February 01, 2009
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner is a born-again Christian whose faith informs his every decision, right down to his jersey number. By choosing No. 13, Warner means to send the message that his spirituality allows no room for superstition.
He was one of five players on the active rosters of the 32 N.F.L. teams to wear No. 13 in 2008. The others were wide receiver Steve Johnson of Buffalo and quarterbacks Richard Bartel of Cleveland, Brock Berlin of St. Louis and Shaun Hill of San Francisco.
Since leading the Cardinals to the Super Bowl, Kurt Warner has had Hall of Fame credentials examined, but it is a conversation he has no interest in. His family is always reminding him of the bigger picture.
Warner is the sixth Cardinal since the franchise joined the league in 1920 to wear the number, and perhaps the last. After leading the franchise to its first Super Bowl, Warner may have his jersey retired someday to the team's Ring of Honor.
"A lot of people believe 13 is an unlucky number," Warner said, "but I've kind of embraced it."
He added: "A lot of negative things come with the No. 13. My life is never dictated by superstitions. My faith is first and foremost. If you believe that God's in control, there is no reason to believe in superstitions."
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