I got an interesting press release in my inbox yesterday that, although it is not NFL related, is still interesting news nonetheless. It appears that Kurt Warner, a former quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, has been named the 16th best player in Arena Football League history.
Now, you may be asking yourself how he isn't higher, but the Silver Anniversary Committee that voted his placement has their reasons.
Warner is arguably the most famous AFL player of all time. He played three seasons in the indoor league, making his debut in 1995. That year, he threw for almost 3,000 yards and 43 touchdowns for the Iowa Barnstormers. Ironically, they went up against the Arizona Rattlers that year, where Warner set a league record by passing for 428 yards in a single game. According to the press release, it is still the second highest single-game total in AFL history.
After his stint in the AFL, Warner was signed by the St. Louis Rams and allocated to play in Europe. Once Trent Green tore his ACL in 1999, the rest became history. Warner became one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and led the Rams to a Super Bowl victory.
So how does this not make him at least top 5 in the AFL best player ever rankings? His impact on the AFL was great and he undoubtedly helped to popularize that league with his outstanding play, but his contribution while in it pales in comparison to some of the other players that have passed through. Yes, he broke records and appeared in two ArenaBowls, but he only played in the AFL for three years.
Regardless, he is still the most famous player in AFL history. So congratulations to Warner on winning this prestigious honor. Not only has he been announced as an inductee into the AFL Hall of Fame for 2012, but he will likely enter the NFL Hall of Fame once he is eligible in 2014.