January 29, 2010

Kurt Warner Announces Retirement: Less than two weeks after the Arizona Cardinals' season-ending playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints, Kurt Warner announced his retirement from football with a year left on a $23 million, two-year contract. Warner, now 38, only started his first NFL game 10 years ago -- leaving behind a fruitful career as a grocery store stocker in Iowa. He finishes with 32,344 yards passing, 208 touchdowns, the second-most 300-yard passing games and a victory over the Tennessee Titans in Super Bowl 0x22.

posted by rcade to football at 04:29 PM - 26 comments

I really dig Wagner. I saw him speak live at one point and he came across as a put-together kind of guy. I wish him the best in his retirement.

posted by Joey Michaels at 04:28 PM on January 29

Warner put up pretty impressive stats considering he only started 124 regular season games! 32,344 yards and 208 touchdowns is an average of 260 yards and 1.67 TDs per game.

After getting the Cardinals to the playoffs again (woe my poor 49ers) I'm surprised he's not coming back/leaving $11+ mill on the table.

posted by billsaysthis at 04:30 PM on January 29

Kurt Warner is the type of guy who its hard not to root for him. I wish him well in whatever he does next, I'm sure he'll succeed in that also.

posted by sgtcookzane at 06:26 PM on January 29

I am glad that Warner is retiring. His destruction of the Seahawks was getting depressing. And I didn't need anything more to be depressed about in regards to the Seahaven'ts.

Warner is such a classy dude and seems like a real decent human being that I felt like a total schmuck hating on him and rooting for his failure all the time. But that's what you get when you are in the same division.

posted by THX-1138 at 06:34 PM on January 29

Football, and sports in general, could use a few more guys like Kurt Warner. Great person with values and his head on straight. The fact he threw the nicest passes I've ever seen in pro football is almost secondary. I'm sure Larry Fitzgerald is mourning Warner's retirement more than anyone else. He has said Warner spoils receivers because the balls he throws are practically always in the perfect spot to make a catch. I'd love to see him in the Hall of Fame, not only for his football feats but for his story, too. Coming out of practically nowhere to having a career like he did? Amazing. Best wishes in your retirement, Kurt. I'm sure you're true calling is yet to be reached.

posted by dyams at 07:14 PM on January 29

I enjoyed Kurt Warner's play and will miss him as a professional athlete. He spent his career living his values

posted by yzelda4045 at 08:29 PM on January 29

If he's not in the Hall of Fame, I think they oughta burn it to the ground. Heathens!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 08:44 PM on January 29

I really like Warner as well. Since he says he is retired I hope he doesn't tarnish his image by pulling a Favre on us.

posted by twgibsr at 09:47 PM on January 29

Yup - definitely the wrong QB retired.

There were signs. He nearly retired last year, but gave it one more shot. Sad to see his last game being a lopsided loss. Warner led teams were always over achievers and was hoping we might get the same this year.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:00 PM on January 29

He really is an amazing story. That said, I won't miss his thanking jesus for winning football games. I thought he put too much pressure on the guy.


posted by justgary at 11:46 PM on January 29

Good man, he should get into the Hall shortly after he becomes eligible.

posted by FonGu at 07:41 AM on January 30

Oh no! What will we do without the constant shots of Brenda Warner during a game?

posted by NoMich at 11:00 AM on January 30

Ah man! I just loved the Warner to Fitzgerald combo. I will miss those beautiful arching passes Kurt would throw to Fitzgerald.

And yeah, Weedy, if he isn't inducted on his first year of eligibility, something is wrong.

Warner is such a classy dude ...Best wishes to Kurt and all his future endeavors.

posted by steelergirl at 03:33 PM on January 30

Ack! I meant to add after the classy dude quote yes, yes he is. I know someone (great season aside) who could take a page from Warner's book. But once again my HTML skills cause me to crash and burn. sigh...

posted by steelergirl at 03:37 PM on January 30

Is 125 games (101 starts) enough to get into the HOF? He only had 6 seasons where he started 10 or more games.

Based on the shape and quality of his career, pro-football-reference.com says that he is most similar* to:

Daunte Culpepper, Jeff Garcia, Trent Green, Rich Gannon, Bert Jones, Jim Zorn, Greg Landry, Drew Brees, Joe Theismann, Jake Plummer

There isn't a HOF QB in that list.

This is why most HOF wait a specific period of time before voting in a player. There is a quick rush to praise a nice guy who is retiring, but time will give most voters the opportunity to judge properly.

I like Warner a lot, but I don't see a real solid HOF candidate here, never mind a 1st ballot one.

posted by grum@work at 04:52 PM on January 30

Yeah, Warner's consistency is a problem for the HOF. When he is good, he is very good. I just don't know if he was very good for enough seasons. Given the other HOF QBs who have played at the same time as him (Brady, Favre, Manning, etc.), maybe he shouldn't make it.

posted by bperk at 05:17 PM on January 30

Well he has the 6th highest career passer rating of all time. Higher than Montana, Favre, Brady, Marino and a host of other Hall of Famers (or soon to be).

Also - he is the highest rated QB in the history of the Superbowl, and has the top two passing yard days to boot.

It's not like I'm completely out on a limb here. This is a two time MVP with some credentials.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:44 PM on January 30

Greatest player to ever come out of the University of Northern Iowa, which I proudly attend. Mucho props.

posted by boredom_08 at 07:20 PM on January 30

It's not like I'm completely out on a limb here. This is a two time MVP with some credentials.

I'm with you, Weedy. Thought not necessarily 1st ballot. In addition to the two MVP's there's also the Super Bowl MVP in 99 and the second highest completion percentage in NFL history.

There is that hole in the middle of his career. But it's bookended by two periods of excellence. He helped transform two bad teams into super bowl teams. And his rags to riches story and his class doesn't hurt one bit.

I wasn't a big fan of the religious stuff either, but it seemed to be way toned down in his later years.

posted by cjets at 08:39 PM on January 30

Is 125 games (101 starts) enough to get into the HOF?

Gale Sayers only played 68 games in his Hall of Fame career. Sure, injuries made him retire, but who's to say if Warner hadn't taken the kind of beatings he did from today's blitzing defenses that he wouldn't have played longer? Between his stats and his story, the guy should be in Canton.

posted by dyams at 11:14 PM on January 30

Gale Sayers only played 68 games in his Hall of Fame career. Sure, injuries made him retire, but who's to say if Warner hadn't taken the kind of beatings he did from today's blitzing defenses that he wouldn't have played longer? Between his stats and his story, the guy should be in Canton.

Hey, I like Gale Sayers.
Gale Sayers is a great running back.

But he put in only 3.6 seasons (plus two cups of coffee) in the NFL.
There is no way that small of a career should be in the HOF.

Ricky Williams has a longer career, even with his two years out of the NFL, and probably has a better claim than Sayers.

Baseball has a minimum standard for getting on the ballot (10 seasons).
I'm thinking that the NFL should have one too.

posted by grum@work at 12:10 AM on January 31

Warner took the Cardinals to the Superbowl, then almost repeated that feat. The Cardinals. Superbowl. That should be enough to get anyone into the hall of fame discussion.

posted by fabulon7 at 11:26 AM on January 31

If he's not in the Hall of Fame, I think they oughta burn it to the ground. Heathens!

They ought to just digitize all the exhibits (in James Cameron 3-D or similar) and burn the building down anyway.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:04 PM on January 31

Hell, I really hated the evangelicalism and can't-stop-with-the-Jesus, but his play speaks for itself. One of the best I saw play - and at his best in big games.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:23 PM on January 31

Yeah, the Jesus stuff gets overplayed with athletes, and like is always said, does Jesus really care who wins a football game? But at least with Warner you know, beyond a doubt (I hope!), he lives his life based on his faith.

posted by dyams at 07:16 PM on January 31

Is 125 games (101 starts) enough to get into the HOF?

I don't see why it wouldn't when you consider all that he's done in his NFL career.

*Highest completion percentage in a single game (regular season) - 92.3% (24/26) (9/20/09)

*Most Yards Passing, Super Bowl (Game) - 414 yards vs. Tennessee Titans (only QB to pass for 400+ yards in the Super Bowl; also owns 2nd and 3rd highest yardage total in Super Bowl with 377 against the Pittsburgh Steelers and 365 against the New England Patriots).

*Most Yards Passing, Super Bowl (Career) - 1,156

*Most Yards Passing, Playoffs (Single Season) - 1,147 (in 2009).

*Most touchdown passes in a single postseason - 11 (in 2009, tied w/Joe Montana, who did it in 1990).

*Highest career completion percentage, Playoffs - 66.5%

*Highest rate of games w/300+ yards passing (min. 100 games played) - 41.9% (52/124)

*Most Yards Passing in the first two games of a season (2000)

*Most Consecutive Games w/300+ Yards Passing - 6 (tied w/ Steve Young and Rich Gannon)

*Most Games with a perfect Passer Rating, Career (regular season only) - 3 (tied w/Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger)

*Only NFL quarterback to throw 40 touchdowns and win a Super Bowl in the same season (1999).

*Only quarterback to throw for over 14,000 yards with two different teams (St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals)

*One of only 2 players in NFL history to throw 100 touchdown passes with two different teams (Fran Tarkenton is the other)

*Tied Dan Marino as the fastest player to pass for 30,000 yards. He accomplished this in 114 games.

*Tied Johnny Unitas with 4 consecutive games with a passer rating over 120 (against Brett Favre and the 10-1 Vikings on 12/6/2009)

*Only Quarterback never to be shutout in a game
Highest average passing yards per game on Monday Night Football - 329.4 (min 7 games)

*Tied Daryle Lamonica with throwing 5 touchdown passes in two different playoff games.

*Warner is the second quarterback to make Super Bowl starts with two different teams joining Craig Morton (1970 Dallas Cowboys and 1977 Denver Broncos). He also became the third quarterback in NFL history to win a conference championship with two different teams, following Craig Morton and Earl Morrall.

*Warner is the only starting quarterback in the history of the NFL to win 2 NFL Championship games in a DOME Stadium in two different cities. In 2001, hosted in St. Louis against Philadelphia, Rams win 29-24, and 2008 hosted in Phoenix against Philadelphia, Cardinals win 32-25.

Warner also retired ranking second in several categories:

*2nd Highest Average Passing Yards Per Game, Career (Min. 100 games) - 260.4 yards/game (Peyton Manning is first)

*2nd Highest career passer rating, Playoffs - 102.8 (Bart Starr is first)

*2nd oldest quarterback to throw for 30 touchdowns in a season - Aged 37 in 2008 (Brett Favre is the oldest, aged 40 in 2009)

posted by BornIcon at 11:32 AM on February 05

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