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  1. #1
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    Second chance nears for Warner, or is it his last?

    By Bryan Burwell
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    05/31/2004


    Remember how it was and dream of what still could be.

    In those dreams, we want to remember them in their primes, just as they were at their very best. They were these undeniable athletic icons then and we want to place them in a hermetically sealed jar that will preserve them forever just as they were - as brilliant stars in full bloom.

    But we can't keep time in a bottle, can we?

    This is real life. And in the reality of the sports world, these dreams rarely end just the way we want them to. In the end, we cannot hold time in a bottle. In the end, they all show their age, their weaknesses and all their human flaws.

    We delve into this little story for a reason this morning.

    We are about 24 hours away from the end of Kurt Warner's once-brilliant football life here in St. Louis. The Rams will most likely release the two-time NFL most valuable player from his contract and allow him to seek employment elsewhere.

    Warner believes he still has some of that old magic left in him, and so do the legions of Warner faithful. They see him in that hermetically sealed bell jar, preserved forever as the brilliant star in full bloom.

    So he will go off to New York and try to prove all his doubters wrong and revive the memories of all his loyalists. The Giants think (hope?) he still can do it, which is why they plan on signing him to a one-year, $3 million contract that will allow him to prove he can still be a competent NFL starter while serving as a tutor for top draft pick Eli Manning.

    We are telling this story because we are all wondering just how it will all end. Is this going to be Warner's second chance, or just his last chance?

    Will the moral of this story be that the quarterback still has something left in his athletic gas tank at 33, or will he confirm what a lot of us already suspect, that he has taken far too many hits and is about to be the latest old warrior to expose his athletic mortality?

    There is a moral to this story, and the moral is, the Great Ones rarely see when the end is near. They seem to all linger much too long, still seeking one last mountain to climb, one last opponent to conquer.

    Yet in the end, time does what no opponent ever could.

    Remember Larry Bird at the end of his athletic life? Larry Legend was a limping has-been with a bad back. How sad was it to see Broadway Joe Namath finishing out his career so far off Broadway, a frozen statue with two bad knees looking so out of place in that Rams' jersey?

    And was there ever a more pitiful sight than Muhammad Ali at the end of his once-magnificent boxing life? Ali at the end was just another sad middle-aged man taking a beating in a Las Vegas parking lot.

    So how will this Warner story end? Is it possible that there could be one last marvelous twist to this compelling rags-to-riches tale?

    If it's going to happen, Warner will be going to the right place. The Giants need a veteran quarterback to keep things in place until Manning figures out how to be an efficient NFL passer. Besides, New York is a place full of rags-to-riches dreamers. New Yorkers love a good comeback story.

    But New York could also be the worst possible place for Warner to get a new start, because the only thing New Yorkers love more than rooting for a hero is burying a struggling one.

    If they can boo Derek Jeter, what will they do when Warner throws his first interception or loses his first fumble behind that sorry offensive line?

    He will be given every shot at reclaiming his old magic, but how will he handle the rejection that is almost inevitable in the Big Apple?

    What happens when the boos come raining down on his head? How will he handle it if he does struggle and the chants for Manning become deafening?

    How will he handle it if he finds out that this isn't a fork in the road, but the end of the road?
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  2. #2
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    Curly Horns is offline Registered User
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    Re: Second chance nears for Warner, or is it his last?

    I would not count him down & out just yet.

    Best Wishes, Kurt Warner


  3. #3
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    Re: Second chance nears for Warner, or is it his last?

    Said it before and I will say it again. I hope Warner goes back to being a STAR when he plays (as long as its not against us)


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