In two days, the Arizona Cardinals will take on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. Honestly, I don’t care which team wins. I have no clients on either team, and did not grow up rooting for either of them. However, I think I’ll be pulling for the Cardinals, because of one player. That man is Kurt Warner, who has many interesting stories that were not sexy enough to be asked about during Media Day.
Kurt Warner used to bag groceries. He played in the AFL (which is taking at least a year off) and NFL Europe (which has been absolved) before getting a chance in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams. He picked Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports as his agent because Bartelstein’s name was on the top of a list of approved NFLPA agents (last name starts with “B”). And he has quite a story to tell about how he met his wife:
In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy, was busily working when a new voice came over the loud speaker asking for a carry out at register four. Kurtis was almost finished, and wanted to get some fresh air, and decided to answer the call. As he approached the check-out stand a distant smile caught his eye, the new check-out girl was beautiful. She was an older woman (maybe 26, and he was only 22) and he fell instantly in love.
Later that day, after his shift was over, he waited by the punch clock to find out her name. She came into the break room, smiled softly at him, took her card and punched out, then left. He looked at her card, BRENDA. He walked out only to see her start walking up the road.
Next day, he waited outside as she left the supermarket, and offered her a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she accepted. When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again, outside of work. She simply said it wasn’t possible.
He pressed and she explained she had two children and she couldn’t afford a baby-sitter, so he offered to pay for the baby-sitter. Reluctantly she accepted his offer for a date for the following Saturday. That Saturday night he arrived at her door only to have her tell him that she was unable to go with him.
The baby-sitter had called and canceled. To which Kurtis simply said, “Well, let’s take the kids with us.”
She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again not taking no for an answer, he pressed. Finally Brenda, brought him inside to meet her children. She had an older daughter who was just as cute as a bug, Kurtis thought, then Brenda brought out her son, in a wheelchair. He was born a paraplegic with Down Syndrome.
Kurtis asked Brenda, “I still don’t understand why the kids can’t come with us?” Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman with two kids, especially if one had disabilities—just like her first husband and father of her children had done. Kurtis was not ordinary—he had a different mind set.
That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and the movies. When her son needed anything Kurtis would take care of him. When he needed to use the restroom, he picked him up out of his wheelchair, took him and brought him back. The kids loved Kurtis. At the end of the evening, Brenda knew this was the man she was going to marry and spend the rest of her life with.
A year later, they were married and Kurtis adopted both of her children. Since then they have added two more kids. So what happened to Kurtis the stock boy and Brenda the check-out girl?
Well, Mr. & Mrs. Kurt Warner now live in Arizona, where he is currently employed as the quarterback of the National Football League Arizona Cardinals and his Cardinals are headed for the Super Bowl. Is this a surprise ending or could you have guessed that he was not an ordinary person.
It should be noted that he also quarterbacked the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
There seem to be some inaccuracies, but the story is still an amazing read. Kurt met Brenda at a country bar, not a grocery store. They got married five years after meeting, not one year later. Brenda’s son was not born with Downs Syndrome, but did have serious physical infirmities after being dropped by his birth father. All in all, you have a fan in me Mr. Warner.