In an exclusive interview with 2-time NFL MVP Kurt Warner, the former quarterback shares the secret behind the rejuvenation of his career and the one quality he thinks isn't weighed heavily enough in professional football.
Excerpts from Townhall Magazine's EXCLUSIVE October feature "The Man You Can't Root Against":
Quarterback Kurt Warner left the NFL a winner. But his idea of his legacy runs much deeper than that.
"I don't think there's too many people, if any, that see me in any kind of a negative light," he tells Townhall in a conversation about his career as a Christian athlete in the NFL. "They saw a consistency, and they saw a lifestyle that stayed the same regardless of how bumpy my road was, and I think that's one of the greatest parts of my legacy is that people go to witness me living a Christian life."
Warner credits his Christianity for his ability to handle the humility and bumps doled out to him with grace -- and for carrying him back to the top: "It's amazing how He [God] continued to regenerate my career and restore my career and restore my name," Warner says.
"It would have been easy, and it was the natural thing, where it was like, 'Man, I want to stand up and shout that this isn't true, this isn't the way it should be, this isn't fair,'" Warner remembers of the challenges faced during his career. "But I just truly believe, just like in the process of getting me to the NFL, that God had it covered and that my job was to continually represent Him the way He wanted to be represented." ...
So how do you get more Warners -- guys whose strong character enables them to maximize their talent -- and fewer fade-outs?
Warner thinks character isn't weighed heavily enough in professional football. The idea of character will get lip service from pundits and analysts, but it tends to fall by the wayside when held up against fancy stats and athletic ability and highlight reels.
"I think unfortunately in our culture, we get so hung up on talent, and we get so hung up on stats, and we get so hung up on the tangible things that are a big part of our game, that we allow that to outweigh character too often," Warner says. "I look at it the opposite way, that I believe that ... I didn't have everything that you ask a professional athlete to have, but I think I more than made up for that lack of talent with character ... [with] the ability to bring teammates to a higher level." ...
Warner is confident, though, that there are several great young leaders -- many of them current quarterbacks -- who can carry the character torch. In fact, he said that's one of the reasons he felt so comfortable retiring when he did.
Read more of Townhall's interview with Kurt Warner in the October issue of Townhall Magazine, including:
- -- how Warner gave Christianity the highest profile possible in the NFL
- -- his roller coaster career
- -- his thoughts on Christianity's status in the NFL
- -- the player he feels made being a Christian football player "cool"