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Marc Bulger’s post-NFL life leads him to the ice

Marc Bulger’s post-NFL life leads him to the ice
Former Rams QB Marc Bulger, second from right, has done plenty since retiring from football, including joining up with a few other former NFL stars to form a curling team. (Courtesy: @MarcBulger10/Twitter)

ST. LOUIS (BVM) — Although it may not have lasted long, there was a time when many St. Louis Rams fans thought Marc Bulger may be the future of the franchise. And it actually came at a time when the franchise was having some of its best success.

Throughout the early 1990s, the Rams lacked a winning team. But that all changed in 1999 when future hall of famer Kurt Warner burst onto the scene, becoming an NFL MVP and leading the Dick Vermeil-led Rams to a Super Bowl title.

The Rams got back to the Super Bowl two years later behind another MVP season from Warner, but would fall in an upset to Bill Belichick, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. While some thought the Rams would become a dynasty, this game actually started one for the Patriots.

Joe Buck, left, is one of many celebrities and athletes that Marc Bulger, right, has found time to play golf with after his retirement from the NFL. (Courtesy: @MarcBulger10/Twitter)

Early in the 2002 season, Warner suffered an injury leading to an opportunity for backup quarterback Jamie Martin. But when Martin also went down, it was time for Bulger to take the reins.

Drafted out of West Virginia by the New Orleans Saints in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft — one of six quarterbacks selected before Brady — Bulger was waived by the team during the 2000 season and signed to the Rams practice squad late in the year.

He re-signed with the Rams in 2001, yet was not active for any of the team’s contests that season. But after the injury to Martin, the third-stringer got his chance. After the Rams lost their first five games of the season, Bulger went 6-0 in games he started, leading the team to a 7-9 record.

However, his real breakthrough would come in 2003. After Mike Martz opted to bench Warner following five turnovers and a concussion against the Giants in Week 1, Bulger was named the full-time starter. From there, his career took off, as Bulger threw for nearly 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns as a Pro Bowl player. He also led the Rams to an impressive 12-4 record and NFC West title.

After seeing that, the Rams decided to move on from Warner during the 2004 offseason, and signed Bulger to a four-year contract. Bulger’s play remained solid in 2004, leading the Rams to an 8-8 record and playoff berth while besting his yardage total from the year prior.

An injury-marred season took its toll on Bulger in 2005, but he would bounce back the following season for a career year, throwing for over 4,300 yards and 24 touchdowns. That earned Bulger a handsome six-year contract extension in which he became the Rams’ highest-paid player.

From left to right, Marc Bulger, Jared Allen, Michael Roos and Keith Bulluck formed the All-Pro Curling Team. (Courtesy: @MarcBulger10/Twitter)

From there, the downfall began. Once again injured throughout the 2007 season, Bulger and the Rams finished just 3-13. In 2008, things got even worse, as Bulger split time with Trent Green at times, and threw more interceptions than touchdowns for the second consecutive season as the Rams won just two games.

Seeing less playing time in 2009, the Rams somehow got even worse, finishing the year 1-15. By 2010, Bulger was released by St. Louis. He was signed by the Ravens to serve as Joe Flacco’s backup, but never saw the field during the 2010 season. In 2011, the roller coaster that was Bulger’s career came to an end, as the Pittsburgh native officially announced his retirement.

Now out of football for a decade, Bulger has still not lost his competitive edge. Whether it’s following his alma mater West Virginia, tuning into watch the now Los Angeles Rams or competing on the golf course with former NFL players and celebrities, Bulger has certainly kept busy and active.

But a few years ago, Bulger found a new sport to take up, one he and many others probably never thought the former quarterback would compete in. In 2018, Bulger teamed up with former NFL star Jared Allen, as well as former Titans players Keith Bulluck and Michael Roos to form the All-Pro Curling Team.

With the help of former Olympic curler John Benton, the team set out to become one of the best, with a goal of competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Although they may not achieve that goal, both Allen and Bulger remain committed to the sport. 

Allen has since joined Team Todd Birr, while Bulger has plans to build a curling facility back home in Tennessee. 

Of course, Bulger has also begun endeavors outside of sports, one of which is creating the Marc Bulger Foundation. While Bulger actually founded the organization during his playing days back in 2007, he has continued to grow it, seeking to help out men and women in uniform, as well as children battling a variety of life-threatening conditions.

Once a top-flight NFL quarterback, Bulger has not lost his competitive edge whether it be on the field, the golf course or the ice. In 2002, he had his first chance to make an impact on the St. Louis Rams. Now, both within sports and outside of them, he continues to make a deep impact on the lives of many.

Bulger will always be known as the Rams’ quarterback who started off hot and faded at the end, but the last decade out of football has proved that there is so much more to this impressive athlete and individual.