Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Super Bowl® for a Super Guy- The Real Kurt Warner

Like most people, I receive many emails every day about many different things. The truth is that there is just not enough time in a day to read them all. However, I recently received an email about Kurt Warner that I wanted to share with you. I found it very inspiring! Even for those who do not follow sports, you will love this story. Especially for those of you who do not follow sports, let me explain who Kurt Warner is. Kurt Warner, quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, has already one one Super Bowl with the St. Louis Rams in 2000 (to my great dismay, the other team in the Super Bowl that year was the Tennessee Titans, which is my team). I was sad that the Titans got beat that year, but I could not be more proud of the way Kurt Warner shared his faith as he was front and center on the world’s stage. Now all these years later, Kurt Warner is back in the Super Bowl this weekend with the Arizona Cardinals. He is such a strong Christian and such a great guy that I will definitely be pulling for him this weekend to win that Lombardi trophy. Please take the time to read his personal story. You will love it.
NFL quarterback Kurt Warner (now with the Arizona Cardinals) married the mother of two children, one of whom which had severe medical problems.

Kurt and Brenda met in 1992 at a country bar while he was Northern Iowa's starting quarterback. The next morning, Kurt brought Brenda roses and wanted to meet her youngsters.

She'd told Kurt about her children the night before, so there was no dramatic surprise when she introduced her disabled son.

The Warners' was a lengthy courtship. They married in 1997 after meeting in 1992.

Brenda (who is four years older than Kurt) had two children by a previous marriage. Zachary is three years older than his sister, Jesse Jo. Zachary Warner (born in 1989) does indeed have serious physical infirmities. He was a perfectly healthy infant, not a Down Syndrome child.
When he was four months old, his father dropped him, and in the blink of an eye, this previously healthy baby was suddenly clinging to life, his grip slipping fast. He suffered severe brain damage, and both of his retinas were ruptured. At the time, few thought Zachary would live, and fewer still held out any hope he would ever see, sit up, read, walk, or talk.

Zachary's recovery has been long and arduous, but he now walks and talks. Though still legally blind, he can make out colors and shapes. No longer strictly a special-needs student, he is integrated for half-days in a regular high school classroom.

Kurt adopted Zachary and Jesse after his wedding to Brenda in 1997. The Warners have since added five more children to their brood: Kade in 1998, Jada in 2001, Elijah in 2003, and twins Sienna and Sierra in 2005.

As for what sort of lad Zachary is and what kind of relationship he enjoys with his adoptive father, this anecdote should say it all: After the Rams victory in the NFC Championship game in 2000, 10-year-old Zachary presented Kurt with a homemade card done in Rams blue and gold. Inside, in childlike scrawl, it read: "You're as good a dad as you are a quarterback!" Zachary's birth dad could hardly be described in similar fashion. An inability to come to terms with the injuries he'd visited upon his son led to the breakup of his marriage to Brenda. He left her when she was eight months pregnant with Jesse.

The Warner’s have overcome incredible odds including all of the following:

·All the heartbreak Kurt endured trying to get into the NFL, and the many setbacks he had to weather along the way. So many of our gridiron heroes go in as highly touted draft picks it's sometimes hard to realize some take a tortuous path to the pigskin paradise of the NFL. Kurt presented as a free agent to the Green Bay Packers in 1994, was signed, and then cut by them that same year. In 1997 he had a tryout scheduled with the Chicago Bears which fell through when an injury sustained during his honeymoon rendered him hors de combat. (A venomous spider had bitten him on his throwing elbow.) He had to muck about in the Arena and European leagues before finally being taken on by the Rams in 1997 as their third-string quarterback. In 1999 he stepped in during the preseason in place of injured Trent Green and began almost immediately to rewrite Rams' history.

·Brenda's battle to make a life for herself and her two children after her first husband deserted her. This former Marine had to return to her parents' home when she was eight months pregnant with her second child and with a brain-damaged child already in tow. She completed her nursing training during this period, getting by with the help of food stamps and student loans.

·The death of Brenda's parents in Mountain View, Arkansas, in a tornado in 1996. They'd retired there just a year earlier. Kurt's embracing of Christianity in 1996. (Although he was raised a Catholic, he dates his spiritual awakening to those dark days in the wake of the deaths of Brenda's parents.)
·Kurt's throwing for a record 414 yards in his 23-16 Super Bowl XXXIV victory over the Tennessee Titans and being named that contest's Most Valuable Player. This new mark topped the previous record of 357 yards set by San Francisco's Joe Montana in Super Bowl XXIII and capped an astounding 4,353-yard, 41-touchdown regular season that won him league MVP honors.
As you can see, falling in love with and then marrying a gal who had two children, one of them a special needs child, was just part of this most remarkable story. In Super Bowl XXXVI, Kurt Warner led the St. Louis Rams in their quest for another victory; although they came up just short, Warner was already the stuff of legends. Deservedly.

Barbara "it's a warner-ful life" Mikkelson

I hope this blesses you as much as it blessed me!! Would love to hear your comments, even if you are a Steelers fan – ha!!



mberenis said...
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Ali Davis said...

i actually AM a steeler's fan, LOL (i was born outside of pittsburgh), but this story touched my heart... kurt and brenda went through SO much in their lives, and could have given up on God, but they DIDN'T. God has provided for them, and it's proof that God rewards those who diligently seek Him!