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FLASHBACK: Arizona Rattlers beat Kurt Warner, Iowa Barnstormers in 1997 ArenaBowl

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Posted at 9:38 AM, Aug 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-26 12:38:28-04

The Arizona Rattlers will look for their sixth ArenaBowl championship Friday night when they host the Philadelphia Soul at Gila River Arena in Glendale.

If the Rattlers win, it would be only their second ArenaBowl title won in front of their home crowd. The first came in 1997 against the Iowa Barnstormers, whose quarterback was a man Valley football fans would become quite familiar with.

Before he went on to play in three Super Bowls, including Super Bowl XLIII with the Arizona Cardinals, Kurt Warner got his start in the Arena Football League. He was the Barnstormers' QB from 1995-97 and led the team to back-to-back ArenaBowl appearances.

Warner's team came just short of a championship in 1996. Heading into the '97 ArenaBowl in Phoenix, he told ESPN he was anxious to get his Barnstormers over the hump.

"Right now we want to take that final step, and we want to get that championship and bring it home to Des Moines," said Warner, an Iowa native.

It wasn't to be, however, as the Rattlers went on to defeat Warner and the Barnstormers 55-33 in front of over 17,000 fans at what was then called America West Arena.

Less than three years later, Warner finally got his championship on a much larger stage when he led the St. Louis Rams to their first and only Super Bowl victory over the Tennessee Titans.

(Warner's comments begin at about the 3:30 mark of the video below.)