Kurt Warner: The Top 10 Memories of a Future Hall of Famer
With the book shut, and the final chapter read, Kurt Warner retired on Friday a happy man. After conducting possibly the final press conference interview of his storied career, Kurt walked away from his beloved game after fifteen years of excellence.
I'll admit, I wasn't the biggest Kurt Warner fan in the early days. Often sluggish and downright overrated, Kurt wasn't the most respectable guy in the league. Over time things changed, and when "The Greatest Show on Turf" finally arose, so did Kurt's new-found desire to play the quarterback position with integrity and grace.
A sad day yes, but one to be celebrated by NFL fans worldwide. Here are the top ten moments for number thirteen.
10. First Career Start - 1999 St. Louis Rams
In what was arguably a questionable move by the St. Louis Rams staff, Kurt Warner got his first start in a St. Louis Rams uniform. In his first game under centre, Kurt mustered up three touchdown passes and 309 yards en route to a win over Baltimore 27-10.
Some may call it luckiness, while others call it the "Birth of a Star."
9. First Career Road Start - 1999 St. Louis Rams
Following victories over Baltimore and Atlanta, the now 2-0 Rams were set to face the Cincinnati Bengals in an away game at Paul Brown Stadium. For those that don't recall, Kurt finished the game with his first career perfect passer rating of 158.3. Lobbing deep balls and throwing short routes, Kurt's three touchdown passes were more than justified in this game.
8. The Return to St. Louis - 2005 Arizona Cardinals
A torturing of the Rams with, yes you guessed it, another three touchdown passes, Kurt delivered the Cardinals with a win they desperately needed. Unfortunately the 2005 season wasn't the kindest to the Cardinals, and 4-10 became the unlikely outcome for Arizona's campaign.
7. Sixth Straight 300+ Yard Game - 2000 St. Louis Rams
2000 was the year of the Sydney Olympics, and the Rams were making a small case in regards to their presence in the NFL. After capping off numerous impressive victories prior, Kurt tied Steve Young for the most consecutive 300 plus yard games in a season. When Kurt throws well, it is a forte that the Cardinals are going to win.
6. First Career Playoff Start - 1999 St. Louis Rams
It's rare that a first year starter makes the playoffs, but Kurt pulled it off. Not only that, the number three finally changed to the number five, and the end zone that Kurt was throwing to was more worn out than Detroit Lions fans paper bags.
The Minnesota Vikings were the victim, and the scary offense of the St. Louis Rams delivered. Five touchdowns and 391 yards, the rags to riches story was quickly becoming true.
5. Tying Peyton Manning - 2008 Arizona Cardinals
Okay, so you've probably figured out by now that Kurt's lucky number is three. Because once again, that's the number of touchdown passes that he threw against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2 of the 2008 regular season.
361 yards and another great passer rating, all of these figures eventually added up to a Super Bowl spot.
4. Snapping the Losing Steak - St. Louis Rams
There were few teams in the league that could rattle the Rams powerhouse offense and defense, but the 49ers seemed to find the key. They'd worked it out, and marvelled the Rams in every meeting that was scheduled.
From a seventeen game losing streak to an impressive five touchdown display, Warner helped the Rams overcome their potential rivals and topple the impressive 49ers. One thing has stayed true though, Marshall Faulk more than likely still hates San Francisco.
3. NFC Championship Game - 2001 St. Louis Rams
This time the Rams made it to the big show, and they didn't disappoint. Kurt didn't overly perform in this game, but his one touchdown pass and 212 yards were enough to give the young gun a spot in the Super Bowl. With the city of St. Louis buzzing, the Rams were looking like the New Orleans Saints of today.
2. Super Bowl Bound - 2008 Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals. Formally known as the team full of possibilities, finally made it to the big dance in 2008. Kurt took some shots, and delivered some bullets, but at the end of the day it was Donovan McNabb and the Eagles staff left scratching their heads as to why they couldn't stop Arizona.
Larry Fitzgerald was the target, and Kurt found him time and time again. Four touchdowns, 279 yards, a 32-25 win was almost inevitable for the Arizona Cardinals.
1. World Champions - 1999 St. Louis Rams
These were the glory days. The times that every NFL fan lived for. I think it's safe to say, we simply don't have that electricity in the league anymore.
Kurt's display was nothing short of phenomenal, and he set the bar for most yards thrown in a Super Bowl. The Tennessee Titans were the opponent, and the outcome was in favor of the Rams. 23-16 victors, and 414 yards, it was almost as if the Super Bowl ring had been moulded to fit Kurt's finger.
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