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Hall of Fame finalist: Kurt Warner

The Pro Football Hall of Fame's 2015 class will be announced on Jan. 31. The St. Louis Rams' Kurt Warner is one of 18 finalists.

Aside from some of the greatest baseball Cardinals, there might not be a more beloved athlete in St. Louis history than Warner. With a story ripped straight from a fairytale, Warner was not only the conductor of the "Greatest Show on Turf" but also the face of it.

His candidacy for the Hall of Fame is an interesting one because he falls in line with others who didn't have the long, sustained history of greatness that many already in Canton have but his star burned so bright when he was playing that it is impossible to ignore him.

By the time Warner’s six years in St. Louis were through, he’d thrown for 14,447 yards and 102 touchdowns for a passer rating of 97.2. Along the way, Warner won two MVPs and led the Rams to a win in Super Bowl XXXIV and a trip to Super Bowl XXXVI. Had Warner’s career ended there, his best chance to make the Hall of Fame would have rested more on the mythology of his story than the cold, hard numbers.

But in five years in Arizona, Warner’s statistics match up pretty evenly to his five seasons as a starter in St. Louis. He threw for 15,843 yards and 100 touchdowns for a passer rating of 91.9 while starting 57 games, seven more than he did with the Rams.

On the surface, many of Warner’s numbers may still fall short of some of the game’s greats. But the guess here is that Warner’s immense production in a relatively short period combined with the romanticism of his story will be enough to get him in on the first try.