Many kids, as they grow up, dream of playing professional sports. However, not many even make the cut on their high school teams. Those special few that get through make the best of it. Many make it a special career. This was the case with Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee, Kurt Warner. He made the most of his opportunities given to him.
Warner played his college football at the University of Northern Iowa. He played four years but only started one. During his senior season, he threw for just under 2,800 yards and had 17 TDs.
Kurt Warner went undrafted in 1994. He would sign a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers. He was trying to compete for a position that at the time included Brett Favre, Mark Brunell, and Ty Detmer. The team would release him before the season ever started. After his release, Warner would stock groceries at a Cedar Falls grocery store.
Prior to Warner making it in the NFL he would go through several developmental style leagues. He would play three years with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League (1995-1997). Kurt Warner also played one season in NFL Europe (1998), before finally getting his chance in the lights of the NFL.
Warner finally got his break into the NFL in 1999. After being left unprotected in the expansion draft, he would find himself as the number two QB behind newly signed free agent Trent Green. He would not be number two for long. Warner would be named the starting QB of the St Louis Rams after Green would tear his ACL in a preseason game. The rest, as they say, is history.
Kurt Warner would go on to be one of, if not, the best-undrafted quarterbacks to play in the NFL. He would play in two Super Bowls, winning one (Super Bowl XXXIV).
Throughout his 12 year career he would win multiple awards and honors:
Super Bowl MVP – Super Bow XXXIV
Four Time Pro Bowl Selection (1999-2001, 2008)
Two Time First Team All-Pro (1999, 2001)
Two Time NFL MVP (1991, 2001)
Walter Peyton NFL Man of the Year (2008)
Bert Bell Award (1999)
NFL Passing Leader (2001)
Two Time NFL Passing TDs Leader (1999, 2001)
Arizona Cardinals Ring of Fame
Kurt Warner would play his final game in the 2009 postseason. He would officially announce his retirement from football in January of 2010.
Warner would become eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. He would not have to wait long for the call. On February 4th, 2017 Warner was told that he was selected as part of the Class of 2017. He will be enshrined during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on August 5th, 2017.
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