Kurt Warner is the guy who personifies the voice in your head that says "Don't listen to them. They're wrong. You're better than they give you credit for, and when you get your opportunity, you'll succeed".
We all have that voice that keeps us confident or motivated to continue doing what we're doing to be the best we can be and let that be enough for ourselves.
Kurt Warner, however, lives by that.
Whether it's his faith in God, or his insane streak of good fortune and dominoes falling in place for him, Warner has had some great opportunities to be successful, and you can bet, all along the way that the voice in his head was telling him he could pull off anything.
He was a grocery store employee part time while playing Arena Football in the Arena Football League.
Only after being one of the best players to ever grace an AFL field, he made his way to the NFL after being previously undrafted in 1994 coming out of Northern Iowa.
His first taste of NFL action came after being signed as an undrafted free agent by the Green Bay Packers. He didn't make it out of camp with the 'Pack, as they had Brett Favre, Ty Detmer, and Mark Brunell.
This would turn out to be a blessing for Warner, as he caught on with the St. Louis Rams, and eventually took over the starting job after Trent Green tore his ACL in 1999.
Warner took over the starting quarterback job, and under Mike Martz, he and the St. Louis Rams lit the scoreboards on fire and made Hall of Famers out of the skill players. Warner, Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk, and Isaac Bruce should all hear Canton calling.
Warner's career falls in thirds. Very effective with the Rams. Not effective with the Rams and NY Giants, and very effective with the Arizona Cardinals.
It's rare for a quarterback to have such timeline splits in their production, but Warner has a few legitimate defenses. Firstly, the drafting of Marc Bulger all but signified the end of the Warner era in STL, for good or bad.
In New York, Warner battled injury and fumbling problems, eventually solved by turning to quarterback gloves.
Then, Eli Manning came around in New York, again, signifying the end of a Warner era.
He then signed with the Arizona Cardinals, and made an instant connection with both Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, finding a connection similar to what he had with Holt and Bruce.
His career numbers when it's all said and done?
204 touchdowns, 128 interceptions, 32,344 yards passing and the 2nd-highest passer rating in NFL history (among non-active players), behind only Steve Young who's career mark is 96.8.
Is he Hall of Fame worthy? That's for Canton's voters to decide, but I think so. He dominated with two different teams, winning a Super Bowl with the Rams, and leading the Arizona Cardinals to the first appearance in the big game of their franchise. Also, his story is such a longshot, that it has to factor in to a degree.
The odds were completely stacked against the man, but through faith and determination, Kurt Warner persevered and became one of the greatest Cinderella stories in sports history.
As always, thanks for reading today, and if you'd like to add your own players to this list, or argue with their rankings, by all means, shoot me a comment in the comment section. I'd really enjoy hearing your opinions. Who is your NFL great who was overlooked early in their career and beat the odds?