CANTON, Ohio - Former Arizona Cardinal quarterback Kurt Warner was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday night. It was a moment, Warner said, he wasn’t sure was ever going to happen.
Warner had a lot to say about moments. He said the moments he’s had on the football field were not the moments that brought him to his Hall of Fame enshrinement.
"For those who’ve witnessed my career on the outside, you will undoubtedly use the milestones, Super Bowls, MVPs, and of course tonight as the defining moments of my career," Warner said in his induction speech. "But if there’s one thing that this process has revealed, it’s that those pinnacle accomplishments on the field were simply by-products of the moments that would lay the foundation of the man that stands here this evening."
Before he was an Arizona Cardinal fan favorite, Warner played for the St. Louis Rams and the New York Giants. He was named NFL MVP twice while he played with the Rams and Super Bowl MVP when he and the Rams beat the Tennessee Titans is Super Bowl XXXIV.
And, of course, us Arizonans will never forget that he lead the Cardinals to the franchise's first Super Bowl in 2008.
On Saturday, Warner became the first player to be inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Arena Football Hall of Fame.
But Warner reminded the crowd Saturday night that his career wasn't always filled with success.
Warner spoke about his "infamous stint at the grocery store" where he worked night shifts after he was cut from the Green Bay Packers’ training camp in 1994. A true rag-to-riches story that lead him to the Hall of Fame.
Warner said he is a Hall of Famer not because of his career accomplishments or how many games he played, but because of what he did with the moments he was given.
"Life's not fair. We don't get to choose the number of moments we get," Warner said. "We don't all get to choose the substance of our moments... But what we all do get to choose is what we do with those moments."
Warner spoke of specific individuals who have impacted him throughout his life and career. He singled out former coaches, teammates and other Hall of Famers who he grew up admiring, his parents, his children and his wife Brenda.
The former Cardinal also gave advice to all those listening.
"Don’t miss your moment, both the moments to be impacted and the moment to impact," Warner said. "As you’ve heard, we have no idea today which moments will leave the most indelible impression tomorrow. It isn’t something we can plan for or see ahead of time. We must take advantage of every single one."
The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed Warner and six other new members including LaDainian Tomlinson, Terrell Davis, Jason Taylor and Morten Andersen. Warner mentioned how honored he was to be in the same class as the six well-deserving, character-driven men.
Warner ended his speech thanking someone he said had been through it all with him.
"His final moment was for me and mine is for him," he said. "Thank you, Jesus!"