Everything has come full-circle for the Warner family.
The last time that Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner and now-Buccaneers wide receiver Kade Warner were both at Raymond James Stadium together, Kade was a 10-year-old watching Kurt face the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII.
Fourteen years later, the tables have turned.
Warner, who lost that Super Bowl while with the Cardinals and played 12 seasons in the NFL, watched Kade make his NFL preseason debut, coincidentally against the Steelers, in Tampa 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 tweeted on Friday. “You can’t make this stuff up…and I never thought I’d cheer for [Tampa Bay]. How quickly things change! #Proud Papa.”
Warner’s wife, Brenda Warner, posted a memory from the day, too, remembering the emotions after her husband lost his second Super Bowl appearance and cost Kade the chance to have a puppy.
Kade, 24, was an undrafted free agent wide receiver who played collegiately at Kansas State and Nebraska, and he’ll need to take a path similar to his father.
Warner went from working at a grocery store in Iowa to eventually being named a Super Bowl MVP — and two-time league MVP — with the Rams.
“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.”
The 6-foot-1 wideout is aiming for a spot on Tampa Bay’s 53-man roster ahead of the 2023 season.