Remember how I said Kurt Warner wasn’t walking through that door?
Guess I was wrong.
Not totally wrong. Warner returned to the Tempe facility and practice Friday not to play football but to tape some content with his “Dancing With The Stars” partner Anna Trebunskaya. So they discussed football and watched a little practice and took a tour of the locker room and weight room (It’ll be featured on the part of the show Monday when the episode airs the taped piece about the duo’s week just before they dance). Warner said hello to a bunch of teammates as they came off the field and then watched as Trebunskaya tried to teach Larry Fitzgerald some dance moves.
(Fitzgerald, by the way, said he had been invited to be on the show in the spring following the Cards’ Super Bowl appearance. He told them no. “I just didn’t want my teammates to think I wasn’t committed to the cause,” Fitzgerald said. When I followed up by asking if he’d be on the show if he wasn’t playing, Fitz chuckled. “I didn’t say that,” he said. “I didn’t say that, either.”)
Funniest part? When Warner was taking Trebunskaya through the locker room, he showed her Adrian Wilson’s locker. Her response? “Is that the guy who jumps?” They’ve apparently been watching youtube.
They both took a second to talk a little bit on camera. Trebunskaya spoke about coming back to Warner’s home turf, and the vibe she got when he showed up. “I kind of felt we were going to come back and people were going to ask his advice and say, ‘Hey come back,’ ” she said.
No one said that specifically, she added, but “I kind of saw it in a few peoples’ faces. They didn’t say it, but that longing, ‘I wish you were the one throwing the ball.’ ”
That brought a smile to Warner’s face, who acknowledged that part of it had made the decision to retire difficult. Coming back to the field “made me want to get out there a little bit,” he said.
“When you make the decision, you have both sides of the coin,” Warner said. “You have to do what is best for you and your family and your future, but at the same time you understand the responsibility to your teammates and your organization because of what you’ve built.
“That’s one of the hardest parts, especially after coming out of the blocks and the changes and (seeing) the struggles early, you feel a little responsibility. But the one thing I always fall back on in making the decision is you feel we built this thing up and when I left, it was in a great position to continue to succeed.”
Interestingly, one of the most difficult things Warner is having with the show? Hearing the music while he is dancing. After spending so many years tuning out the crowd noise on the field – he, like many players, blank it out when playing – he finds himself doing the same to the music. That doesn’t work well when your rhythm must line up to that music.
One of his strengths as a dancer? “He’s a pretty good leader,” Trebunskaya said. Warner a good leader? Who would’ve thunk it?
Tags: Adrian Wilson, Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald
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