As predicted two days ago, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner announced his retirement from the National Football League today. Kurt’s remarkable 12-year career (complete with one of the best stories in sports history) will, in my opinion, make him a first-ballot Hall of Famer in five years. He has two MVP trophies to his credit, plus three Super Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl title, and 32,344 career passing yards.
It was not the teary-eyed goodbye we’ve come to expect from other athletes. Rather, Kurt seemed very much at peace with his decision and convinced he had served his purpose playing football:
“It’s a bookend to my career that I wanted. The hardest thing would have been leaving the game not being able to show people what I could still bring to the table. That’s what these last three years have meant to me. These last three years helped me finish the story.”
Remember, Kurt resurrected his career when he came to Arizona five years ago. He was expected to be a mentor and backup to Matt Leinart (much as he was expected to do in New York for Eli Manning with the Giants), but he won the starting job and never gave it back. The past two seasons were two of the best in his career. So, while he doesn’t go out on top in terms of winning another Super Bowl title, he does go out on top by playing some of his best football and being one of the most respected men to ever play the game.