Greatest Underdogs in Sports History

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Greatest Underdogs in Sports History

In honor of Linsanity—Jeremy Lin and nine more zero-to-hero athletes.
If you polled every Super Bowl MVP in NFL history, it’s likely that only one of them has “shelf stocker at grocery store” on their post-college resume. Yes, Kurt Warner, after going undrafted at the 1994 NFL Draft, found himself at Hy-Vee grocery store in his hometown of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, earning $5.50 an hour.

While it looked like his football career reached the end of the line before it even started, Warner never gave up the dream, latched onto the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League (AFL) in 1995, and played three stellar seasons, culminating in two straight trips to the ArenaBowl. (The Super Bowl of the AFL, duh.) In 1999, as a backup for the St. Louis Rams, Warner finally got his shot when starter Trent Green was lost to a season-ending injury. A la Brady two years later, Warner led his team to a surprise Super Bowl championship, in an MVP season for the ages. He went on to add another MVP trophy, and two more (albeit unsuccessful) trips to the Super Bowl.

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