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Bernie: Kurt Warner Has Every Reason To Retire Now

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  • Bernie: Kurt Warner Has Every Reason To Retire Now

    Kurt Warner has every reason to retire now

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz

    When Kurt Warner got mashed into the ground on a vicious but clean hit by New Orleans defensive end Bobby McCray, I automatically assumed the worst.

    That's it.

    We've just seen the end of Kurt's career.

    And what a horrible, depressing way for him to go.

    What were we supposed to think? Warner was rolling around on the turf, eyes blinking. He seemed disoriented. He was in pain. He's 38 years old. He's endured multiple injuries in his career, including five concussions. The Saints were already up by two touchdowns in the second quarter of this NFC playoff game, and would go on to win by 31.

    When Warner threw that interception, looked to make a tackle, and ended up blind-sided by McCray, it appeared to be the final blow.

    Fortunately, the immediate repercussions weren't as severe as feared. Warner was shaken up, but returned in the second half. That's good, but it still doesn't ease the big-picture fears and the concerns over Warner's long-term health and future.

    I hope Warner will walk away from the game. What else does he have to prove? I believe he's already done enough to warrant selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    Just look at a partial list of all that he's accomplished since entering the NFL with the Rams in 1998: Two-time league MVP with the Rams; Super Bowl MVP and championship with the Rams; three-highest passing-yardage days in Super Bowl history; 52 300-yard games; the only NFL quarterback to throw 100 touchdown passes for two teams; nine postseason victories; the second-best passer rating (102.8) in NFL postseason history; and guiding two down-and-out franchises to the Super Bowl.

    There's nothing left for Warner to gain, but he has much to lose. Kurt and wife Brenda have seven children at home. As Warner told me in an interview earlier this year, he wants to be healthy and vibrant and immersed in their lives.

    Warner wants to enjoy being a grandfather some day — and without limitations brought on by football-related debilitation. Warner has given 11 years of his life to the NFL but says he wants to be sure that the best years of his life to go to his family.

    And it won't be easy for Warner to continue rebounding from injuries. After all, it took him a few years to recover from the hand injuries, concussions and harsh beatings he took in St. Louis before finally regenerating his career in Arizona. And Warner was younger then. He'll be 39 if he chooses to play the 2010 season.

    Last fall, the results of a preliminary study commissioned by the NFL indicated that former NFL players have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease or similar memory-related diseases at a dramatically higher rate than the national average.

    This is a brutal sport. Last week, Warner told reporters that he's noticed the way defensive players seemed to be taking more swipes at his helmet. Defenders aren't stupid; Warner has a history of concussions and if you want to stop the Cardinals the best way is to knock No. 13 out of the game.

    So why would a vulnerable Warner continue to put himself at risk?

    After Saturday's loss, Warner confirmed that he's considering retirement.

    "I have some ideas in my head," Warner said during the postgame news conference. "But you want to get away from the season for a minute and make sure what you're feeling stays that way. But I don't think it will be a long process."

    As Brenda Warner told the New York Times this week, the decision is between "Kurt and God." But based on previous comments, she'd undoubtedly favor retirement. Seeing Brenda's televised reaction to the on-field violence in Saturday's game only reinforced those thoughts.

    Commenting to the NY Times about the concussion that her husband suffered at the Edward Jones Dome in November, Brenda said: "I would give every dime I've ever seen in my life to take that one blow to the head back. It does change your perspective."

    Sunday morning on the NFL Network, Marshall Faulk offered a prediction on his close friend and former teammate.

    "Knowing Kurt, I'm going to say that this is probably it for Kurt," Faulk said. "Kurt is a competitor. But he understands that he has a family at home. And all of the head trauma that we now have data about — about guys having concussions, having dementia, and all of the other problems when you're done playing ...

    "I'm pretty sure that Kurt and Brenda are weighing this. He's going to have that discussion with her, and I think this year Brenda's going to win."

    Warner is in position to do so many valuable, meaningful things with the rest of his life. And that could be through his ministry work, his desire to help the poor, his devotion to children, his motivational speaking or many charitable causes. One Arizona columnist recently suggested that Warner could become president of the United States if he wanted.

    Hey, I wouldn't rule anything out with this man. Warner is a true American original. But to fully realize all of his post-football goals, he must be healthy.

    And if Kurt Warner can walk from the NFL with his mind and body intact, it'll be the greatest triumph of his career.

  • #2
    Re: Bernie: Kurt Warner Has Every Reason To Retire Now

    Kurt,do the right thing and step away before something bad happens,you have given Rams fans something we had never had and may never see again for a very long time,you have played yourself into the Hall Of Fame and now it's time to kick back and enjoy all the things your success has brought you and oh yea spend more time with that hot wife of yours.


    • #3
      Re: Bernie: Kurt Warner Has Every Reason To Retire Now

      Originally posted by jkramsfan View Post
      Kurt,do the right thing and step away before something bad happens,you have given Rams fans something we had never had and may never see again for a very long time,you have played yourself into the Hall Of Fame and now it's time to kick back and enjoy all the things your success has brought you and oh yea spend more time with that hot wife of yours.
      couldn't agree anymore


      • #4
        Re: Bernie: Kurt Warner Has Every Reason To Retire Now

        More breaking news from Bermie.


        • #5
          Re: Bernie: Kurt Warner Has Every Reason To Retire Now

          Brenda Warner isn't that hot, but then again I'm 17 and most of y'all must be in your late 30s or early 40s but I don't blame ya, I guess I'd say the same thing if I was your age but I'll have to admit she looks much younger than she does 10 years ago on this pic.

          ♪ R.I.P. Nujabes ♫


          • #6
            Re: Bernie: Kurt Warner Has Every Reason To Retire Now

            Now back on topic, Kurt Warner should retire if he wants a better well being, that hit was just bad for a 38 year old and he's already seen the promised land with us. But if he wants to stay, I'm not complaining.

            ♪ R.I.P. Nujabes ♫


            • #7
              Re: Bernie: Kurt Warner Has Every Reason To Retire Now

              Originally posted by fliptalianstallion View Post
              Brenda Warner isn't that hot, but then again I'm 17 and most of y'all must be in your late 30s or early 40s but I don't blame ya, I guess I'd say the same thing if I was your age but I'll have to admit she looks much younger than she does 10 years ago on this pic.
              I agree ,hot may be pushing it a bit but compared to what we were used to when Kurt first got here,she has changed quite a bit and for the better.


              • #8
                Re: Bernie: Kurt Warner Has Every Reason To Retire Now

                Originally posted by jkramsfan View Post
                I agree ,hot may be pushing it a bit but compared to what we were used to when Kurt first got here,she has changed quite a bit and for the better.
                I guess "hot" is relative, but she looks great to me.

                As for Warner, I'd say it's better than 50/50 that he'll retire. That game against the Saints had to be a wake-up call.


                • #9
                  Re: Bernie: Kurt Warner Has Every Reason To Retire Now

                  Also have to say that Brenda looks much hotter than 10 years ago, I think the haircut made her look really old, now the long blonde hair makes her look fresh and younger.

                  And yeah, Kurt Warner had such a great career, he won the Super Bowl, I would have retired, too, if I were him, football is a tough sports, you can get easily injured, especially a quarterback.
                  Last edited by Nick; -08-16-2010, 09:36 AM. Reason: No links, please read the rules


                  Related Topics


                  • r8rh8rmike
                    Bernie: Kurt Warner Writes His Own Ending
                    by r8rh8rmike
                    Kurt Warner writes his own ending

                    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
                    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                    Ten years ago today, the Rams won the Super Bowl. The winning touchdown pass was a 73-yard dream from Kurt Warner to Isaac Bruce that floated above the reach of the Tennessee Titans and straight into history. It was magic. One flick of Warner's right wrist, and all of those sad, sorry, losing Sundays disappeared.

                    Friday afternoon, Kurt Warner said goodbye as a player. At a news conference in Arizona, No. 13 announced his retirement after 12 NFL seasons and one of the most unusual and improbable careers in the history of American sports.

                    Watching it, I wanted to be sad. I wanted to turn back the clock. I wanted to make the last few seasons of Rams football go away, just as Warner and his teammates made all of those bad memories go away in 1999.

                    I can't believe it's been 10 years since the 1999 season, and the rollout of "The Greatest Show on Turf," Warner to Bruce, Mike Jones and "The Tackle," and the triumph of Super Bowl XXXIV.

                    But as I watched Warner explain his decision to move into another phase of his life, the melancholy lifted. Let's realize how fortunate he is. Warner leaves with his health intact to savor a fulfilling life with Brenda and their seven children. Warner exits the stage as a winner, having led futile franchises in St. Louis and Arizona to three Super Bowl trips.

                    Warner departs on his terms. He isn't broken down. His skills haven't deteriorated. He didn't stay too long. Warner wasn't an aging Willie Mays losing a fly ball in the sun in 1973. He wasn't a diminished Muhammad Ali, getting battered by Larry Holmes. He wasn't Michael Jordan, fading into irrelevance in the odd colors of the Washington Wizards. He wasn't John Unitas, limping around as a San Diego Charger.

                    How many star athletes know when to leave on time? Not many. A list of those who managed to pull it off includes Barry Sanders, Jim Brown, Sandy Koufax, Larry Bird, Ted Williams, Ozzie Smith. Well, place Warner's name among them.

                    And that's why I'm happy for Warner. He won. In a few years, he went from tossing cans of greenbeans to co-workers on the overnight shift at the Hy-Vee store to throwing the TD pass that won a Super Bowl. How many athletes realize their wildest dreams? How many athletes can retire knowing that they enhanced their sport? Or that they inspired millions of fans through their display of perseverance and personal character?

                    "I wanted people to remember that anything is possible," Warner said at his news conference. "With my story, and the fact that it took me so long to get here, I know there are a lot of people that gravitate to that part of it. That understand the struggles. That ... understand when it takes a little bit longer...
                    -01-30-2010, 01:15 PM
                  • Nick
                    Warner's the man, at least to Warner
                    by Nick
                    Warner's the man, at least to Warner

                    First published: Thursday, August 19, 2004

                    ALBANY -- He's still the quarterback who takes teams to Olympus. Still the quarterback whose passing statistics are a fantasy of flight. Still the quarterback whose grocery-bags-to-NFL-MVP story felt as good as a kiss.
                    Kurt Warner is convinced of this.

                    He's gone from superstar to waiver wire. Untouchable to unwanted. At the end in St. Louis, the Rams were as eager to show Warner the door as he was to pass through it. He was signed by the Giants to be a mentor and stopgap, until Eli Manning is ready. Everything in Warner's career has changed -- but him, he insists.

                    In nearly every player's career there comes a time when his skills, as Bill Belichick once said of Bernie Kosar's, diminish. Age and injuries make mortals of all. The player knows when he enters the winter of his career, but he won't publicly admit it.

                    Warner, now 33, says he's the same quarterback, and because he's friendly, and gracious with his time, you want to believe him.

                    But you don't.

                    Once, Warner led the Greatest Show on Turf. Now, he's trying to hold Manning at bay long enough to audition for a starting job with another team next season. That's not the same at all.

                    There has never been an NFL player like Kurt Warner. From stock boy to wonder boy to oh boy, what happened. It would be as if Greg Maddux had gone from video store clerk to Cy Young control artist to a pitcher who stopped throwing strikes, though Warner doesn't see it that way. The Rams' 0-8 record in his last eight games as a starter didn't change Warner's opinion of himself.

                    "You have to say, 'Did Kurt Warner lose those eight games because Kurt Warner didn't play well, or did the Rams lose those last eight games because the team didn't play well?' " Warner said. "I think that's where people sometimes get skewed in their opinion."

                    Warner doesn't mention that the Rams were 18-4 the past two seasons when Marc Bulger started at quarterback. Granted, win-loss percentage isn't everything. But it's something. And playing on the same team, with the same players, Bulger enjoyed success while Warner flopped. But if Warner's fumbling 14 times and throwing 11 interceptions with only four touchdowns in those eight games have cracked his confidence, he conceals it behind his disarming smile.

                    "I feel like I can play as well as anybody in this league," Warner said. "I can still play this game. I don't plan on being average."

                    Thing is, average would be an improvement.

                    One trait players like in their quarterback: accountability. They respect a guy who accepts criticism when warranted and shares praise when deserved. But in a recent conversation, this is as close as Warner came to acknowledging he performed...
                    -08-22-2004, 11:40 AM
                  • RamDez
                    Kurt Warner – A Fond Farewell To A Great Man
                    by RamDez
                    Kurt Warner – A Fond Farewell To A Great Man
                    By Barry Waller
                    June 3rd, 2004

                    There are times when covering an NFL team that even the biggest fan
                    might find to be more work than enjoyment. Dealing with professional athletes
                    is a real pain at times, and trying to give fans the true story when so many rumors have sent them into so many directions is even worse. While there are times that the words fly out of a writer’s mind onto the pages he is composing, there are others when sitting down and rehashing the facts to tell a tale is almost excruciating. If I am doing a column twenty years from now, I probably won’t have had to labor over a story as much as this one.

                    Oh, sure, nobody died, no beloved sports figure met his maker far too young on the day after Memorial Day, which is the toughest stuff to cover from a personal side; but in a lot of ways, it seems like something truly died for Ramsnation when the team released Kurt Warner. When the long predicted move was made official this past Wednesday however, there was no outcry from Rams fans, no wail of sorrow at a tragic event. Not surprisingly, Warner himself left town with the same class and good feelings that are his trademark.

                    Like a parent, spouse, or child who has seen a loved one slowly slip away due to illness, those of us who will never forget what #13 meant to a team and a city have little emotion left to give as the irreversible end finally came. They have gone through the same predictable emotions of anger, denial, bargaining, and depression, then a numb acceptance of our fate, as cancer victims, ever since Kurt Warner began showing he was human after all. Ironically, the most incredible and improbable feel good story in NFL history involved a man who embodies everything decent about the human animal, despite his immortal like play when at his best.

                    As the negative stories and feelings about Warner as the Rams quarterback appeared, they acted upon his legacy like tumors on bodily organs, some spreading and mutating to other areas. We may never know how the negative vibes played a part in what so quickly turned a two time MVP passer into a backup. If Warner shines with the Giants, another team needing the kind of miracle that Warner gave Rams fans and the world in 1999, maybe it will provide a bit of a clue.

                    I was at Warner’s last start, in the Meadowlands against those same Giants, and as painful as it was having to suffer with him on that day, and suffer the slings and arrows of Giants fans during and following the game, I feel blessed that I got to see as much as I could of Kurt Warner in person. It was that personal contact over the past six seasons that makes his inexplicable fall from grace so distressing.

                    In the NFL, everyone knows the salary cap, and other factors makes it nearly impossible to keep players for entire careers, something Rams fans have had to...
                    -06-06-2004, 03:38 AM
                  • RamWraith
                    Warner comes so very close to magical win
                    by RamWraith
                    By Bernie Miklasz
                    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

                    TEMPE, ARIZ. — For a few precious moments you could close your eyes, let your imagination and sentiment lift you up and take you on a return trip to another place in another time. Back in the day, nothing seemed impossible for Kurt Warner. He'd take the Rams on these magical journeys to the end zone, and NFL defenses were helpless to stop him.

                    So on Sunday at Sun Devil Stadium, with Arizona trailing Warner's former team 17-12, Warner got the ball and a last chance with just under 2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. It was hot as a barbecue pit down on the field, but Warner calmly completed all six of his passing attempts, picking up key parcels of real estate totaling 76 yards. And suddenly the Cardinals were 5 yards from the end zone and a winning touchdown.

                    Old No. 13 was on the brink of recapturing his brilliant past. He was about to take down Mike Martz, he was about to upstage Marc Bulger, he was about to give his fiercely loyal fans a reason to clear their throats for delirious I-told-you-so calls to the Monday sports-radio talk shows.

                    "That's what you're thinking - 'Here we go.' All we need is one. One play, one shot, one touchdown," Warner said. "And we win the game. Perfect scenario, perfect place to be in."

                    But this is 2005, not 1999, and Warner plays for the Arizona Cardinals now. They've been a work in progress since 1947, when the franchise last captured an NFL championship. So the ending was almost predictable: Safety Adam Archuleta swooped in on a rare and belated Rams blitz and sacked Warner. With the final seconds ticking away, Cardinals coach Dennis Green wasted time getting new personnel onto the field. Next, an Arizona lineman moved prematurely; a penalty flag went up, and time expired. Just like that: comeback over, game over, and a flat tire for the populous St. Louis chapter of the Warner bandwagon.

                    "It's always more disappointing," Warner said, "when you're in a situation like that and don't get it done."

                    As he dressed in the spartan home locker room, Warner couldn't shake a look of disgust and dejection. Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill quietly moved in to offer Warner some encouraging words.

                    "We were right there," Warner told Bidwill. "Right there."

                    In his first game against the team that gave him his first chance in 1999 and his release in 2004, Warner started slowly. With three fumbles (one lost) and an interception in the first half, Warner looked like he'd fulfill the doom-and-gloom prophecies of his critics. He looked like another relic, left in the desert. Not so fast ...

                    Warner feels he has something to prove, but for unselfish reasons. He claims he's never lost confidence in his ability. And in the second half, Warner just...
                    -09-19-2005, 05:23 AM
                  • RamWraith
                    Warner article--sure to drum up a debate. Interesting read
                    by RamWraith
                    Just like with Rams and Giants, Warner out to prove critics wrong
                    By Darren Urban, Tribune

                    The resumé is too long for the story to begin where it once did. Kurt Warner knows that.
                    His past is decorated with two MVP awards, three Pro Bowls, two Super Bowl appearances and a St. Louis fan base that still follows him two stops later.

                    Warner is no longer the nobody who took over at quarterback for the Rams in 1999, but in some ways, he is starting over.

                    He has more doubters than believers, which is where he stood that day St. Louis coach Dick Vermeil made him the starter after Trent Green's season-ending knee injury almost six years ago.

                    And like his Rams back then, his new team in Arizona carries few expectations.

                    "There are a lot of people out there that don't think I can still play, and there's a lot of people out there that don't think this team has a chance to do anything," Warner said. The statistics haven't been gaudy for three years, and for Warner, his history has become his burden. But it is also his proof.

                    "There has never been a story like Kurt Warner's," Cardinals coach Dennis Green said. "It's a result of him believing in himself." Warner still believes. He believes that winning football, if not video game-like stats, remains in him.

                    He believes politics dragged him out of the lineup with both the Rams and the New York Giants. He believes he will be reborn as an NFL starter with the Cardinals this season. And he believes he has lived this scenario before. "It's kind of my story, the underdog story, no chance to have success," Warner said. "It's kind of like what I stepped into in St. Louis.

                    "I get a chance to rewrite my story, and I get a chance to hopefully rewrite the story of the Arizona Cardinals."

                    FROM HERO TO HUMBLED

                    The first version of Warner's story came straight from Hollywood.

                    He was nowhere, bagging groceries at one point after college, eventually thinking a successful arena football career in his native Iowa was as far as the dream might go. Then, in one stunning two-year period, he rose from Iowa Barnstormer to St. Louis Ram as ringleader of the "Greatest Show on Turf."

                    "St. Louis football was dog meat for so long," longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz said. "Then this mythical character out of a W.P. Kinsella novel walks out of the Iowa cornfields."

                    He won a Super Bowl that first season as a starter. He set team records. He was one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. And he was a good person, friendly almost to a fault, a sports hero fans could feel good about embracing.

                    Warner was going to be a Ram forever.

                    That he isn't now, "flabbergasts me a little bit," Warner
                    -05-14-2005, 06:25 AM