--Kurt Warner's new life begins Friday night
If you've got some time Friday night at around 8 p.m. ET, and a way to watch the NFL Network, you might want to tune into an Arena Football League game between the Arizona Rattlers and the Iowa Barnstormers. If his interviews during his playing time are an indication, you might see the start of a pretty good broadcasting career. Kurt Warner(notes), the future Hall-of-Famer and former Barnstormer quarterback, will be doing color for the broadcast alongside former Iowa quarterback Paul Burmeister. Warner, of course, had to make a detour through the AFL and NFL Europe after washing out as an undrafted free agent before finding his way back to the NFL and eventual stardom.
"I'm honored to be the first player inducted into the Barnstormers Hall of Fame and am looking forward to being a guest analyst for the game," Warner told the league's official site. "Having experienced success in both the AFL and NFL, I know that I'll be able to add a great deal of insight as a member of the broadcasting team for this game."
Just as he did as a player — he led the Barnstormers to the Arena Bowl in 1996 and 1997 — Warner hopes to use his time with the indoor league as a stepping stone to the big time. He recently told Michael Hiestand of USA Today that he has "talked with all the networks" [about an on-air job] and "now it's just wait and see. Talking about the game is something I've always enjoyed. ... It's going to be about finding the right situation without giving away my life again."
If you ask me, the NFL could do a lot worse than Warner ... and it frequently does. Just ask anyone forced to endure a game with Matt Millen blathering nonsensically at a breakneck pace (once again, dude ... not every NFL coverage is "Two-deep, man under." Seriously. It's not possible), and you'll wonder exactly what qualifications are mandatory for a broadcasting gig. Warner is fiercely intelligent, he's got a great life story, he's read more defenses than 95 percent of the quarterbacks he'd be analyzing, and he's certainly proven that he won't take "no" for an answer if he doesn't get what he wants at first call. I'm not a big AFL follower per se, but I'll be tuning in Friday night to see if Kurt Warner is as impressive in his new prospective profession as I expect him to be.