I went to the movies yesterday to watch a flick, something I don’t do often but decided why not. The opportunity presented itself and I thought sure. The film I went to see was called ‘American Underdog’ which is a film about the life, struggles and journey of Kurt Warner. A seasoned NFL quarterback, Super bowl MVP and so much more.
Going into the theatre I didn’t know much about Kurt Warner other than he was a pretty damn good quarterback when he played on the St. Louis Rams in the early 2000’s, and that he had won a Super bowl. Beyond that, I wasn’t too aware of his life story or his roots. The film? Exceptional. I highly recommend seeing it while it is still in theatres. It’s very inspirational and based off a true story. Worth seeing for sure.
Kurt was born and raised in Iowa. A midwestern boy. He watched Joe Montana (a legendary NFL quarterback) on television as a kid and spent many hours throwing a football in the yard visualizing his success as a quarterback in the NFL one day. He became a very good football player in high school and college and went on to play for the University of Northern Iowa and had a great career in college.
After college his hopes were high to be drafted into the NFL. Unfortunately that did not take place. Around this time he met Brenda, his future wife. He fell in love with Brenda and her two children, one of which, Zachary was legally blind. Kurt struggled to provide for Brenda and her children as they were now living together. He began bagging groceries at Hy-Vee for just $5.50 an hour. During this time, around 1997 his faith in God began to grow and his love and dedication for Brenda and her children also grew during this time.
During this time he had a lot of struggles. Brenda was going to school and he stocked shelves and took graveyard shifts to support her and her children through this time. He had points in time when bills were not paid and even had to hike miles in negative temperatures to fill a gas can because the car with Brenda and their two children ran out of gas one time. After all of the struggle he found a way out.
Warner was recruited into the AFL. The Arena football league, not quite his dream in the NFL and something he saw as a circus at first, but it paid quite a bit better than his job stocking shelves. He had a salary and began to show his football talent on the field. After scoring his first touchdown in the AFL league the owner of the team gave him a $100 bill. Kurt looked at the coach and said what’s this, the owner said ‘it’s a part of your contract, do you read?’ – Kurt had no idea that his salary had a base but also incentives such as a $100 bonus for each touchdown scored.
Kurt said “You pay me per touchdown”?
To which the owner replied “I also pay you to win!”
Warner responds “Oh, this is going to be fun!”
With this new insight and determination to take care of the love of his life and his children he went on to absolutely dominate in the AFL. He went on to score 183 touchdowns in the AFL which got the attention of the St. Louis Rams. One day after losing the AFL championship by a single yard the Rams representative came up to him after the game and told him he’d like to see him in St. Louis. He was later recognized in the AFL hall of fame.
After training camp and the starting quarterback on the Rams was injured Kurt Warner finally had his shot to prove himself in the NFL. The league he had dreamed of performing and playing in since he was a little boy.
His wife Brenda, their children and all of Iowa was rooting for him. He came out strong and had a drive all the way down to the 30 or so on the Baltimore Ravens and then threw an interception to Ray Lewis, on the Ravens, the opposing team. He came back to the sidelines crushed and defeated and his teammates told him don’t worry about it, brush it off. You got the next one. He came back out to deliver and win the game for the Rams despite several turnovers.
After retiring from the NFL Kurt & Brenda Warner created the Treasure House in Arizona to support families and kids with disabilities and physical challenges. He also works with other non-profits that benefit the community. Its good to see someone who has gotten wealth and fame put it to good use. This is why we have to support people like him as a society. Watch his film in theatres, pickup a copy of his book ‘All Things Possible’ on amazon here. Support the treasure house at TreasureHouse.org, or support first things first, another non-profit that pays for dozens of children to attend Disney world each year. His
Watch the video here to learn more about the treasure house living community in Arizona.
“We don’t all get to choose the nature or substance of our moments. But what we do get to choose is what we do with those moments.”
– Kurt Warner, 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame Speech
You can pickup a copy of Kurt Warner’s book ‘All Things Possible’ on amazon here.