Jewish Journal


January 10, 2010

Kurt Warner: Giving thanks and taking names


It’s hard to believe Kurt Warner is having the game he is today. This is a guy who likely will retire after the Cardinals season ends? He’s thrown five touchdowns and completed 24 of 28 passes. Guys half his age could only dream of doing that.

Whatever the outcome of this game—tied at 45 with 1:43 left—we can count on Warner giving thanks to Jesus at the press conference that follows. Yes, before there was Tim Tebow, Kurt Warner was giving thanks to God on the gridiron.

Here’s a view from the Arizona Republic during last year’s Super Bowl run:

He committed himself to the Bible’s message. That’s Warner’s way, why he has succeeded in football. He studies, commits, believes.

Before they married, he told Brenda they should follow the Bible faithfully, which meant, among other things, no premarital sex.

“I’m like, ‘Dude, we’ve got so many other things to work on. Why that one?’ ” Brenda, now 41, said, laughing.

They married in 1997. In 1999, he took over as the Rams’ quarterback when starter Trent Green was injured. What followed was two Super Bowls, two MVP titles and a legion of Christian followers.

He was both revered and scorned for his outspokenness about faith. Since Warner’s arrival in Arizona in 2005, and the revival of his career, people here treat his religion with more curiosity than debate. Many were amused by Warner giving an invocation one year at Celebrity Fight Night, a popular black-tie fundraiser for Muhammad Ali’s Parkinson Research Center. Ali is of the Muslim faith.

“I never feel like, ‘Should I say this, or do I not,’ but I do try now to strategically figure out (during interviews) how I can get somebody to include it because it’s so important to who I am,” Warner said.

Read the rest here. I particularly like this line, which would make everyone at GetReligion happy:

There is dishonesty in telling his story if you ignore what drives him, especially if you accept its role in one of the NFL’s great success stories.

PS: In the above video, skip the goofy intro and go straight to Kurt Warner.

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