Warner has the tools -- and ride -- to carry Cardinals
Posted: Thursday August 17, 2006 11:23AM; Updated: Thursday August 17, 2006 8:57PM
Kurt Warner now has an arsenal of offensive weapons like he did when he led the Rams to two Super Bowl appearances.
Submit a comment or question for Michael.
When Kurt Warner utters the words "Pimp my ride," do you: a) break out laughing; b) search for hidden cameras; or c) take a boxy Ford van and turn it into a tricked-out vehicle that will seat the Arizona Cardinals quarterback's family of nine, complete with rims, tinted windows and iPod ports?
The answer, when you are the folks at West Coast Customs -- the company featured in the brilliantly named MTV show featuring some of the world's most accessorized automobiles -- is definitely "c" and probably all of the above.
That's what happens when the guy with the ride in question is a deeply religious Christian who, when he's not at work, seldom goes anywhere without his ever-growing family. Which is how Warner ended up with "the Blueberry," and how it came to pass that last Saturday night, a few hours after the two-time MVP's pinpoint performance in Arizona's 21-13 preseason victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at sparkling new Cardinals Stadium, he would choose those same, magic words -- "Pimp my ride" -- while proudly displaying a driving machine that could eat Arnold Schwarzenegger's Hummer for breakfast.
"Check out this TV that pops down," Warner was telling me in the driveway of his Paradise Valley home, a bountiful abode formerly owned by ex-MLB All-Star Roberto Alomar, as darkness overtook the desert sky. "And this sound system is really ... out of sight."
OK, he didn't really say "out of sight." But you have to admit, it sounds pretty plausible from a guy who has about as much chance of ending up at hipster Scottsdale clubs like the Pussycat Lounge (as his then-unsigned backup, Matt Leinart, would conspicuously do that very night) as Paris Hilton does of spending a Saturday night in church.
"When I told Kurt I was pregnant with twins," Warner's wife, Brenda, said, "his first reaction was, 'How are we going to get a vehicle that fits the whole family?' Not, 'Congratulations,' or 'How do you feel, honey?' It was all about the ride."
The Warners' ride has been as improbable as any in the history of pro football, a statement I can make with more authority than most. As the co-author of Kurt's 2000 book, All Things Possible, I got to know this supermarket stock boy turned Super Bowl hero exceptionally well.
He truly is one of the nicest people I've ever met -- this is a man who, according to his wife, is unwilling to recline in his airplane seat because he doesn't want to deprive the passenger behind him of precious space -- yet he is staunchly principled and fiercely competitive. And right now, at 35, he is in an incredibly good space, largely because he believes that he and the Cardinals are on the verge of something fantastic.