Kade Warner makes NFL debut in same stadium dad Kurt Warner played Super Bowl: 'You can’t make this stuff up'
Kurt Warner went undrafted back in 1994, but he went on to win a Super Bowl during his Hall of Fame career. Warner's son, Kade, was not selected during the 2023 NFL Draft.
The last time Kurt played at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers home stadium, he was under center for the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.
Fourteen years later, the Warner family enjoyed a full-circle moment when Kade took to the field for the Bucs in the team's preseason opener on Friday.
Kurt famously played in the Arena Football League after he went undrafted, but he was named the Rams starting quarterback in 1999. He would go on to lead the then-St. Louis-based franchise to two Super Bowl appearances, winning one.
After a series of setbacks beginning in 2002 season, Warner had a re-emergence with the Cardinals beginning in 2007. He followed the bounce-back season with one of the best performances of his career in 2008 and led the Cardinals to the Super Bowl.
Warner lost Super Bowl XLIII to the Steelers — the same team Kade made his debut against on Friday.
"Last [Super Bowl] I played in vs the Steelers at Buccaneers Stadium…today my son plays his first game for the Bucs vs Steelers in that same stadium," Warner wrote in a social media post. "You can’t make this stuff up…& I never thought I’d cheer for [Tampa Bay]. How quickly things change! #Proud Papa."
Warner’s wife, Brenda, recalled the emotional experience her husband had following the second Super Bowl defeated of his career. The disappointing result even cost Kade a new pet.
"14yrs ago [Kurt Warner] last [Super Bowl] and [Kade Warner] cried in the stand (we promised kids a puppy if Dad won) Now [Kurt] tears up as [Kade] makes debut [at Buccaneers] first preseason game. Wow life is beautifully weird and weirdly beautiful," she wrote in a social media post.
Kade played collegiately at Kansas State and Nebraska. He described his opportunity to play in the NFL as a dream come true.
"I was a walk-on, and no one wanted me," Kade said in May.
"Didn’t have any offers. Went to Nebraska, they didn’t want me. Went to Kansas State, took a couple years, finally got there, didn’t get drafted. So it’s been a lot of twists and turns and a lot of adversity, so to be here, to put on this jersey, to go out there and play football — it’s literally just a dream come true for me."