Without a doubt, quarterback Kurt Warner remains one of the most beloved players in the history of the St. Louis Rams. In fact, Warner is still so beloved in St. Louis that it's easy to find his jersey on many fans on Rams game days even to this day.
It's easy to remember the glory days of Warner as a Ram, to think back to when he was the conductor of the "Greatest Show on Turf" and leading the team to a win in Super Bowl XXXIV and an appearance at Super Bowl XXXVI. Lost in the reminiscing of those days is how Warner's time in St. Louis ended. It wasn't a pretty divorce as then coach Mike Martz opted to put the franchise in the hands of quarterback Marc Bulger.
After a one-year stop in New York with the Giants, Warner revitalized his career in Arizona and led the previously moribund Cardinals to an appearance in Super Bowl XLIII.
Warner ended his career with similar numbers in his time in Arizona and St. Louis but retired a Cardinal when the team still wanted him to return. Earlier this week, Warner was asked about his allegiance between the two teams by TMZ Sports. In what surely isn't a popular answer amongst Rams faithful, Warner said he would tend to lean toward Arizona. He also made it clear he still has plenty of love for the Rams and St. Louis.
"If there was one I would probably feel more allegiance to Arizona than I do St. Louis just because of the fact that there are still a number of people there whether it's teammates or in the upper levels [of the organization]," Warner said. "Being the last place that I played, being that I still live there, there's probably a little more allegiance there. But still a huge fan of St. Louis and thankful for everything they gave me."
While Warner did win a Super Bowl with the Rams and they gave him his chance, it's understandable why Warner would still feel connected to a franchise that he finished with on such a high note. Beyond that, the Cardinals still have teammates, coaches and support staff from Warner's time there. The turnover in the Rams organization has left little in the way of people Warner spent time with in St. Louis.
In the big picture, none of this is really a big deal. Warner is still loved in St. Louis and still gives back to the community here through his charitable efforts. Likewise, unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame doesn't recognize players as "going in" as any member of a particular team. So there will be no debate when Warner earns his trip to Canton.
A roundup of Friday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we took a closer look at the pending release of running back Chris Johnson and how the Rams aren't likely to pursue him but it would be short-sighted to preclude any former Titan from Rams' interest. ... Next, I participated in the weekly Rams chat, answering your questions for a couple of hours on all things related to the team. ... Finally, we took a look at Nate Silver's latest on FiveThirtyEight.com, which examines the relative popularity of the teams from the major North American professional sports.
ESPN Insider Field Yates breaks down potential landing spots for Johnson, including a Rams mention.
At 101sports.com, Anthony Stalter takes a look at some potential fits for the Rams at wide receiver.
At stltoday.com, Jim Thomas provides the latest update on Rams' pre-draft visitors.
Add Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy to that list, Thomas writes.
NFL.com posits that the Rams have the most pressure on them going into 2014.