Notable former Arizona athletes Kurt Warner and Shane Doan have a mutual respect.
It’s surprising considering their popularity, but the two only met a couple months ago when Warner was planning his Friday, February 9, Celebrity Game Night, at which Doan will be honored.
“I’ve admired him and his career and known about him for a long time,” Warner says. “We crossed paths, but never had a chance to connect. That’s a beautiful part of this. I got his number from a friend and called and asked him to breakfast. We became fast friends.
“We’re very similar from an athletic standpoint, and competitive standpoint. Our kids and families are priorities. When you’re talking about Valley sports figures, it doesn’t get any bigger than this guy.”
“The feeling is mutual,” he says. “I was really looking forward to getting to know him and meet him. All the things you hear about him are true.”
The event—from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Ross Aviation Hangar at Scottsdale Airpark—will feature games like giant Jenga, pop-a-shot, and air hockey. Don’t expect Monopoly, Warner says with a laugh. His family frequently plays board games and Battleship at his home, while Doan jokingly said he hopes to enjoy team roping. His childhood go-to game was Pit, a card game involving spoons.
Warner and Doan aren’t the only big names participating. The former Cardinals quarterback says a broad group of celebrities and athletes are expected to attend.
“It’s interactive,” Warner says. “People are going to leave talking about the two of us, or the people in their group who went on stage. It’s fun, unique and different—all for a great cause.
Celebrity Game Night will raise money for Treasure House, an under-construction residence in Glendale for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Kurt and Brenda Warner’s son, Zachary, is disabled after an accident when he was months old.
“It’s a community living facility for adults with intellectual and development disabilities,” Warner says. “It will house 26 individuals who, as a peer group, will be connected through the community and participate in programs together. It’s kind of like a dorm atmosphere. It’s a chance for us to tap into the gifts and skills.
“We’re building in Glendale and, we’ll work on getting it right, and then spread it across the country.”
Doan is no stranger to honors. He was recently inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, honored by the Scottsdale Firefighters Charity, and served as the grand marshal of the Fiesta Bowl parade.
“That’s incredibly flattering,” Doan says about the honors. “You recognize it’s the end of something. It was pretty special for me.”
Warner slyly says he’s not telling Doan ahead of time how he’s going to recognize him.
“We’re going to do something completely different; honor him in a whole different way.”
Kurt Warner’s Celebrity Game Night, Ross Aviation Hangar, South Complex South Hangar, 14700 N. Airport Road, Scottsdale, treasurehouse.org/gamenight/, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, February 9, $250.