My first memory of Kurt Warner, on the other hand, I still own. It was the Rams' third preseason game before the 1999 season and big-ticket free agent quarterback Trent Green had just been carted from the field to a standing ovation. At that point, Green had not thrown a single pass for the Rams, but he was symbolic of an expected rebirth that included Marshall Faulk and Torry Holt. With him out of the way, that rebirth was on life support.
Then, the only thing we knew about Warner was that he couldn't beat out Tony Banks or Steve Bono for playing time in 1998. He was representative of the same-as-always, sorry-sack Rams. When Warner went three-and-out in his first series, I remember joining 65,000 fans in booing him. Vociferously.
I remember turning to the previously mentioned older brother and saying, "They're fucked. Time for them to start scouting college talent."
One legendary press conference, two MVPs and three Super Bowls later, Kurt Warner continues to make a mockery of my first instinct.
So as I watch the quarterback I once booed lead the team I never knew I lost into the Super Bowl, I struggle to summon the vitriol to hate them in a suitable fashion. I won't be rooting for the Cardinals on Super Sunday, that much is sure. But I won't be too angry if Kurtis can lead the Cardinals to the top of the mount. As a fan, I'm forever in his debt. And as far as the Cardinals, well, good for them. The Cardinals seem to St. Louis a bit like a crazy ex-girlfriend they hear is about to get married. Sure, there's some nostalgia, but it's more of a time-and-place wistfullness, as opposed to a yearning-to-possess-again. They don't want to get back together with her. They're happy she finally got her act together. There's really no jealousy.
But why did she have to get together with an old friend?