Kurt Warner has proven the liberal sports media wrong yet again. The sports media in general, such as the ESPN gang, don’t seem to get it right very often. In cases such as Kurt Warner, some seem to have tried to ignore him altogether. The likes of ESPN have revealed their political slant or at the very least their buckling to political correctness.
Remember when ESPN had Rush Limbaugh on there as part of their Sunday NFL Countdown team? Nobody even blinked the day Limbaugh said Donovan McNabb was overrated, but a day or two later they began condemning him for being a racist for such remarks. Since then McNabb has gotten more positive publicity from the liberal gang at ESPN than anyone of his better than average results could ever dream of. That’s not a knock against Donovan McNabb. He is a talented player. Then again, there are a lot of talented players who have been largely ignored, if not undermined by the sports media.
When McNabb had a bad game there was every excuse possible made for him. When Warner would have one they were questioning loudly whether a quarterback change should be made. In Monday night’s game against the Rams, the announcers were very positive for Warner. They praised him and questioned why how he could have been written off so much the last 5 years. Then it was mentioned how he had some trouble holding onto the football at times. Well, when you don’t have pass protection bad things will happen. Warner also has played through some tough injuries. Again, some get the benefit of the doubt and some don’t.
Probably the biggest strike against Kurt Warner has been his faith. You will be hard pressed to see an interview with him that lasts 2 minutes without him crediting God for his success. That is too much faith for the media – even the sports media. When Kurt Warner’s wife complained about his treatment on a radio show, she was ridiculed worse than Sarah Palin for speaking out. Strange how some people can get away with that stuff over and over.
I can’t help but wonder if the relentless pressure from the sports media contributed to his getting benched by 3 different teams in the middle of a prolific career in favor of the “up and coming” quarterback. Isn’t winning still the objective in the NFL? Even in sports, if you beat the drums long and loud enough, it seems those in charge can succumb to the pressure. In the case of Kurt Warner it has been to the detriment of most of those decision makers.
Kurt Warner has had an incredible career. He hasn’t gotten the benefit of the doubt anywhere near what he has deserved. He has 2 MVP’s and a Super Bowl Championship with a team that was given no chance of victory before the season started. He has this year’s team performing far beyond expectations. Those are accomplishments that a lot of great quarterbacks cannot boast of. But what of his numbers?
His numbers are beginning to reach a level that legends are made of. He is dueling Peyton Manning for the 2nd highest NFL passer rating of all-time. He has the highest completion percentage in NFL history. He is 5th on the list of all-time career 300 yard games. In fact, he has hit 300 yards in 45% of his career games. The next closest competitor on that list would be Dan Fouts with28%. Third on that list is Peyton Manning with 26%. Those numbers are beyond impressive. They are staggering.
Even Kurt Warner’s path to the NFL was the hard way. He played college ball for Northern Iowa. Not given a chance by the Green Bay Packers, he was cut. He then played in the Arena football league and in Europe. He even stocked grocery shelves sometime in the middle of that to make ends meet. Instead of being one of the most underrated players in sports history, he should be pointed at again and again as a true American success story. It truly is a legendary run.
I don’t underestimate the media’s ability to keep a good man down, but someday Kurt Warner will be in the Hall of Fame. He has been largely made an invisible man by the sports media, but his impressive accomplishments will simply be too great to ignore forever.