Wednesday, February 04, 2009

I've always liked Kurt Warner. Even when he was lauded with syrupy nonsense during the Rams' Greatest Show on Turf heyday of a decade ago, I couldn't believe how good of a passer he was. For his ability to throw early and often, as well as deep, I think only Peyton Manning is better. He is accurate (65% completion rate, second all-time) and throws deep (8 yards per attempt). Warner has had the misfortune of playing on two teams that were not good enough to win the Super Bowl, of not entering the NFL until 27, and of injuries in the middle of his career. Besides that, he has played in three Super Bowls and come up as big as possible, throwing for 414, 377 and 365 yards. With a little bit of luck, he would have won three Super Bowls and three superb Super Bowl performances.

It's sad that he has only played 5 full seasons and started so late, because in better circumstances, he might have well become the greatest ever. As it is, his story is remarkable. He went to University of Northern Iowa, a Division I-AA school, and was the third-stringer for his first three years. He went undrafted and only became a starter because there was no one else on a team that had won 3 years the year before. He led his team to a Super Bowl out of nowhere and, as quickly as he had appeared, disappeared into thin air, only to rise again, quite appropriately, in Phoenix. The entire thing seems like a football remake of The Natural, like a tasteful version of Angels in the Endzone.

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