Number 90 on the NFL Network “Top 100” is Kurt Warner, who was a quarterback. If we were going to give Warner a title, it would have to be “Mr. Disrespected.” Warner was not even drafted out of Northern Iowa. He spent time as a grocery worker and had to play Arena football and NFL Europe until he got a chance with the St. Louis Rams and, even then, he was a second-string quarterback whom no one expected much out of. When the starting quarterback, Trent Green, was injured, the Rams figured their season was over; they were wrong.
In 1999, Warner led the Rams to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, he often played with mediocrity after that and ultimately was injured and traded to the Giants. He was traded to the Giants where he, after poor starts, was made back-up to Eli Manning, who was destined to stay in the starting role for a long time. Finally he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals, where he struggled year-in and year-out, but ultimately he got things together, as did the Cardinals, and they too went to the Super Bowl in the 2008 postseason.
Warner played for 12 seasons in 125 games, passing for 32,344 yards and 208 touchdowns.
Kurt Warner is known for his faith in God and his appreciation for his opportunity in the NFL. He is very popular with fans, and as such was ranked Number 27. That is high, but he is such a nice guy, who cares?
Number 89 on the “Top 100” list is for all those players who think the 18-game season is too long. He is Ernie Nevers. When I first saw the basic stats of Mr. Nevers, I thought there had to be a mistake. He only played for six seasons in 54 games. However, over half of those games were in one season with the Duluth Eskimos.
Ernie Nevers was in the inaugural induction class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. He is referred to as an “Iron Man.” He played offense, defense and special teams. In his team’s 29 games in the 1926 season, Nevers played 1,714 of a possible 1,740 minutes. Further, he set a record that still stands today. He scored all 40 points in a 40-6 win against who else but my Chicago Bears as the fullback of the Chicago Cardinals in 1929. The next week, he scored all of his team’s 19 points for a two-week run of 59 points; incredible!
Nevers was the second high-profile college player of the Red Grange era. He signed to play in the NFL for a whopping $15,000. He and Grange joining the NFL legitimized and brought interest to the league.
Nevers’ coach at Stanford was the legendary Pop Warner, who said of Nevers, “(he’s) the football player without a fault).”
And so he was.