Kurt Warner has a surprising take on the Cardinals’ Super Bowl appearance, 10 years later
Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl once upon a time. However, Warner was unable to deliver a title to the desert, thanks in part to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison and his 99-yard pick six to end the first half of Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.
One might easily think that Kurt Warner would be scarred by an interception he threw in pro football’s biggest game. Yet, as the decorated quarterback recounted in a recent interview, that interception reshaped the Cardinals’ lone Super Bowl game. More precisely, it altered the game plan and the line of attack used by head coach Ken Whisenhunt:
“We started out a little bit conservative in our approach, and when with what happened at the end of the half it became, ‘All right, we need to do what we do. It’s the second half of the Super Bowl so we’re not really worried about exposing Kurt. Let him play.’ And we got into the mode where we were throwing it all over,” Warner recently said, via Scott Bordow of The Athletic.
“It’s easy to think that if I don’t throw that interception we win the game. Maybe we do. But I think it was a blessing that the world got to see who we really were as a team in the second half when we let it go. I’m glad we got a chance in the biggest game to play that way and show what we showed.
“We could have played that way the whole game and we might have killed the Steelers.”
Who knew that a quarterback would turn a negative memory into a positive experience? That mindset helps explain why Warner became such an immensely successful quarterback.
Warner’s lone Super Bowl title came as a member of the St. Louis Rams. The seasoned signal caller finished his NFL playing career with three appearances in the title game. Warner and the Rams defeated the Tennessee Titans in 2000, in Super Bowl XXXIV.