Former Arizona Cardinal Kurt Warner being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame may be the exclamation point on a one-of-a-kind football career, but Warner wants everyone to know he’s not close to being done sharing his experience with others.
“What an amazing opportunity now to be able to use my story and where I started to now where you finish to encourage and inspire others, regardless of the field that they want to go into or the dreams that they have,” he told Doug and Wolf Monday on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “To say, ‘Hey, sometimes the circumstances don’t look like it. Sometimes people are gonna tell you you’ll never do it. But I was there, and now I end up in this place and others have that same opportunity if they just keep believing.'”
Warner’s story is one of the most unique and interesting in the history of the NFL, having gone from an undrafted free agent out of University of Northern Iowa who had to resort to bagging groceries to support himself to a Super Bowl champion and Hall of Famer.
“It’s pretty surreal, pretty incredible,” he said. “What an amazing ride that I’ve had. Just going so many different places. Can’t believe you end up here.”
Warner played 12 seasons from 1998-2009 with the St. Louis Rams, New York Giants and Cardinals. He also was a member of the Green Bay Packers practice squad in 1994 and played three seasons with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League and one with the Amsterdam Admirals in NFL Europe.
Although it hasn’t always been easy, Warner is thankful for everything he’s gone through.
“Thanks, God, for taking me on this path,” he said. “Thank you that you chose me for this, because no one will ever have a story like mine. No one will ever take the path that I did to end up in the Hall of Fame.”
The 1999 and 2001 NFL Most Valuable Player went to three Super Bowls in his career, winning Super Bowl XXXIV in 1999. He took the Rams back two years later and led the Cardinals to Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. These are the only Super Bowl appearances in both franchises’ histories.
Despite all of his success, Warner said nothing could prepare him for Saturday’s news.
“There are certain things in life that, regardless of how much you think about it, you’ll never know what it feels like until you’re there,” he said. “What it’s like to get married, what it’s like to have your first child or have a child, what it’s like to win the Super Bowl if you play football. Certain things people always ask you, ‘What does that feel like?’ And you can’t ever prepare for that. And the Hall of Fame is kind of one of those things.”
Warner is joined in the Hall of Fame Class of 2017 by two of his NFL Network colleagues in running backs LaDainian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis, as well as kicker Morten Andersen, safety Kenny Easley, owner Jerry Jones and defensive end Jason Taylor.
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