Kurt Warner was the recipient of the 2010 Bart Starr Award at the 23rd Annual Super Bowl Breakfast in Hollywood, Fla. More than 1,500 people attended the Athletes in Action annual outreach with the NFL-sanctioned event.
Warner had an impressive 12-year NFL career, filled with two NFL MVP awards, five Pro Bowls and three Super Bowls. However, it is the commitment that Warner made to his family, community and teammates that has made him the Bart Starr Award winner.
This was the first public appearance by?NFL Quarterback Michael Vick, with former NFL?coach Tony Dungy, to talk about his redemption. The NFL quarterback’s top priorities, now that he has a second chance in life, are getting back his family and discovering what the future holds for his return to the spotlight on the gridiron.
He wants to compete and earn a living by following his passion: professional football.
After the breakfast, I had a chance to talk to Dungy and Vick about their relationship and game plan.
Interview with Coach Dungy
CF:Coach, just seeing Michael come out in public and being able to share his remorse … was (it) a big step in moving on with his life?
DUNGY: I think it was, and for people to get a chance to hear from him his story on where he’s at and what he’s going to do. People look at the football side and feel he didn’t get to do that much on the field with Philadelphia this past season. So many things are going well for him. Reconnecting with his family and getting around to talk to young people is making an impact and (is) really sensational.
CF: What did you see in prison with Michael and feel in your heart (about whether) he was ready for true redemption, and to not only get back on the football field but back in life?
DUNGY: When I talked to him at Leavenworth Prison in June, the first thing I asked him was what he wanted to do, and he told me he wanted to reconnect with his three kids, and he had a daughter that was just like 4 months old when he went to prison. He felt like he had missed her whole life in those 18 months. Getting back with them and restarting his family and explaining to kids in letters why he wasn’t playing for the Falcons anymore, to explain the mistakes he had made and help get them on the right track. Sure, he wants to get back and play top football like he played before, but the family part made me think, here’s a guy that’s not totally about football anymore. I think the Lord has got his attention on what is really important.
CF: Was this your idea or Michael’s to come out and speak at the Super Bowl Breakfast?
DUNGY: I’ve been involved with this event the past 13 years, and the committee and I felt this was a great platform for Michael to be able to speak from his heart and be around such great athletes and coaches of character that surround the Bart Starr Award.
Interview with Michael Vick
Michael Vick is a free agent, and several teams are looking at making offers for the “new” quarterback. Vick has had, and still has, one of the most respected coaches, and men, in the NFL, Tony Dungy, as his mentor off the field. Michael shared his reactions to this special day:
CF: Michael, very emotional and inspirational day here at the Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast. And what did you get out of hearing Kurt Warner’s testimony after receiving the Bart Starr Award?
VICK: It was great to hear such great men that have been so important in their sport, like Bart Starr, Anthony Munoz and Kurt Warner, and you take a little bit of wisdom from each and every one and apply it to your everyday life. I know, talking to Kurt and seeing the faith his wife, Brenda, and him have had in God, and putting their full trust in him, makes me want to emulate that with my fianc