Frying Pan Sports
Kurt Warner is my 2008 MVP—Most Valuable Person
By Bill Smith
OK, I will admit, I am a Kurt Warner fan. I even included him in a novel I wrote Terrorism—Fighting WW3 about a conservative Arizona Governor that runs for President. So right up front, I admit my bias.
I was watching the 1999 expansion draft for Cleveland and dropped my coffee cup on the floor when I saw Warner’s name as available from the Rams. I had seen him play in NFL Europe and a little in college. I was heart-sick when the Cleveland Tans failed to pick him. Even then, at the very least I felt he could be a great backup that would develop into a starter. But the Tans brain trust in their infinite wisdom passed on Warner and used the first overall pick for Tim “I’m now on the” Couch. Bad move!
That same preseason, the Tans could have traded picks to Indy for RB Marshall Faulk and given the team an offensive combination that would have been special. Didn’t that same combo is St. Louis win a Super Bowl that year? I think they did. But that is hind site and a discussion for another day.
Kurt Warner has been one of the greatest people in the NFL ever since he became the starter when Trent Green went down for the Rams. Warner has played great. According to every report, even when he was “Mike Martzed” in St. Louis he never lost his love of the game or desire to help the team win. The Martz offense is so infamous for generating long pass plays and injured quarterbacks in approximately equal quantities that in the NFL community it has become a football term. As a 2 time MVP riding the bench, he didn’t become a distraction. He helped the starter become a better QB.
In NY he was signed to be a mentor to a Manning—Eli. He served the franchise well and I believe has something to do with Manning’s development. Then he moved to the desert. There, he again was supposed to be a mentor/backup. Instead, any time he has been given a chance, he has produced another excellent season. As good a player as he is, that is not why he is my MVP–Most Valuable Person.
Kurt Warner is the ultimate professional and one of the very few that publicly expresses his appreciation for the fans, the game and the opportunity he has been given by God and developed by his effort to earn a lot of money doing something he loves. How refreshing is that? Even more than his attitude or his play, my MVP award is based on what he does in whatever community he lives in. His foundation First Things First is involved in Christian based charity work from children’s hospitals to flood relief to Homes for the Holidays. He has been honored by more organizations for his community work that I could ever list here.
For more information on First things First, visit Kurt’s web site kurtwarner.org.
Given all the thuggish behavior we hear about everyday from athletes, Kurt Warner is a great roll model. He is the kind of man any father would be thrilled to see his son become. Success seems to go to the heads of far too many professional athletes today. It is so refreshing to see one with Kurt’s grace and class. The rule is if you want something done, ask someone who is very busy to do it. In Kurt’s case, no matter how busy he is, he always seems to take the time and effort to do what is right. You can ask no more of a mortal.
Thank you, Kurt for being an MVP—Most Valuable Person and congratulations for your team’s success. We are rooting for you wherever you go and whatever you do.
That’s what I think. Tell me what you think.
Bill Smith is a former coach of several semi-pro teams, has officiated both football and basketball, done color on radio for college football and basketball and has scouted talent. He is a senior writer for NFLDraftDog.com and edits fryingpansports.com. He has also published several novels on and edits .Kurt Warner is my 2008 MVP—Most Valuable Person by Bill Smith