Senior Editor / Sports Columnist
Something about this NFL season is different. Maybe it’s the absence of injured quarterback Tom Brady from the New England Patriots or maybe it’s seeing Brett Favre in a New York Jets uniform. Or it could be the fact that Kurt Warner, the Arizona Cardinal’s 37 year-old quarterback is on his way to another NFL’s MVP award. Kurt Warner…really? Nobody’s really heard of him this season. He’s not flashy and he doesn’t pound his chest after every touchdown. He doesn’t bite off reporter’s heads either. He’s…well, a nice guy that believes he’s just a part of the team.
That’s the difference I’ve pinpointed in this season. Not just the reemergence of Warner, but several other personnel moves throughout the NFL that signal a new age of the ‘team concept.’ Take for instance the new hire the
Is this the NFL? The same league that seems to tolerate and reinstate criminals and felons alike seems to be taking a turn for the good. Even one of the league’s worst franchises, the Cincinnati Bengals, aren’t tolerating individuals anymore that take away from the team concept.
Finally it seems the professional athletes are learning that the game isn’t all about them. Sure, they can make a ton of money if they perform well, but if their attitude doesn’t coincide with the team concept, there are always other capable players out there to replace them. That’s why Kurt Warner, the unheralded hero for the Cardinals is helping bring back an age of selflessness to an NFL that was full of individualism. He credits everyone but himself. First and foremost, he always credits God for his abilities, but is also quick to give credit to his teammates and coaches. Week in and week out, he’s putting up video game like stats, passing for nearly 300 yards and a few touchdowns per week, but does it in a quiet, professional way.
No, you won’t see this story in the USA Today or on CNN or ESPN for that matter. It’s not ‘newsworthy’ enough and doesn’t exactly sell newspapers, but it’s a story worth telling. The Warners of the world aren’t flashy and aren’t going to be the center of each and every newscast you see, but they’re the kind of people worth getting to know and the ones you wish you could hang out with. And for this reason, I could care less what happens to the flashier players that spike the ball after every touchdown. I’ll root for Kurt Warner, Mike Singletary, and those play for a purpose greater than that of individualism.
J. Andrew Lockwood is a free lance sports reporter for The Bear Zone, Mercer's Cluster Newspaper, and a broadcaster for ASun.TV