A New NFL Legacy is Born


Regardless of what happens in the Super Bowl two weeks from now, by getting the Cardinals there, Kurt Warner has earned himself one of the most unique NFL legacies ever.

Most of you readers of the Sports Frappe are pretty knowledgeable, so I won’t go through his entire story here. You know he came out of nowhere in 1999 as an undrafted, 28 year old third string quarterback to lead the hapless Rams franchise to two Super Bowl appearances and one championship.

You also know that before this season, he was considered washed up for at least the previous four years. He wasn’t even supposed to be the starter of the Cardinals, and yet today we can say he has taken one of the NFL’s worst franchises to their first ever Super Bowl.

The NFL world never gave him a chance to begin with, and then was quick to count him out when his career hit its first bump. Who else has risen to the top twice, in both of these circumstances? Through it all, by most accounts, he has remained a family man true to his convictions. He has thanked God for each victory, even jokingly apologizing for it yesterday.

I honestly don’t think we’ve seen a football player like him, and I doubt we will again.

It’s interesting to contrast Warner’s new legacy with the declining legacy of Brett Favre. I don’t want to pile on Favre at this point – he has taken a lot of abuse lately. Years from now, we will mostly remember Favre for his MVPs and gun slinger mentality, and selectively forget his recent Jets incarnation.

But for now, the fact is that he has damaged his own legacy. He put the team that loved him – the Packers – in an incredibly difficult position by renouncing his retirement. The trade to the Jets looked like a great match. The problem is that Favre acted the same way with the Jets that he did with the Packers – like an aloof old-timer who was somewhat above the rest of the team. This didn’t cause any problem with the Packers because Favre was the face of the franchise who outdated anyone and everyone who walked into that locker room. But with a new team, that doesn’t work, and Favre should have realized that before he requested a trade.

So as the season closed, we saw a fading Favre who looked old and broken – and worst of all, as the season ended with no playoffs, his teammates ripped him.

Other than being MVPs, Warner and Favre have little in common, and their legacies will show that to be true.

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