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Kurt Warner finds the secret to success

By Kirk Noonan

The trek to starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams was not an easy one for Kurt Warner. In 1994, he was an undrafted Division I-AA collegiate quarterback with only one year as a starter for experience. As a free agent, he tried out for the Green Bay Packers, but was cut.

To make ends meet, he worked as a grocery clerk until the Iowa Barnstormers, an Arena Football League team, offered him a spot on their roster.

"After I got released [by Green Bay], it taught me that there was more to life than just football," Warner told CNN/Sports Illustrated.

In the years following his dismissal from the Packers, Warner played three seasons for the Barnstormers, got married, adopted two children and accepted Christ as his personal Savior — things that prepared him for success in the NFL and especially in life.

His big NFL break came when the Rams sent him to the Amsterdam Admirals of NFL Europe. There he held Bible studies for his teammates and played well enough to be offered a contract with the Rams in 1998.

A season later, starting quarterback Trent Green was injured and Warner became the starter. He was an instant sensation passing for 14 TDs in his first four games — an NFL record.

At a recent Billy Graham crusade in St. Louis, Mo., Warner spoke of his relationship with Christ.

"I know you guys are not here because I can throw touchdown passes or because I can win football games," he told the crowd of 40,000. "You guys are here to hear me talk about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

Though Warner worked hard and sacrificed much to get to the NFL, he takes no credit for his sudden success or stardom.

"There is just one secret to all my success," he said, "Jesus Christ."

Kirk Noonan is staff writer for the Pentecostal Evangel.


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