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    Warner Will Dance Into Booth For Rams Telecast

    Warner will dance into booth for Rams telecast

    BY DAN CAESAR
    Friday, December 3, 2010


    Kurt Warner's dancing days, at least on national television, are over. And he's back to his true passion for the fall, football, as the former Rams and Cardinals quarterback will be the analyst on Fox's regional telecast Sunday of the game involving those teams.

    It's the latest chapter in a whirlwind year for the man adjusting to life after football following his decision in the offseason to retire from his storybook career, which featured rising from obscurity to leading both those downtrodden teams to the Super Bowl.

    But he hasn't fallen from the spotlight, lasting eight weeks on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" - television's top-rated program this season - after simply hoping to not be the first one cut. However, his long run was more taxing than he expected.

    "I really enjoyed it, I enjoyed performing, I enjoyed learning something new," he said in an interview this week. "I enjoyed the people a lot, the friendships. But I didn't enjoy all the work. It took over my life and I really didn't want it to. That wasn't my idea going in, I didn't realize it was going to be that much time. That was the hard part."

    So when the end came Nov. 8 for him and partner Anna Trebunskaya, he took it in stride.

    "I wasn't really crushed," he said. "There's part of you that says, ‘Aw, you'd like to keep going.' And there's the other side that says, ‘Aw, I'm good' (with leaving). It ran its course and I accomplished what I wanted to. It was a good experience. It was one of those things I'd definitely do it again, but there definitely were some parts of it that weren't a whole lot of fun - they were more frustrating than they were fun."

    It provided a good platform for his transition out of the NFL.

    "In football, you have that locker-room atmosphere and people always talk about the hardest thing when you retire is to replace that, being around the guys and having that environment where you can truly impact people and build relationships," Warner said. "I was fortunate going into ‘Dancing with the Stars' that I was able to build relationships with the people on the show. ... That part was great, it kind of filled that void for me. That's the part I miss the most, being around people every day where I think I'm at my best and where I can have the biggest impact on people.''

    But his lengthy stay on the show that overlaps the football season ("Dancing" began Sept. 20 and he wasn't ousted until Nov. 8) cut into his preparation time for his other post-playing jobs. He serves as a studio analyst for NFL Network as well as providing commentary on a handful of Fox regional NFL game telecasts.

    "One of the hardest parts for me is that I was so busy with ‘Dancing With the Stars' and other things that I haven't really gotten to get into football and enjoy it, study it and really watch it like I would want to," he said. "It was a little bit harder to feel prepared or feel like you've got all the answers when you go into the studio or when you're at a game and haven't been able to devote as much time as you'd want."

    NEW CAREER

    The appearance Sunday in the booth with be his third, and he'll work with play-by-play announcer Chris Myers for the second time. The game, locally on KTVI (Channel 2) at 3:15 p.m., is being sent to just 5 percent of the nation - the only major markets it is scheduled to air in are St. Louis and Phoenix - but it provides good experience for Warner.

    "It gets more and more fun," he said.

    Warner added that he said he likes working at games more than being in the studio, in which he appears on several NFL Network shows.

    "I really enjoy the color stuff," he said. "I don't like giving up my weekends, but I enjoy being able to tell stories about people and tell stories about what I used to do, what the game's like, more than being on camera for 20 seconds and having to share a thought and not being able to expound much.

    "They both bring different things to the table and I enjoy being a part of football, because I enjoy the game and I have a lot to offer. So that part's been good. But I'm just feeling it out, seeing what I want to do moving forward."

    Without "Dancing," he will have a more normal Year 2 of retirement and wants broadcasting to continue to be part of his life.

    "I definitely expect to do something, whether it's the color stuff or the (studio) analyst work," he said. "I plan on being involved in football for a long time in some capacity. This year was kind of a way to not do too much but to get a feel for both sides for it, get a feel for a couple different networks and just see what's the perfect scenario for me moving forward.

    "That's the great thing, because when you're blessed and you've had a career and you're financially set and you have a lot of opportunities and a lot of things you can do, you don't just have to take whatever's out there. I want to set up what's the most fun for me, what works into my schedule the best, what can cater around my family the most- that becomes the No 1 priority. But I don't think there's any question that I'll be doing something with at least one of the networks."

    THE WOEFUL WEST

    Warner spent all but one of his 12 NFL seasons in the NFC West (he was with the NFC East's Giants in 2004) and the division never was as poor in his tenure as it is now, when the Rams and Seahawks share the lead at 5-6.

    "Oh, man, there's some ugly football in the NFC West, that's first and foremost,'' he said. "I know we've been bad for a while, but at least there always were a couple teams that were pretty completive. Right now its pretty hard to watch, most of the teams have been pretty uncompetitive when it comes to playing against good teams in the league. It's almost like somebody's going to win this thing by default more than earning it and going and taking it.''

    He says he thinks the Rams are the best of this motley crew.

    "I like where the Rams are going,'' he said. "They don't have all the pieces, but they've probably been as competitive as anybody. And with the young pieces they have and the limitations they have, that's probably been the most impressive thing.''

    At the other end are the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco *****.

    "With where we've been here in Arizona for the last couple years and having a lot of pieces still in place, you expected maybe not a great record by a lot better football than they have played,'' he said. "They've gotten blow out a number of times, which really surprises you. Then San Francisco, I think everybody expected them to make that move (to elite status). They had all the pieces, the defense and everything on offense maybe outside of a quarterback that they knew they could depend on every snap. But you really just felt where Alex (Smith, the QB) was coming from after last year and with the other pieces that this was their year. But to start out 0-5 ... I did their game (Nov. 21) against Tampa and they did nothing. They did nothing in the whole game. Nobody stood out and impressed you.''

    NO COMEBACK TRAIL

    Warner's most recent team, Arizona, is the worst in the West and poor play at the QB position all season has been a major factor in the Cards' demise. So were there ever any overtures from the team to see if Warner was interested in returning?

    "Not really," he said. "There's been comments from teammates or texts here and there, lighthearted comments that have been made. I think the bottom line with the organization and me is that they respect me too much to even approach me.

    "They respect who I am, and what I've done and my decision to retire. They knew from Day 1 that it was a final decision for me. Not that they wouldn't have liked to have me back or hadn't thought about it, I think it's more like, ‘We respect Kurt too much to go to him whether it's to put pressure on him or even ask him to consider coming back.' For that I give them a lot of credit because I don't know if every organization would do that. I truly believe that's why I haven't really heard anything definitive from them. They respect me too much to do something like that"

    And he said if he would have been contacted about a return, the answer would be easy - "No." He said he gave much thought to the decision before it was made.

    "Retirement to me means retirement, and I wasn't going to do it until it was the right time," he said. "I haven't looked back, I haven't missed it. I remember the reasons I got out of the game, which was great to me."


  2. #2
    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Warner Will Dance Into Booth For Rams Telecast

    I miss Kurt playing football, he is just an all around good guy,he seems to be doing well with broadcasting also,good luck to him with his new career.

  3. #3
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    Re: Warner Will Dance Into Booth For Rams Telecast

    I've heard Kurt on a couple of broadcasts and he's pretty good. I also heard Torry Holt as an analyst for the Carolina game last week and well, he was a great player.

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    Re: Warner Will Dance Into Booth For Rams Telecast

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    I've heard Kurt on a couple of broadcasts and he's pretty good. I also heard Torry Holt as an analyst for the Carolina game last week and well, he was a great player.
    I also heard Holt do a game and he was less than stellar!

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    Re: Warner Will Dance Into Booth For Rams Telecast

    I wonder which side Kurt will be sort of rooting for, Rams or Cards?

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    Re: Warner Will Dance Into Booth For Rams Telecast

    I took the title literally. I thought they were going to have Kurt dance in the booth.

  7. #7
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Warner Will Dance Into Booth For Rams Telecast

    Quote Originally Posted by UserName View Post
    I took the title literally. I thought they were going to have Kurt dance in the booth.
    You never know, maybe he will.

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