You know that guy who used to bag groceries at the local supermarket? Well, he’s back again. And he’s headed to the Super Bowl. The man who came from nothing to NFL stardom is going back to the Super Bowl, ten years after his first historic performance in Super Bowl XXXIV.
Kurt Warner has done it all. From being a back-up quarterback for three years in high-school to being a stock boy at a local grocery store in Iowa, he truly defines an athlete’s dream. His football career started in Iowa playing at the University of Northern Iowa. He rode the bench for three years, until given a chance his senior year. Having been cut in training camp by the Green Bay Packers in 1994, Warner started his Arena Football career. Having success there, he garnered attention from NFL teams once again; however, he was demoted to playing in NFL Europe.
His big break came during the 1999 season when Trent Green was injured during the preseason. From that point, Kurt Warner dazzled spectators. With a potent offense behind him, Warner racked up incredible numbers for the season, and led “The Greatest Show on Turf” to a Super Bowl win over the Tennessee Titans. Named the NFL MVP for that season, we see him back again in the spotlight, a chance to win another Super Bowl and cement his Hall of Fame career.
But this year’s NFL MVP went to someone else. Warner, in the midst of a vintage comeback, put up excellent numbers for the season (4,583 yds. 30 TD’s). However, his name didn’t come up as a serious option for NFL MVP. Yes, he had excellent numbers, but his team wasn’t the best either. The Arizona Cardinals were 9-7 on the season, with big losses coming throughout; a 48-20 loss to the Eagles and a thumping by the tune of 47-7 by the Patriots. Despite a fairly average season from a team in a terrible division, you wouldn’t expect the MVP to come from one of those teams. But it should have.
Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts received the 2008-2009 NFL MVP. However, what isn’t taken into account is the play of the MVP’s in the postseason. Manning and his Colts were bounced in the first round. Warner and his Cardinals were not.
I think it’s a travesty that they don’t wait to hand out the award until after the season. Kurt Warner was recognized as having a great season all year long. So why should it make a difference what team he plays for? Manning is the NFL darling, winner of three NFL MVP awards. That’s tied him with Brett Farve for most in league history. But I think the NFL got this one wrong. Kurt Warner shredded defenses week in and week out. He had a great supporting cast, just like his days in St. Louis with the Rams. He did it all, when the focus wasn’t always on him. Peyton Manning? Chad Pennington? Michael Turner? No. No and no. The real NFL MVP is headed back to the Super Bowl; a chance to win his second Super Bowl MVP award, an award Warner might tell you is more important than a regular season MVP. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens when Warner and his Cardinals take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.