Iowa Football Legend Stocks Hy-Vee Shelves with Peyton Manning
Burlington, IA native Kurt Warner has been back in the limelight recently. Last year, a biopic on his life, American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story, was released on Christmas Day to strong reviews. Its release more-or-less reminded people of his improbable story: one people continue to tell because it's ultimately worth reiterating.
Widely considered to be the NFL's greatest undrafted player, Warner parlayed a successful stint with the Arena Football League's Iowa Barnstormers into an NFL career that culminated with a Super Bowl victory with the St. Louis Rams in 1999. Warner is still the only undrafted quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory, as well as the only to be crowned Super Bowl MVP.
Nearly 30 years after being under center for the Northern Iowa Panthers, Warner made his return to the Cedar Falls Hy-Vee. It was that store he worked at when he was fighting for an NFL opportunity. He put in nightly shifts at that Hy-Vee while working out and refining his football craft in the daytime.
Warner returned to the Cedar Falls grocery store alongside Peyton Manning for an episode of the legendary quarterback's ESPN+ show Peyton's Places. The show revolves around Manning visiting with former players, coaches, and other NFL alums in order to get an idea of how their beginnings, way before the stadium lights came on.
In the latest episode of Peyton's Places, Manning traveled with Warner to Cedar Falls. The two former QBs got into Hy-Vee uniforms, and made a humorous sketch out of Warner teaching Manning how to stock grocery store shelves, face items, and even clean up things he breaks.
The brief clip posted on ESPN's YouTube channel is both funny and informative. There's something homey and relatable about two "stock-boys" sitting on wooden racks, discussing life together. Both Manning and Warner have a friendly rapport. You could believe they've been friends for years just from the clip alone.
One of the best moments in the clip is when a customer wearing a Tom Brady/New England Patriots jersey comes up to ask Manning a question. Peyton is busy spraying the vegetables. When he takes note of the customer's jersey, Manning turns to the right and begins spraying the man, all while his face remains stone-cold serious.
Kurt Warner is such an aspirational figure for young athletes starving for the mere opportunity to show what they can do. His humility and down-to-earth attitude keeps him not only relevant but lovable in the eyes of people, specifically Iowans.
You can watch the full episode of Peyton's Places featuring Kurt Warner via ESPN+.