Former Super Bowl MVP Kurt Warner talks about faith, football and reality TV show
One thing faith always did for me is it gave me perspective that, yeah, I was to maximize my gift and talents in the area of football, but it was always a means to glorify God and represent God.
Who around you helped you live your faith?
My wife (Brenda) was definitely there. I had teammates and pastors. A big part for me was when I was on that Super Bowl podium (in 2000) and professed my faith in Jesus. That was probably the biggest moment in my faith life because in front of millions of people — hundreds of millions — you let people know what you stand for.
More importantly, you let people know who you’re representing in your life. And that was a continuing moment or nugget that stayed in the back of my mind since and has since 1999, 2000.
I often think about that moment of profession and how everything that I do from that point forward, everything that I’ve done in football, or now, in the limelight, is representative of Jesus. If I mess up, it’s not just my name and it’s not just my family, I’m messing something up for Jesus and I’m misrepresenting Jesus.
That was probably one of the biggest mentoring moments — and it wasn’t a person — for me because my faith took on a whole different realm in regards to saying it in front of so many people. It influenced my life probably as much as anything in the last 15 years or so.
You talk about the arc of having and chasing a dream. Is there a time when it’s no longer practical to chase a dream? How do you ride that line?
I do believe that one of the misconceptions out there with people is that, “Man, if I get to a certain stage, or it doesn’t happen for me by this time, you know, I’m just going to have to give up.” Hopefully that’s one of the things we can help squash in our TV show ("The Moment"). I don’t think there’s a shelf life on talents and gifts.
Maybe if you’re a sports person you can’t play when you’re 40, but maybe you can get into coaching and use those same gifts and talents. For the most part, there isn’t necessarily a time frame in which to chase your dream or accomplish great things.
My situation is a perfect example. By all standards 28 isn’t old, but by NFL standards you’re talking about most guys retiring before they’re 35. To start your career and get your first start at 28, by all means that’s too late, in most people’s book. That’s another example of how my story can resonate with people.
Is there anything else you’d like to get out there?
I think the one thing I always want to address is that a lot of people are going to sit at home and go, “Well, maybe I could make my dream happen too if Kurt Warner knocked on my door and gave me the opportunity.”
Well, my hope with ("The Moment") is that the show in and of itself is a knock on the door of everybody watching. It’s a way to kind of hit them in the face and go, “Okay, what are you doing with your life? Are you just sitting around waiting for somebody to just drop it in your lap, or are you pursuing it?"
That’s one of the things I find out with the show is that everybody still has it in the back of their mind, but they’re not taking any steps toward pursuing it.
Yes, we come in and give them that foot in the door, but I think that 90 percent of dreams happen based on people keeping them alive and continuing to move toward that dream even if it can’t be their primary thing.
For instance, me working in a grocery store and having to do those things to make ends meet, but still making sure everyday that I get my workout in, making sure I’m staying around the football field, and sending out tapes and doing things to continue to pursue my dream even though it can’t be my primary focus because I have other responsibilities.
That’s how I accomplished it. I never had somebody just pull me out at the end of the day and say, “We’re going to give you an opportunity.” It was continually walking step by step towards it, forcing an opportunity or waiting for it to present itself, and then I was ready to jump in with two feet and make it happen.
Note: "The Moment" premieres on USA Network in April
David Ward is a writer living in Salt Lake City. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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