After twelve long NFL seasons, 38 year old Kurt Warner hung up the cleats on Friday afternoon.
In an official press conference with the team, Warner announced that his time in the NFL was over and the story book career he had experienced had ended. It may not be a happy ending - not like winning the Super Bowl would've been last year - but nonetheless, he did something that no one else had done in Arizona in decades - make them a winner.
We all know his story - Warner started his career stocking groceries, which then turned into a journey through the Arena Football League and NFL Europe, only to wind up with the St. Louis Rams. Trent Green suffers a season ending knee injury early in the year and Kurt Warner takes over. He leads the Rams on a turnaround season, wins the MVP, and oh yeah, the Super Bowl. In 2001 Warner won his second MVP and also returned to the Super Bowl only to fall short.
After injuries and fumble problems, Warner was cut and served a brief stint in New York before being benched to Eli Manning.
In 2005 Warner became a member of the Arizona Cardinals and was primarily signed to compete for a starting job. He beat out Matt Leinart in 2007 and never looked back. Warner turned the Cardinals into one of the top offenses in the league the last three seasons, helped the Cardinals clinch back to back NFC West titles, and also propelled the team to their first Super Bowl appearance in 2008.
He'll always be remembered for turning around two of the worst franchises in the league and leading them to the glory land. We all owe a great due of respect and thanks to Warner for everything he has done. He's been a great athlete on the field and a great man outside of football. Now he can take this time to relax, spend more time with his family, and prepare his speech for Canton.