Who is Kurt Warner?



Kurt Warner is the host of the new original reality series THE MOMENT, which premieres April 11, 2013.

While the football narrative of NFL quarterback Kurt Warner reads like a rags-to-riches Hollywood script, it is the story of a man filled with dignity, class and undeniable faith that captured the imagination of the sports world and beyond.  Warner continually beat the odds to quarterback two perennial doormat franchises to the Super Bowl and etched his name in the NFL record books along the way.

The first chapter of Warner’s tale was written in 1999 when he defied logic by emerging from obscurity to lead the St. Louis Rams to a victory in Super Bowl XXXIV.  In that same year, Warner was named the NFL and Super Bowl Most Valuable Player and stood out as the spiritual leader of the Championship team.   For the next two years Kurt continued to be a dominant force in the NFL as the ringleader of what became known as the “Greatest Show on Turf.”  He led the Rams to two additional playoff appearances – including another Super Bowl – and received Pro Bowl honors for three consecutive years (1999-2001).  He also was one of a few NFL players to be recognized with two NFL MVP awards, receiving his second after the 2001 season.

After suffering from injuries and watching from the sideline, Warner was released by the Rams in 2004 and signed a one year contract with the New York Giants.  In March 2005, he was signed by the Arizona Cardinals where most football experts expected him to unceremoniously end his career.  In 2007, the veteran signal caller battled through an elbow injury to begin his renaissance with a passer rating of 89.9.  In 2008, he led the Cardinals to their first ever Super Bowl berth, was voted to his fourth Pro Bowl, and surpassed several Cardinals’ franchise records including touchdowns, attempts, completions, completion percentage and passer rating.

Arguably at his best in the postseason, Warner earned several NFL career postseason records (passing yards per game, career completion percentage, yards per attempt).  Warner holds the second most career passing yards in a Super Bowl with 1,156 and notched the top three passing performances in Super Bowl history.

After a 12-year career, Warner retired from the NFL following the 2009 season with a performance that continued to establish his name in the record books.  His post-NFL career has proved anything but relaxing as he continues to impress with his football knowledge in broadcasting with the NFL Network and also a brief stint at Fox Sports.  Warner’s inspiring perspective on life captivates crowds as a motivational speaker and in 2010 he joined the cast of TV’s hottest show, Dancing with the Stars – Season 11, where he placed a respectable 5th thanks to his charm, charisma, competitive spirit, and growing fan base. In the winter of 2013, Kurt will host a new original reality series THE MOMENT on USA Network.

Kurt Warner has reached the pinnacle of success on the field. But, his gridiron accomplishments pale in comparison to the dedication he devotes to the community. In 2001, Kurt and his wife Brenda established the First Things First Foundation, a non-profit public charity dedicated to impacting lives by promoting Christian values, sharing experiences and providing opportunities to encourage everyone that all things are possible when people seek to put first things first.

First Things First has compiled an impressive philanthropic resume blessing countless children and families through the diverse programs of the foundation. A small sampling of First Things First’s outreach includes: hosting annual week-long trips to Disney World for children suffering from serious illnesses and their families; rewarding hard-working single mothers who achieve the dream of homeownership; raising over $875,000 for rebuilding efforts after the 2008 Midwest floods; collecting and distributing more than 150,000 coats from an annual coat drive in greater St. Louis; stuffing and personally delivering more than 80 stockings for a Christmas Day surprise for foster children, including the delivery of 10 tons of snow to the foster agency to build snowmen and enjoy a traditional snowball fight; providing Mission: Possible! Scholarships to youth groups doing service-based mission trips; and fostering an attitude of inclusion for children and adults with special needs thru the CHEER program. (www.kurtwarner.org)

Some of Warner’s more recent accolades include the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year, The Good Guy Award from the Pro Football Writers Association, USA WEEKEND’s Most Caring Athlete, ABC World News Person of the Week, Forbes Magazine-America’s Most-Like Sports Figure, Sports Illustrated-Best Role Model, and the Bart Starr Award.

Kurt Warner lives in Arizona with his wife Brenda and seven children Zachary, Jesse Jo, Kade, Jada Jo, Elijah, and twins Sienna and Sierra.

This post is part of a sponsored promotion with USA Network to highlight The Moment. 

Interview: Kurt Warner on ‘The Moment’ (Premieres TONIGHT!)

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.