Does Kurt Warner Belong In Hall of Fame?
From making less than $6.00 an hour at a Hy-Vee supermarket to Super Bowl glory the story of Kurt Warner is script worthy. Undrafted out of Northern Iowa, Warner tried out for the Green Bay Packers, unsuccessfully. He then went to his grocery store job before entering the Arena Football. League. He got his chance to be an NFL quarterback in 1998 with the St.Louis Rams. In his second season with the Rams he became the starter when Trent Green tore his ACL. Saying Warner took advantage of the opportunity would be an understatement. The Rams won the Super Bowl that season with what came to be known as “the greatest show on turf .” Warner’s case for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame rests on his involvement with football’s biggest game, the Super Bowl.
In Super Bowl XXXIV, Warner threw for 414 yards; and is the only quarterback to throw for 400 yards in the big game. His record breaking performance earned him a Super Bowl ring as well as the honors of being the Super Bowl MVP. Although Warner has only 1 Super Bowl win on his resume, he performed greatly in all 3 Super Bowl appearances. Warner has the three highest performances in Super Bowl history in terms of passing yards. Warner was a big game player and he stepped up in the big moments. He shares a record with Joe Montana and Joe Flacco throwing 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions in a single post-season run.
The beginning of Warner’s career was pure magic. He was the quickest player to reach 10,000 and then 30,000 passing yards in NFL History. He was the conductor of one of the all time great offenses of all time with St.Louis. But there is a reason for the question mark in the article’s title. The entire story is not magical. Warner lost his job to Marc Bulger due to injury. Kurt Warner then became a pedestrian place holder for Eli Manning in New York. Warner was not finished with his brand of magical football yet, despite it appearing that way.
Warner became an Arizona Cardinal in 2005. Warner was replaced as the starting quarterback week 4 of the 2005 season. Warner would earn back the starting job but would be injured before the end of the season. In 2006, rookie quarterback Matt Leinert was named the team’s starter after Warner lost it with poor play. Warner did not become the full time starter until week 5 of the 2007 regular season. Warner took the Cards to three straight playoff appearances, including a Super Bowl run in 2008. Warner and the Cardinals fell just short in the big game losing to Pittsburgh 27-23. in the 2009 season Warner had one of the finest playoff performances I have ever seen. He threw 5 touchdown passes to beat Green Bay in overtime 51-45 completing 29 of 33 passes.
So you know the story. Do you believe he is a hall of fame worthy player? Warner’s career was about great moments not overall greatness. There were portions of his career that were hardly worth noting, let alone enshrining. It is hard to consider Warner one of the top 10 quarterbacks of all time. Warner as I said was about moments, big stage moments. Some would argue that when he won he had great players. In St. Louis he had Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Marshall Faulk. In Arizona he had Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. You can’t punish a guy for playing with great players, all the greats have. If you asked me the question, I would tell you to induct the man into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame should honor those who made a lasting imprint on the history of the game. Kurt Warner had magical moments that did just that.