably part of a throne that God could be sitting on.

  4. blogonthesquare - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Kurt Warner didn’t say that at all. He was simply suggesting that Tebow allow his life to be a testimony so he won’t get blasted by the media. Nice spin buddy. You are the reason so many of us can’t stand the media. You take someone who is doing only the right thing and you bash him because you don’t like his personal beliefs. What the heck is wrong with you??

    • grumble69 - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:54 AM

      Warner is probably just giving advice based on his own experience. I know it’s not consistent with how he’s lived his life in the past. But we’re all works in progress.

      Personally I think it’s really good advice. I’m not advocating “toning down God” at all. I just think Tebow’s message will be better heard by making his Christian life an example for others to see (as opposed to shouting it on the street corner).

    • atomicpenguin76 - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:31 PM

      “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.”

      ..that’s what Kurt Warner said. If “put down the boldness of your words” and “let your teammates do the talking for you” doesn’t equate to exactly what the headline said, I’m not sure what would.

  5. oldndgrad - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    I’m disgusted when I see athletes pointing to the Heavens or crossing themselves when they make a good play. God doesn’t care about your performance on the field or who wins the game!!! Individual performances or successes in all areas mean nothing to Him but rather what’s in your heart. If you want to praise Him then be humble and loving.

    • delius1967 - Nov 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

      Why wouldn’t God care? Even something as insignificant as a football game has an impact on people’s lives. Since God is omnipotent and omniscient (as most people conceive of Him anyway), he must be aware of all of these, and can tally them up, meaning that one team or the other winning must, on the balance, have a more positive outcome for the world in general. You and I, from our limited, mortal frame of reference, can’t see that, so we can shrug our shoulders if we want to at the result. God has no such excuse.

      In fact, because He has the knowledge, and the power to do something about it, not only SHOULD God care about football games, but unless He is an amoral being He HAS to.

      • retief1954 - Nov 29, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        Oh please…. you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • atomicpenguin76 - Nov 29, 2011 at 10:23 PM

        So forget hunger, leukemia, rape, war, murder, and child abuse, God has an obligation to care about football games and is amoral if he doesn’t get involved in whether or not Tim Tebow plays a good game on any given week, because that game could do the world some good.

        …that doesn’t seem at all messed up to you? Really?

      • retief1954 - Nov 30, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        He this and Him that… “God wants” this or “God wants” that… give it a rest already. You don’t know what “God” wants any more than I do. Believers like you are constantly saying, “God” is unknowable. There is no great “He” or “Him” up n the sky, okay?

      • its4him - Dec 1, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        Years ago I went to see a NFL player speak at Young Christian Weekend at Silver Dollar City I don’t remember his name I only remember he played for the then St. Louis Cardinals. (it’s been a while)

        His speaking to us teenagers about how to live for God was riviting and inspiring as he told stories of standing for his faith in the NFL. He explained to us that he was a Christian who happened to be an NFL player. God had put him for these few years in a place that gave him the power and strength to compete for HIM.

        Winning or losing to him was about his faith and not a game… Should Tebow speak I’ll let another great writer speak. “Everything you do or say should be done to obey Jesus your Lord. And in all you do, give thanks to God the Father through Jesus.” – Paul

  6. travelsbycar - Nov 29, 2011 at 11:25 AM

    I doubt Tebow will “cool” down his beliefs! He is secure in who he is and where he came from, and he is not ashamed to tell the world!
    Tim is a great role model. The youth of this country, and the world need more great men like Tim to look up to! Tim Tebow is destined to do great things. On or off the football field makes very little difference!

    • oldndgrad - Nov 29, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      Nobody’s asking Tebow to cool down his beliefs. I’m sure he’s a terrific person and I do admire him. I consider myself a good Christian but I disagree with his form of Christianity and consider him a heretic, as I’m sure people of other faiths also believe. If you want to discuss theology with individuals or interested groups that’s great but a football venue is not the place as many people will be offended. Since he feels so strongly then quit football and become a minister.

      • florida727 - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        “oldndgrad”, before using multi-syllabic words, at least look up their definition so you don’t come across as a complete idiot. The definition of “heretic” is: “a professed believer who maintains religious opinions contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church.”. Not even remotely close to the definition of who Tim Tebow is, or what he stands for.

        As far as Tim using his “platform” to be a witness for Christ, I’ll defer to what the Bible says in Mark 8:38, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.” Go ahead, argue with God. Let’s see where it gets you.

        One of my favorite saying… want to make God laugh? Tell Him YOUR plans.

      • oldndgrad - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:07 PM


        Having to stoop to calling people idiots shows ignorance and flaws in your character. In my opinion and many others’ opinions, some of his beliefs are opposed to official church doctrines and therefore in heresy.This may not be your opinion or your church’s opinion and you are entitled to that. I love Jesus and believe in evangelization but a football field is not the proper forum, especially when it’s a repetetive thing. We get the point Tebow.

  7. retief1954 - Nov 29, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    It’s fine that Tebow believes in himself, in his teammates, he’s having success, etc. It’s fine that he has this mythology-based belief system, and that it works for him, as it apparently works (a highly debatable proposition) for millions of other people. Publicly proclaiming his faith and “love for Jesus” at every opportunity? Just makes him look like a complete dork. His choice, though. If he wants to look like a dork, what can be done? Nothing. What’s next for the NFL? In-game “prayer break” time-outs?

    • florida727 - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:25 PM

      Just wondering if you know as FACT that not one single thing in the Bible has EVER been proven to be FALSE through archeology or geology. Mythology-based? Guess again.

  8. govtminion - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Warner has a point- I’m the first to admit that once he started in with the praise to God/Jesus, I started tuning him out every time they talked to him. Same with Tebow- once he opens his mouth, my brain just shuts down. Not sure if it’s a God thing or just a repetitive thing- when it’s the same comments over and over, you don’t need to hear it all over again.

    …to be fair though, I’d rather listen to either of them than Warner’s wife.

  9. Amadeus - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:23 PM

    Yeah, let’s not give God any credit. He only created us, saved us and loved us.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:02 PM

      He also created the internet and chat rooms/message boards so that we can waste our time and be anonymously obnoxious.

      • Amadeus - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        Jesus predicted this when he said, “I did not come into the world to bring peace, but a sword…” which meant He would divide us into believers and non-believers….So each of us has to make a decision on whether to believe or not….There is no third choice

      • florida727 - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:28 PM

        Amadeus – thanks for your posts. You’re dead-on accurate. We can only wish that people would read these comments with an open mind and set aside their selfish beliefs. Interesting that when Tebow wore the John 3:16 eye-black in the National Championship game against Ohio State, after the game some 30+ million people did a Google search on the verse. That was a record, and one of the main reasons Tim returned for his senior season.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 29, 2011 at 4:36 PM

        I wonder if you Jesus-only folks realize how selfish and ignorant you tend to be in these discussions.

  10. spartan74 - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    This is good advice. When Warner first broke onto the NFL scene, his talents and accomplishments were lost on me because all of his God talk really turned me off. Now that he’s toned it down, I actually enjoy listening to his expertise as a commentator. The same thing is true with Tebow. I live in Denver and am a die hard Bronco fan but I find myself hoping he fails and gets traded so I’m not forced to listen to his religious beliefs or watch his prayer antics whenever the mood strikes him. People with these strong convictions just don’t understand how offensive they are when they force others to listen to their religious beliefs. There’s no question the Christian community would be outraged if a ballplayer got up in a post game interview and said that he would first like to praise Allah and Peace be on Muhammad or bless the Earth Mother or Satan or Buddha or any other of the countless deities people feel compelled to worship.

    Religion, by it’s very nature, is a very divisive force. In order to commit to one belief system, you must first judge other belief systems to be inferior or simply wrong. That’s why it’s so offensive when a public figure gets up in front of a captive audience to discuss the events that occurred in a football game and for some reason feels it’s necessary to first profess his religious convictions.

    I’m sure Tebow’s a good kid and this is certainly not an indictment on the quality of his character, but until he realizes that the excessive public profession of his religion is rude, inconsiderate and offensive to everyone who doesn’t share his beliefs, I will continue to hope he’s traded so I can start rooting for the Broncos again. Of course, I might be a little more tolerant if he learned how to throw a forward pass.

    • florida727 - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:34 PM

      The reason a true Christian would be outraged at a Muslim praising Allah/Muhammad is simply because Islam is a cult and Muhammad is not God. When you die, where will you spend eternity? If you believe in a cult, it won’t be in heaven. False religions (cults) are typically based in personal accomplishments or works leading to “salvation”. If that were true, some people would have no chance of ever spending eternity in heaven. That’s why FAITH is the basis for salvation… not works. If it were works-based, man could boast about it, thereby rendering God meaningless. It’s not that complex really.

      • oldndgrad - Nov 29, 2011 at 5:41 PM

        Florida 727

        Your statement is incomplete and erronious. Salvation is through the Grace of Jesus Christ and which requires both faith and good deeds. See James 2:14-28….WHAT GOOD IS FAITH WITHOUT WORKS. The Bible is full of these references to good works. Without that grace, there is nothing we could do to merit salvation.

  11. blackmike2 - Nov 29, 2011 at 1:44 PM

    from a strict theological perspective, many biblical scholars speak of two gods. the god of the old testament, and the god of the new testament. the old is a vengeful and wrathful god; the new, kind and loving other whys and wherefores i won’t go into here, but it seems to me that if your team wins then it must be the new god at work. all those teams that are losing must have the old god against them. i surely wish beforehand that i knew which was pulling for or against whom. it’d be clean-up time in vegas baby!

    • koufaxmitzvah - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:05 PM

      Who’s theological perspective? Obviously those who decide to shove the “Old Testament” G-d into a corner (no doubt with a spanking paddle).

      I have an idea…. Don’t talk about stuff you only partially know. My religion is more than 3000 years old. I don’t need a newbie like you telling me what’s what.

  12. nightwalker43 - Nov 29, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    Why can’t he do both? Praise GOD with his testimony and live out his faith as an example for others. It’s not an either/or. I understand Warner’s point though where he basically says the Christian Testimony, especially from athletes is a bit oversold. However, many of those athletes just profess there faith verbally and people never really see them live out their faith on an equal level with their testimony. I think Tebow may be different since this is something he was born into. Growing up in the Philippines to missionary parents, it is as natural to him as the nose on his face.

  13. buddyparrish - Nov 29, 2011 at 9:36 PM

    My problem is the cultural double standard. Every time he fought, as soon as the microphone was in his face, Muhammad Ali would ALWAYS praise Allah and Black Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad and NOBODY in the press or anywhere criticized him for it or suggested he stop do so and Ali was far more polarizing than Tebow will ever be. Kurt Warner is probably right, but what’s wrong is that because Tebow is a white Christian evangelical the media culture demands he should keep his faith to himself and only talk football. And not only has nothing changed in that respect in 40 years the double standard has only become more pronounced. The Kardashians shove their immorality in our faces all over the media and it’s called entertainment, but when Tim Tebow puts his morality out there he’s told he’s being “preachy” and to put it away (loved Daniel Craig’s recent comments on the Kardashians). Tebow is doing nothing different than Reggie White did 20 years ago, but today that kind of talk in the mainstream media, especially by a white evangelical, causes a media backlash designed to crush and silence the “offender.”

  14. christiansagainstnike - Dec 1, 2011 at 4:07 PM

    I like the idea of Tim Tebow sharing is faith when it is appropriate and believe God wants Tim to endorse Love Sportswear. Sure Tim wants to talk about Christ and make HIm known… He knows Jesus is the only way… and the platform of a Christian sportswear company would be the perfect place for Tim and other Christians to display their faith and honor God.

  15. drakost - Dec 10, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    I am without a doubt one of the most stout atheists you will ever meet. With that said, Tim Tebow doesn’t really bother me. Granted during his God spiels I do tend to leave the room or turn the channel, however I can think of a lot worse things that he could be or could be doing. He isn’t at some strip club causing havoc nor is he running his car into poles. You don’t see him getting arrested nor do you see him failing drug tests. While I find his beliefs humorous and albeit slightly annoying, I can deal with that. Besides, if the Broncos keep winning, we all may have no other choice but to believe in God.

  16. mark8252 - Dec 15, 2011 at 8:41 PM

    Talk religion all you like Sir….I don’t see any harm in it. What I cannot understand is why anyone cares what this football player thinks about anything outside of football. I will listen to him about his game of footbal but as far as I am concerned thats all he is qualified to talk about. The rest is personal belief and thats the end of it. No harm. No foul.