For Indian players involved in American football, it was an unforgettable experience when 42-year-old Kurt Warner, once rated the Most Valuable Player in the prestigious NFL and also the Super Bowl MVP, spent some time with them ahead of the exhibition match between Hyderabad Skykings and Bangalore Warhawks at the Begumpet Police Stadium here on Wednesday afternoon.
For those who regularly follow American football, Warner is a big hit going by his achievements like his top three passing performances in Super Bowl history. He broke the NFL record with his 1,156 yards passing in the 2008 playoffs, interestingly beating his own 1,063 set for St. Louis in 1999.
And, in the 124 regular-season games, this 6-foot 2-inch giant completed 65.5 per cent of his passes for 32,344 yards and 208 touchdowns. To cap it all, he is only the second quarterback player in NFL to throw for 100 touchdowns and 14,000 yards for two teams. “I am extremely excited about the possibilities of the Elite Football League of India (EFLI). I am sure this sport will be a big hit for I believe it is the best team sport,” said Warner. “I can say that this game will truly impact the people here, both on and off the field,” he said.
“From the interaction with players and coaches, I believe they have the tenacity and the mental toughness to go a long way,” Warner said.
Venkatesh Movva, president & COO of EFLI, says American football will grow once the first men’s professional league commences next June in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. “There is no better champion than Warner, who has an incredible success story having worked in a grocery store for $6 an hour, then in a graveyard shift before becoming a superstar in NFL, to promote the sport in India,” Mr. Venkatesh said.