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Modest superstar

Rams' Warner still not impressed by his Super success

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Posted: Saturday February 05, 2000 10:43 PM

  Kurt Warner Rams quarterback Kurt Warner on his unlikely season: "Everybody looks at it from the outside and sees it as this big story... to me, it's just how it is." AP

HONOLULU (AP) -- Kurt Warner is asked every day what it means to be an unlikely hero.

What does it feel like to live out the dream of every American boy and have an MVP season after struggling in Iowa as a grocery store stockboy and Arena League quarterback?

Can there be a more unlikely hero than a guy slated to start the season on the bench, only to replace injured St. Louis Rams starter Trent Green and lead the team to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl victory?

"Everybody asks me. But it's hard to look at it because it's just my life," Warner said Wednesday during his first practice with the NFC for Sunday's Pro Bowl.

"Everybody looks at it from the outside and sees it as this big story," he said. "To me, it's just how it is. Just one day at a time. Live through the hard times, and now I'm living through the good times."

Warner still is having trouble putting into words his unlikely season, in which he passed for 4,353 yards and 41 touchdowns, only the second NFL quarterback to throw for more than 40 in a season.

He capped the season with a 73-yard touchdown pass to Isaac Bruce with less than two minutes to play in the Super Bowl as St. Louis beat Tennessee 23-16.

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"It hasn't sunk in too much yet," Warner said. "You can't really put into words what this season has meant. But it's a great feeling, and you try to relish in it and enjoy every minute and not get caught up with all the fame and fortune and media. Enjoy it for what it's worth and not make too much out of it."

With just six hours of sleep in the previous three days, Warner was looking to relax, and isn't sure how much he will play Sunday.

"I'm a little beat up right now, so we'll just have to wait and see what happens," he said. "If it does, it does. If it doesn't, no big deal. I'm just here to try and enjoy it. In a fun place like this, against your peers, there's no question this is a great way to finish it."

Like Warner, the other Rams at the Pro Bowl were finding it hard to describe their feelings.

"I can't put it into words," said defensive lineman D'Marco Farr, one of eight St. Louis players at the game. "Just a strange season, you know?"

"It really sunk in when we came back to St. Louis and were able to participate in the parade," cornerback Todd Lyght said. "The enthusiasm the fans showed us and the support they gave us was really great. You were able to get down with them, high-five them. It was great."

Playing in his first Pro Bowl, Lyght was awed by the scene in the NFC locker room.

"You come into a locker room and you're dressing with guys like Hardy Nickerson, Emmitt Smith, Steve Beuerlein," he said. "Unbelievable. It's been great to win the Super Bowl and to come out here to Hawaii. To be a part of the Pro Bowl is just a great situation for all the players."

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