St. Louis Rams quarterback and ex- Arizona Cardinals Kurt Warner talked about his famous “Jesus moment” from Super Bowl XXXIV during his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last weekend.
He hardly made the cut as Rams’ third-string quarterback in 1998, but he was the one who led the team into an amazing journey to the Super Bowl in 1999 season. And the Rams weren’t in the playoffs since 1989.
In the game against the Tennessee Titans, Warner succeeded a 73-yard final touchdown pass to Issac Bruce for the win. He also threw for record 414 yards in the 23-16 win. He was the Super Bowl MVP, and the league’s MVP for the season.
Mike Tirico then ABC Sports host asked him, Kurt, first things first — tell me about the final touchdown pass to Isaac.”
Warner replied, “Well, first things first, I’ve got to thank my Lord and Savior up above — thank you, Jesus!”
“Many felt I was thanking Him for orchestrating a Super Bowl win or making my passes fly straighter, or causing my opponents to make more mistakes, but those people had it all wrong,” Kurt stated.
“The gesture was one of acknowledging how fortunate I considered myself for the moments He had given me,” he added. “Thanking Him for the trials, which prepared me for this platform, for showing me that with Him, the impossible becomes possible, and for choosing me for the lead in this once-in-a-lifetime role.”
In his induction speech, Warner said that he was probably the only one who sat on the bench for four years before he had the chance to start his senior year at the University of Northern Iowa.
He said during that hard times he wanted to quit the team on several occasions, but his mother would encourage him to keep fighting that his opportunity will come.
She would say, “even if it didn’t look like I wanted it to (and) to never stop working or preparing because God had a plan and I needed to be ready when He showed it to me.”
Warner was never recruited into the NFL, but he had the opportunity to go into the Green Bay Packers training camp in the summer of 1994. Sadly, he didn’t make the cut for the team when the season started.
He was an assistant coach at University of Northern Iowa and worked night shifts at Hy-Vee grocery store for 5.50 an hour to support his family.
“The road to our dreams often has detours. Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do, while you’re waiting to do what you’re born to do,” Kurt stated Saturday.
He never gave up on his dreams to play for the NFL and trained frequently on his own.
“On the box was one of the men in the seats behind me, Dan Marino,” he stated. “Dan seemed to be asking, ‘Are you going to spend your life stocking someone else’s cereal boxes or are you going to step out and make sure someone else is stocking yours?’”
Kurt decided to make small changes in his plan and started playing for the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League in 1995. He only played for three years there and finally got the chance to play for NFL in 1998.
Rams’ coach Dick Vermeil said to him at the end of pre-season, “The reason you made this team is because I feel there is something special about you. Something different, and I couldn’t let you go without seeing if it was true.”
After being fired from the team, in 2004 The New York Giants signed him. Then the Arizona Cardinals picked him up in 2005, he faced many injuries there and sat many games at the bench.
In 2008 season, Warner at age of 37, led his team into its first NFC Championship and first Super Bowl appearance.
During his speech, Warner told his audience to use the chances they are given.
“Don’t miss your moments — both the moments to be impacted and the moments to impact,” he stated. “Although impact is established over a career, it is established in the moments, regardless of how many or how few you’re blessed with.”
“I’m going to conclude with one last moment and one last thank you. To the One whom has left the deepest mark and become the cornerstone of my life,” he said. “Now love it or hate it, that opening scene captured the imagination of the sports world, and the words became the heart of my story … bringing us to … the only place this extraordinary journey can end. His final moment was for me, mine is for Him: Thank you, Jesus!”
THANK YOU! pic.twitter.com/V1GOdr1OK4
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) August 6, 2017
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