It’s Super Bowl time, which means St. Louis football fans can reminisce about one of the best versions of the Big Game there has ever been: No. XXXIV or the day Kurt Warner and the ‘Greatest Show on Turf’ beat the Titans 23-16.
The game will go down in Super Bowl lore not just in St. Louis, but with the country’s football-viewing public forever. This is due in large part to the game itself, but also because of Kurt Warner, the future Hall-of-Fame quarterback who was literally bagging groceries in Iowa not so long before the season.
The Warner fairy-tale is redundant at this point; not because it’s not worth talking about, but because everyone knows it. It’s ‘Cinderella’ on the gridiron. ‘Rocky’ in a helmet, holding a pigskin.
And it’s worth revisiting every Super Bowl season.
Warner recently did just that with 101ESPN, recalling the talk Dick Vermeil gave him right before the Rams’ final offensive drive that day. St. Louis went into halftime with a 9-0 lead, which they extended to 16-0 only to let the Titans tie things up in the fourth quarter.
Kurt can take it from here:
“I remember right before we went out onto the field. I was standing over on the sidelines kind of going over some different things in my mind and Coach Vermeil came down to me and kind of put his arm around me, leaned in and said, ‘You know, this is exactly how you played it out in your front yard a million times.’
“‘Two minutes to go, in the Super Bowl, ball in your hands, now go finish this thing like you did in your front yard.’ He just kind of brought me back to the entire journey and if you were a little boy who every dreamed of playing in the NFL you knew exactly what he meant.”
Whether a young Warner visualized throwing a 73-yard bomb to Isaac Bruce isn’t known, but it’d be pretty neat if he had.
As always this time of year: Thanks for the memories, Kurt Warner and everyone else from the “Greatest Show on Turf.”