After 12 unbelievable seasons in the NFL, Kurt Warner, as expected, announced his retirement today. As the sun sets on Kurt’s career as an NFL quarterback, it is clear that he is set for another incredible journey. His story like one from a movie, Kurt Warner’s next question will not be asking paper or plastic, but if and when he will put his mark on the Hall of Fame.
His story could not have been better scripted: a grocery store bagger just trying to make ends meet, struggling through the arena football league. He finally got his shot, as a backup quarterback on one of the worst teams in the league. Not exactly the big break he was looking for. Although, his big break, no pun intended of course, came early in the season when Rams fans saw their star quarterback bent awkwardly between two defenders.
As Trent Green was helped off the field, Kurt Warner jogged on under the wide eyes of 11 veteran NFL players and 80,000 worried fans. 20 games later that season Kurt jogged onto that same field, but this time he was playing for the Superbowl. As he drove the Rams up and down the field scoring point after point, NFL fans, the media, and NFL scouts couldn’t help but wonder; “who is this guy.” Forget talking about this guys’ career, in one season he took a relatively unknown team and made them the greatest show on turf.
At today’s press conference Kurt reminded the whole world why we have all loved watching him over the years, and still why we are all sad to see him go. As I watched Kurt thank person after person who influenced his career I couldn’t help but think about who he has influenced. Still great receivers in their own rights, both Issac Bruce and Tory Holt had their careers take off behind the strong right arm of Warner. In only one season on the Giants, Warner went through training camp and started the season mentoring a young rookie by the name of Eli Manning. And now, much like it was in St. Louis, we see Kurt influence greats like Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin who rode him to stardom. So thank you Kurt, from your fans, family, friends, and teammates alike.
The discussion now turns to life after football for Warner. In this bloggers mind, there is no doubt that Kurt is a first ballot hall of famer. Kurt holds almost every major regular and postseason Cardinals passing record. He has arguably gone through his career and now has ended it the right way. In an era where most football players’ head are too big to fit in their own helmets, Warner spent 12 seasons eating his humble pie the whole way. It is clear that the NFL has truly lost one of its most heartfelt and passionate players today in Kurt Warner. We sincerely wish you the best in all your future endeavors.