It was hard not to get caught up in the excitement in 1999 when an unknown named Kurt Warner came from obscurity to lead the St. Louis Rams to win the Superbowl.
His story, now well-known, electrified our household: A star of the Arena football league, which we all knew to be for those who couldn’t make it in the NFL, he was stocking shelves at the local grocery store to support his family when he was signed to the Rams. Unexpectedly, a spot opened for him due to injuries in the string of quarterbacks above him. He took the spot of quarterback, surprised everyone by winning, and further astounded everyone by leading his team to a Superbowl victory.
He had a second chance at his dream.
I talked to Kurt recently. He hosts the reality show “The Moment,” premiering on the USA Network tonight, in which people are given a shot at pursuing the dream that eluded them.
When you got the call saying we want you to come play in the NFL, how did that feel?
There was relief, there as excitement, there was nervousness. And the knowledge that after all the perseverance, after all the hoping and wishing, it was up to me to show everybody that I could make something of this second chance.
I knew that opportunity, because somebody gave me a chance, didn’t mean I was guaranteed anything. On this show, we’re not giving anybody anything other than an opportunity. We’re giving them a chance to chase their dream. When I personally was given that chance, I knew it was up to me.
You’ve always been vocal about your faith. I’d love to hear about a time when God really met you.
I became a Christian at about 26 years old as I was going through the process of playing Arena football and trying to get back into the NFL and pursue my dream. About six months after I became a Christian, I had to leave my family for four months and go to Amsterdam [to play for a Rams affiliated team in the NFL Europe league].
Of all places.
After six months of being a Christian to go that city.
It was really the first time for me to be on my own, from a faith standpoint. My wife had been a Christian since twelve years old. I’d had friends who were really able to give me direction. And then He throws me into Amsterdam.
To go to church there, I had to walk through a red light district. I remember feeling like, Ok, this was the first time I couldn’t do it on my own. As a man, as a football player, you’re kind of like, “ok, what part of this can I control? And God can kind of do the rest.”
This was the first time where I’m like, “Ok, this is going to be impossible. How am I going to get to church on Sundays? How am I going to lead the guys?” And I saw Him show up over and over again. I was able to connect with a friend, he later became a pastor. I was able to lead a Bible study with half the guys from my team. And really became able to testify to people with my faith. And the only reason was because I fully trusted God to take over.
Kurt’s enthusiasm about giving people a second chance to work hard and chase a dream comes through loud and clear. The show is inspiring and fun for the entire family. I encourage you to tune in.