In many ways Super Bowl Sunday has become a national holiday. For millions of Americans –and that would include most of my family except for me–it’s the only professional football game they watch all year. Casual observers often focus on the comedic value of the incredibly expensive commercials and the halftime entertainment more than the game itself.
Yet even if you don’t care whether the Arizona Cardinals or Pittsburgh Steelers win on Sunday, you should know a little bit about Cardinals’ quarterback Kurt Warner. Warner already has a Super Bowl MVP to his name that he won with the St. Louis Rams. After leaving the Rams and a mediocre season with the New York Giants, Warner went to Arizona in hopes of reviving his career. The problem, however, is that up until this season Arizona has often been analogous to a football graveyard where careers of aging quarterbacks like the 37-year-old Warner end amid underperforming talent.
Without getting into all the statistics, Warner and some very talented receivers have advanced the Cardinals to the first Super Bowl in franchise history. Warner’s re-emergence has put his Christian faith in the spotlight. It’s a faith that Warner credits with helping him progress from working in a grocery store, to playing in the minor leagues of Arena Football, to the Rams and his resurgence with the Cardinals. Warner openly talks about his faith in interviews and its part of his personality his teammates generally respect, as outlined in a recent Arizona Republic article.
If the Cardinals win and Warner wins a second Super Bowl MVP, he will almost certainly get endorsement deals, but the Phoenix Business Journal reports they may be limited by his faith proclamations.
Whatever happens Sunday, Warner provides a different approach to a profession where self-aggrandizement is common. So in between munching on the nachos and enjoying Bruce Springsteen, keep in mind that Warner is playing for a different audience than the one in the stadium or the millions watching on TV.