Joseph Herrin (02-01-09)
And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; and they worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” And there was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies; and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven. And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them…
For a number of weeks I had a sense that the Super Bowl game was going to bear prophetic significance. I sat down to watch it last night with a notepad and a pen in hand, looking to write down whatever the Spirit of Christ might reveal to me. I had no idea before the start of the game what message might come forth.
Two days before the game was to be played I began to write a post to list on the Parables Blog. I was going to make it part 3 of the series “Stir Up the Gift that is In You.” I intended to challenge the saints to look at this upcoming sporting event as a prophetic parable, and to ask the Father to supply insight, but my plans were interrupted. I lost Internet access, and was unable to finish the writing or to post it. In the introduction to the article I started, I included the following paragraph:
The majority of people who recently saw “the miracle on the Hudson,” the survival of 153 men and women and 2 pilots whose plane made a spectacular landing in one of the most populous centers in the United States, saw only a news event. Yet great things were revealed. Is it not possible that the Lord will speak through the Super Bowl, which will be viewed by over a hundred million people?
You can imagine my surprise and interest when just prior to the kick-off of Super Bowl 43 the crew of US Airways flight 1549 was brought out on the playing field to be honored. Captain Chesley Sullenberger stood with the rest of his crew members as a cheer went up from the crowd gathered in Tampa Bay to watch the game.
My attention was truly arrested when immediately after the crew members were introduced Jennifer HUDSON was introduced to sing the national anthem. Flight 1549 crash landed in the HUDSON river, and here the crew of this flight appeared on the football field alongside one named HUDSON.
As soon as I witnessed these things the thought came to my mind that the events depicted in flight 1549 would serve as the framework to understand this Super Bowl.
Before the game began certain events were witnessed which gave understanding to the individual symbols of this parable. A few days before the game the national news media reported that both President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were hoping for a victory by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Such an endorsement by top political figures is unusual, as most Presidents in recent years have sought to remain neutral as representatives of the entire United States. Bucking this trend, both of these men said they unabashedly favored the Pittsburgh team.
As Barack Obama is very much linked to images of the Beast of Revelation, I did not take this endorsement as being a favorable sign for that which Pittsburgh would symbolize in this grand parable. For those not familiar with those things which have been shared concerning Barack Obama’s connection to images of the Beast, I will provide the following summary.
The day the election results were announced for the presidency (November 5, 2008), the pick three lottery in Illinois, Obama’s home state, were 6-6-6. More recently it has been in the national media that the new armored car that the Secret Service has acquired for the Presidential transport has been nicknamed “The Beast.” Vehicles represent ministries, and the current president will have a beast ministry.
Recently I was sent a link to The Last Trumpet Newsletter’s February, 2009 edition where the following is written:
Here let it be noted that Obama claims Hawaii as his birthplace, although he has never proved that. Using his claim, however, we find some very interesting numbers. We know that Satan told Almighty God in Job 1:7 that he had come from walking to and fro in the earth, and walking up and down in it. To and fro would indicate latitude, and up and down would indicate longitude. The latitude of the claimed birthplace of Obama in Hawaii is 21.6. Those three digits that make up 21.6 are significant because the number 216 is the number 6 cubed, or 6x6x6=216. Obama was born on August 4th, 1961, which is the 216th day of the year, another 666. We also know that Obama’s office in Chicago, Illinois, had an interesting zip code: 60606. In the ancient Babylonian numbering system of letters having numerical equivalents increasing by six for each letter, we find that the words “A messiah Barack” equal 666. We also know from Revelation, chapters 7 and 14, that the number 144,000 represents the people of Almighty God. It is the Antichrist that tries to divide them. If we divide the number 144,000 by 666, we find an amazing quotient of 216.216216. If we divide 144,000 by 216 we get the number 666.666666.
I have written much about the Beast nature in the book The Mark of the Beast. The beast nature is a consuming spirit. It is manifested as those who are controlled by their appetites. The serpent of Genesis chapter 3, which appeared to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, was declared to be a beast. The serpent was described as more cunning than any other beast, and it was cursed above every other beast. Adam and Eve were commanded to rule over all the beasts, but they did not rule over the serpent. Instead, they obeyed the serpent, and in doing so they became subject to the beast nature.
This nature of the beast that Adam and Eve fell captive to is revealed in the curse spoken by God upon the serpent. The words “on your belly you shall go…” reveal that this beast will be ruled by its appetites. The words “and dust you shall eat all the days of your life…” reveal that the appetites of this beast will be for fleshly things, for the flesh of man was formed of the dust of the earth.
When Adam and Eve failed to subdue and rule over this beast, but presented themselves to it for obedience, they became slaves of the beast nature.
Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey…?
I share these things as background for understanding the parable of Super Bowl 43. Even as the Beast is given authority to make war with the saints and overcome them, so too do we find in this hour that the majority of Christians are overcome by the sinful passions and desires that reside in their flesh. The path to victory over the beast nature is the way of the cross. The people of God must “crucify the flesh with its passions and desires” in order for the beast nature to be rendered powerless. They must experience a cutting away, a circumcision, of the flesh.
The number 22 is directly related to the removal of wickedness and the cutting of the flesh in Scripture. In an American football game there are always 22 men on the field, 11 on offense and 11 on defense. What was witnessed Sunday was a grand parable of the church seeking to overcome the Beast, but the Beast overcame them.
“Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?…” And it was given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them…
In what way did the Arizona Cardinals represent the people of God? It was reported before the game that there were 30 members of the Arizona Cardinals’ team who are participants in intensive Bible Study. The quarterback of the team, Kurt Warner, is an outspoken Christian. I read a book about Warner in 2002, and afterwards I wrote an article in which I shared the following information.
I mentioned that there was a third book at the library… It is a book on the NFL quarterback Kurt Warner, and it bears the extraordinary subtitle “And the last shall be first.” I believe that in many ways, the path of the Overcomer is portrayed in this man’s life. I have been impressed with what I have read about him. Let me share a couple of items that have stood out.
Kurt and his older brother were raised by his mother who encouraged their participation in sports. (Symbolic of the church who gives birth to the manchild.) He particularly liked basketball, but he also played football. As a freshman in high school his football coach talked him into playing the position of quarterback because he needed a big kid to play the position and Kurt was already 5′ 11″ or 6′ while a freshman. Kurt really didn’t want to play quarterback because he didn’t want all the pressure of the position. (The overcomers will not seek personal glory.) He preferred to play wide receiver or some other position, but his coach pressed him to play in this role. (God chooses the role each of His children will play.)
In Kurt’s first couple of games he would see all the defensive linemen charging toward him and he would begin to run to evade them while he looked for a receiver to throw the ball to. This is a natural instinct, protect your flesh, but it does not produce good quarterbacks. A good quarterback needs to be able to stay in the pocket and focus on his receivers without being distracted by all the defensive linemen who are rushing towards him to tackle him. To teach Kurt this skill, his coach devised a special drill that they used in practice.
The special drill used to get Kurt to overcome his sense of self-preservation and to “stand and deliver” under pressure was jokingly called the “kill Kurt drill.” In this drill, Kurt would have only one offensive player in front of him and this was the center who snapped the ball to him. Kurt would have all of his receivers who would start running patterns as soon as the ball was placed in Kurt’s hands. Facing Kurt were two defensive linemen who both had arm pads on and they would begin rushing toward Kurt as soon as the ball was snapped.
With no one to block the linemen rushing Kurt, he knew he was going to get knocked down every time. He learned that it was much more satisfying to get knocked down after completing a pass, than to get knocked down without having a pass completed. Kurt learned to ignore the linemen charging him and to focus on his receivers. Instead of spending his time trying to evade the players who were charging him, he developed a focus upon those he needed to get the ball to. He became very adept at this, and on many occasions when players were closing in on him, and even when he was being knocked to the ground, he had such focus on his receivers that he could throw the ball in these situations with incredible accuracy and make great plays.
There are many correlations that could be made to this skill that makes a great quarterback to the life of the saint. The Overcomer in Christ cannot succeed as long as he is focused upon pain avoidance, nor can he succeed while trying to protect the flesh and fulfill the desires of the soul. We have this description of the Overcomer in scripture:
They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
It is the natural tendency of the flesh to protect itself. For this reason the life of faith is difficult. The Spirit is always leading the saint to step out on the water when the flesh is afraid of drowning. (A further link to the parable of flight 1549.) The Spirit leads the saint to cast all, even one’s very life, upon the Father and to trust Him to keep that which is entrusted to Him. The flesh cries out with a million objections to such a course. The Overcomer must learn to remain focused on God and to ignore all that which threatens his or her life.
I will share one other item from Kurt Warner’s life that is typical of the Overcomer. Kurt had a very successful high school career in football and he and his coaches looked to his being sought out by one of the two major universities in his home state of Iowa. When Kurt was not selected by either Iowa State University or the University of Iowa, he went instead to a smaller 1-AA school called the University of Northern Iowa.
Kurt arrived one year behind another young man who played quarterback, and this young man was very studious at the game and he performed well. Kurt was in a situation where he would not get to start as quarterback unless this other young man who arrived first messed up. Kurt was seen by many of the players as a more talented player, and one year the coaches divided the team up into two squads, one led by Kurt and one by the other young man. When the two squads played against each other, Kurt’s team won 17-7.
Still, the coaches were unwilling to put Kurt in the starting position because the other young man had not done anything bad to warrant being replaced. In fact, the University of Northern Iowa went farther in the playoffs than they had ever gone before under this other player. As a result, Kurt spent four of his college years sitting on the bench as a back-up quarterback and playing sporadically, and it was only in Kurt’s senior year, after the other young man had graduated, that Kurt became the starting quarterback.
The noteworthy thing in all of this was Kurt’s attitude. He didn’t complain. He didn’t grumble or murmur. He didn’t express his discontent to the coaching staff or other players. He didn’t go to the media as many players do when they are upset with the progression of their career. He simply waited patiently for his opportunity to arrive. Even when asked by his high school coaches how things were going in college he would tell them “OK,” and would not complain. In his last year of college his opportunity did arrive and he made the most of it being named offensive player of the year in the league he was in.
Because of his limited exposure to scouts in college, Kurt was not drafted by an NFL team, but the Green Bay Packers did sign him as a free agent. Green Bay already had three very good quarterbacks, one being Brett Favre who has proved his worth, another being Ty Detmer who was a Heisman Trophy winner in college, and another being Mark Brunell. Being the fourth, and least experienced, quarterback on the team, he was let go after only two weeks.
It seems that the Father puts all of His Overcomers through a school of delays and disappointments. We see this pattern in the lives of Joseph, Moses, David and many others. A mark of the Overcomer is that they are faithful wherever they are placed. They do not wallow in self-pity and develop a bad attitude. They do not refuse to give their best because they have received a bad deal in life. They bloom where they are planted.
This has been true of Kurt Warner. After college, and after being cut by Green Bay, he looked for other opportunities and did whatever he could. For six months he even worked at a local Hy-Vee grocery store where he made $5.50 an hour and did everything from stocking shelves to cleaning floors. His supervisor reported that he always did everything requested of him with a great attitude and without any complaint.
Kurt then got a position playing quarterback in the Arena Football League where he excelled. Over time people took notice and he made it to the NFL where he went to the Super Bowl and was named Most Valuable Player. This seems appropriate and it is a great parallel to the Kingdom of God where we are told to “humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time” (I Peter 5:6).
The Overcomer must not only walk in faith, refusing to protect the flesh and the life of the soul, he/she must also wait patiently upon the Father. The Overcomer must not resort to self-promotion and fleshly means to attain to the position desired, or the dream that tarries.
“For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. Behold, as for the proud one, his soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.”
Many churches today have promoted themselves through human effort. Outwardly they appear successful. They are attracting great numbers and constructing large edifices, but conformity to Christ is nowhere to be found. On the other hand, many of the Overcomers seem to go from one setback to another, even as did Joseph and David, but they are remaining faithful wherever they are found. They are being conformed to Christ in wilderness places where dreams are both crushed and born again.
The above comments on Kurt Warner were written in 2002, yet they serve to give understanding of Super Bowl 43. I was listening to the commentators late in the game and one of them stated that Kurt Warner looked different. He said that when Kurt played in previous seasons that he weighed 225 pounds. He then said that Kurt now weighed 203 pounds. What the commentator did not mention is that it is a weight loss of 22 pounds.
Kurt Warner symbolized in the game those overcomers in Christ who have allowed Christ to deal with their flesh. They have not avoided the cross, but have submitted their flesh to the process of crucifixion.
As the game began, the players from each team were preceded by people carrying banners who ran out onto the playing field. The banners for the Pittsburgh Steelers were black. The banners for the Arizona Cardinals were white. This also gave an indication of that which would be symbolized in the game.
Having discerned this symbolism, I was looking to the Arizona Cardinals to win. They started out slow and were soon down by 13 points. However, in the fourth quarter the Cardinals rallied and were briefly up 23-20 with about three minutes to play. But then the Steelers put together what might have been their most impressive drive of the game. Carolyn Barney, a sister in Christ, wrote to inform me of the details of the final drive by Pittsburgh, and to point out the profound symbolism of the numbers observed in this series of downs.
The final drive began on the Steeler’s 22 yard line. During the drive Ben Roethlisberger completed a 40 yard pass down to the 6 yard line. This drive sealed the outcome of the game. All of these numbers are significant. 22 is flesh cutting. 40 speaks of the wilderness. 6 is the number of the flesh man.
As I meditated on the outcome of the game, and what it signified, the Scripture at the top of this post came to mind. The Beast is given authority to make war with the saints and to overcome them. The sin nature has already overcome the church of Christ, and at the end of this age a political Beast system will arise which will also make war with the saints and overcome them. This will be for the purification of the church. The outward defeat of the church will result in an inner victory after the pattern of Christ who was crucified by the political and religious leaders of His day, but won a great victory for the kingdom of God in the process.
“And the ten horns which you saw, and the beast , these will hate the harlot and will make her desolate and naked, and will eat her flesh and will burn her up with fire. For God has put it in their hearts to execute His purpose by having a common purpose, and by giving their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God should be fulfilled.”
If the harlot described here did not truly belong to God, then she would not be described as a harlot. The church has been very unchaste in taking many lovers. Those who were espoused to Christ as a pure virgin have gone as a whore after the world and its pleasures. The harlot is described in Revelation as riding upon the beast. Yet the beast will turn and consume her flesh. This is a good thing, for the flesh of the people of God must be consumed.
The Beast is given authority to wage war with the people of God and to overcome them, but this will accomplish the purpose of God. Those who have been attached to worldly things will be purified in their affections. All things of the world they were clinging to will be stripped from them. The pride they walked in will be replaced with humility. They will come out of the process with a single eye focused upon the pursuit of the One who chose them to be His people.
I have shared in the past year that the Lord has spoken to me that He has been taking forerunners through a wilderness experience ahead of the church. These ones have had their flesh reduced, and they have learned to follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Moses serves as a type of those who go into the wilderness before the church is to take the same path. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness and then was called of God to lead the Israelites through an identical 40 year period in the wilderness.
Kurt Warner serves as a type and shadow of those forerunners. His flesh has been reduced. He has been this course before. He was noted repeatedly to be the oldest player on the field. Warner was even older than the head coach for the opposing team. This speaks of spiritual maturity. Moses thought he was ready to deliver God’s people at the age of forty, but God did not deem him ready until he was 80 years old. Many would think this is too old to be entrusted with such a task, and so too have many commented on Warner’s age, yet he successfully led his team through this great conflict without losing a single one of them.
In the coming days God will appoint leaders to guide His people through a season of loss. The Cardinals had the worst record of any team to make it to the playoffs. They had seven losses during the regular season, and no one predicted that they would make it to the Super Bowl. In the Super Bowl they were destined to lose again.
The Super Bowl began with a commemoration of the miracle on the Hudson. Could one really declare a plane crash to be a success? It did not end as any of the passengers or crew had envisioned, with a safe landing at the destination airport. Yet it was a great success, for none of the passengers on the plane perished. When they departed the plane they had only the clothes on their backs. All their luggage was left behind. They experienced loss of material things, but they came through without loss of LIFE due to the skillful leadership of a pilot who had been prepared all his life for just such a time as this.
So too, Kurt Warner led his team through a season of loss, and they will be remembered as victors. Though the beast will be granted authority to overcome the saints, their spiritual LIFE will not be harmed. The loss of the things of the world will result in great gain for them.
Quite remarkably, the commentators during the game spoke of the Cardinals being a team that played in the desert. So too do we see the woman (the church) being given the two wings as of a great eagle to fly into the wilderness where she will be nurtured for 1,260 days. This is the exact duration that the Beast is given authority to wage war (42 months).
The victory of the church in coming days will not appear as such to those who measure things by worldly standards, anymore than the outcome of Super Bowl 43 appeared as a victory for the Cardinals. Yet in the eyes of Yahweh it will be a great victory.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even to death.
In dying the people of God will live. In defeat they will conquer. Was this not the pattern shown forth by Christ and the early disciples? Many perished as martyrs, but in laying down their lives, in freely embracing the cross, they conquered sin, the world, and Satan.
Yes, a great parable was revealed on the field of play. The Spirit has been setting forth this testimony through many means that the people of God might have understanding of the days ahead of them. Let us look up, for our Redeemer draws nigh.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days.
Let me close by including two testimonies about Kurt Warner from some who know his family. The first is from Jack Hook, a man who has an Internet ministry.
Kurt and Brenda: The Rest of the Story
Kurt and Brenda Warner have a great story, but this version circling the internet excludes the vital part where Brenda leads Kurt to faith in our Lord Jesus Christ by sharing how she came to believe in the Lord. Brenda was a young girl of twelve when she and her parents went to see a “prophecy” movie at the Sunnyside Temple church in Waterloo, Iowa. This day, April 29, 1978, will live with Carol and me forever, for we were there that same evening. I was an atheist at the time, but went there to please my Jewish friend whose Gentile wife was wanting to renew her faith in God…
Our families came to know Brenda and her parents while we all attended the church for a time. My Jewish friend’s son even dated Brenda’s sister. Later, Brenda suffered the loss of both her parents as they were killed by a tornado. She has been through a lot of suffering.
The movie we all saw, Distant Thunder, was about the bodily second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to defeat the Antichrist and his forces that have brought the wrath of God upon a sinful generation. We are that generation…
I don’t know Kurt Warner personally, nor do I know what he understands about America’s role in coming prophetic events or his views on the Christianized elements of man’s sin nature which includes militant pride and patriotism, the distorted prosperity gospel, and the psycho-babble that has overwhelmed most of Christendom. It has been over thirty years since that April day in 1978 when we became the friends of Brenda’s parents. But I deeply admire his boldness, for he is not ashamed to stand before a sin-sick world and confess that he loves Jesus more than his own life. What a wonderful and heartwarming story!
Your eternal friend,
Following is a further testimony taken from information included in the biographical book on the life of Kurt Warner that I read in 2002. It was sent to me along with the writing above.
KURTIS THE STOCK BOY AND BRENDA THE CHECKOUT GIRL
In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy, was busily working when a new voice came over the loud speaker asking for a carry out at register 4. Kurtis was almost finished, and wanted to get some fresh air, and decided to answer the call. As he approached the check-out stand a distant smile caught his eye, the new check-out girl was beautiful. She was an older woman (maybe 26, and he was only 22) and he fell in love.
Later that day, after his shift was over, he waited by the punch clock to find out her name. She came into the break room, smiled softly at him, took her card and punched out, then left. He looked at her card, BRENDA. He walked out only to see her start walking up the road. Next day, he waited outside as she left the supermarket, and offered her a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she accepted. When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again, outside of work. She simply said it wasn’t possible.
He pressed and she explained she had two children and she couldn’t afford a baby-sitter, so he offered to pay for the baby-sitter. Reluctantly she accepted his offer for a date for the following Saturday. That Saturday night he arrived at her door only to have her tell him that she was unable to go with him. The baby-sitter had called and canceled. To which Kurtis simply said, “Well, let’s take the kids with us.”
She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again not taking no for an answer, he pressed. Finally Brenda, brought him inside to meet her children. She had an older daughter who was just as cute as a bug, Kurtis thought, then Brenda brought out her son, in a wheelchair. He was born a paraplegic with Down Syndrome.
Kurtis asked Brenda, “I still don’t understand why the kids can’t come with us?” Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman with two kids, especially if one had disabilities – just like her first husband and father of her children had done. Kurtis was not ordinary – – – he had a different mindset. That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and the movies. When her son needed anything Kurtis would take care of him. When he needed to use the restroom, he picked him up out of his wheelchair, took him and brought him back. The kids loved Kurtis. At the end of the evening, Brenda knew this was the man she was going to marry and spend the rest of her life with.
A year later, they were married and Kurtis adopted both of her children. Since then they have added two more kids. (They now have seven children.)
So what happened to Kurtis the stock boy and Brenda the check-out girl?
Well, Mr.& Mrs. Kurt Warner now live in Arizona, where he is currently employed as the quarterback of the National Football League Arizona Cardinals and has his Cardinals in the hunt for the Super bowl Championship on Feb. 1st. Is this a surprise ending or could you have guessed that he was not an ordinary person. It should be noted that he also quarterbacked the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI.
Note: The above account of Kurt Warner’s life was evidently picked up from an Internet source that has re-written the truth of the matter. The website www.snopes.com is a site I often go to in order to verify information. They had the following to share concerning this widespread account of Kurt and Brenda Warner:
Let’s address the inaccuracies first:
Kurt and Brenda did not meet while both were working in a grocery
store, so you can throw out all that bit about his mooning over her
timecard. They met in 1992 at a country bar while he was Northern
Iowa’s starting quarterback. (After being cut by the Green Bay Packers
in 1994, Kurt did find employment in a grocery store, though: He
stocked shelves at a Hy-Vee in Cedar Falls for $5.50 an hour.)
The next morning Kurt brought Brenda roses and wanted to meet her youngsters.
She’d told Kurt about her children the night before, so there was no dramatic surprise
when she introduced her disabled son
The Warners’ was a lengthy courtship. They married in 1997 after meeting in 1992
(not “a year later,” as the e-mail has it).
Brenda (who is four years older than Kurt) had two children by a previous marriage;
however, the e-mail version has their birth order reversed. In real life, Zachary is three
years older than his sister, Jesse Jo. (More on this seemingly picayune
point later because it’s pivotal to the real story of Brenda Warner’s
life before Kurt.)
Zachary Warner (born in 1989) does indeed have serious
physical infirmities, but how he came by them is far more of a story
than the Internet fiction lets on. He was a perfectly healthy infant,
not a Down Syndrome child. When he was four months old, his father
dropped him, and in the blink of an eye, this previously healthy baby
was suddenly clinging to life, his grip slipping fast. He suffered severe
brain damage, and both of his retinas were ruptured. At the time, few
thought Zachary would live, and fewer still held out any hope he would
ever see, sit up, read, walk, or talk.
Zachary’s recovery has been long and arduous, but he now walks and
talks. Though still legally blind, he can make out colors and shapes.
No longer strictly a special-needs student, he is integrated for
half-days in a regular high school classroom. Kurt adopted Zachary and
Jesse after his wedding to Brenda in 1997. The Warners have since added
five more children to their brood: Kade in 1998, Jada in 2001, Elijah in 2003,
and twins Sienna and Sierra in 2005.
As for what sort of lad Zachary is and what kind of
relationship he enjoys with his adoptive father, this anecdote should
say it all: After the Rams victory in the NFC Championship game in
2000, 10-year-old Zachary presented Kurt with a homemade card
done in Rams blue and gold. Inside, in childlike scrawl, it read: “You’re
as good a dad as you are a quarterback!”
Zachary’s birth dad could hardly be described in similar fashion. An
inability to come to terms with the injuries he’d visited upon his son
led to the breakup of his marriage to Brenda. He left her when she was
eight months pregnant with Jesse.
Over and above the numerous inaccuracies, the worst offense this particular e-mailed
glurge is guilty of is omission. Not content with recasting the details
of the Warners’ lives (and the reality had the fiction beat, remember),
it leaves by the wayside horrendously large chunks of a truly thrilling
story of the sort one usually pays $9.00 to see at the movies:
All the heartbreak Kurt endured trying to get into the NFL, and
the many setbacks he had to weather along the way. So many of our
gridiron heroes go in as highly touted draft picks it’s sometimes hard
to realize some take a tortuous path to the pigskin paradise of the
NFL. Kurt presented as a free agent to the Green Bay Packers in 1994,
was signed, then cut by them that same year. In 1997 he had a tryout
scheduled with the Chicago Bears which fell through when an injury
sustained during his honeymoon rendered him hors de combat. (A venomous
spider had bitten him on his throwing elbow.) He had to muck about in
the Arena and European leagues before finally being taken on by the
Rams in 1997 as their third-string quarterback. In 1999 he stepped in
during the preseason in place of injured Trent Green and began almost
immediately to rewrite Rams’ history.
Brenda’s battle to make a life for herself and her two children
after her first husband deserted her. This former Marine had to return
to her parents’ home when she was eight months pregnant with her second
child and with a brain-damaged child already in tow. She completed her
nursing training during this period, getting by with the help of food
stamps and student loans.
The death of Brenda’s parents in Mountain View, Arkansas, in a tornado in 1996.
They’d retired there just a year earlier.
Kurt’s embracing of Christianity in 1996. (Although he was raised
a Catholic, he dates his spiritual awakening to those dark days in the
wake of the deaths of Brenda’s parents.)
Kurt’s throwing for a record 414 yards in his 23-16> Super Bowl XXXIV
victory over the Tennessee Titans and being named that contest’s Most
Valuable Player. This new mark topped the previous record of 357 yards
set by San Francisco’s Joe Montana in Super Bowl XXIII and capped an
astounding 4,353-yard, 41-touchdown regular season that won him league
As you can see, falling in love with and then marrying a gal who had
two children, one of them a special needs child, was just part of this
most remarkable story.
In Super Bowl XXXVI, Kurt Warner led the St. Louis Rams in their quest for another victory; although they came up just short, Warner was already the stuff of legends. Deservedly.
Barbara “it’s a warner-ful life” Mikkelson
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063