Kurt Warner (born 1971) is a former quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, and Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He was originally signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent in 1994, but was cut before the season began. Following this, he worked the night shift at a Hy-Vee grocery store and concurrently served as an assistant coach for his old college, the University of Northern Iowa, during the day.
Warner still dreamed of playing football and was able to join the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League in 1995 and played there for three seasons, guiding the team to two Arena Bowl appearances—the only two in team history. In 1998, he played a season for the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe before making the final cut with the St. Louis Rams. He was a backup that season and in the 1999 preseason, until the starter, Trent Green, got hurt. Warner then came in and played phenomenally, winning the 1999 league MVP and leading the Rams to a 23-16 Super Bowl XXXIV win over the Tennessee Titans, winning game MVP honors in the process. He won another league MVP in 2001 and led the Rams back to the Super Bowl, only to be upset 20-17 by the New England Patriots.
After suffering a hand injury the following year, Warner was sidelined and eventually lost his starting spot. In 2004 he was released and signed with the New York Giants. Warner got off to 5-4 start but lost the starting job to rookie and number one draft pick Eli Manning. Warner played backup for the remainder of the year. In 2005, he signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
The Warner-led Cardinals won the 2008 NFC Championship but lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII by a score of 27-23. Warner played one more season, leading the Cardinals to a second consecutive NFC West title, before retiring from football in January, 2010.
Warner is one of only three quarterbacks to accomplish a perfect NFL passer rating three times (the others are Peyton Manning, who actually did it four times if playoffs are counted, and Ben Roethlisberger). Warner holds the record for most passing yards in a Super Bowl (414 yards in Super Bowl XXXIV). In his other two Super Bowl appearances, Warner recorded the 2nd-most and 3rd-most passing yards in Super Bowl history. Warner has a perfect record in NFL home playoff games (7-0), and is similarly unblemished in Conference Championship games (3-0). He has the remarkable distinction of leading his team to the Super Bowl every single time he has started all of his team's games.
Kurt and his wife Brenda, whom he married in 1997, are evangelical and charismatic Christians and have 5 children together, one of whom is autistic. Warner adopted his wife's two children from a previous marriage at the time they were joined.
- Kurt and Brenda Warner: Putting First Things First, 700 Club video interview