|Wednesday, September 27, 2000|
Where are they now: Curt Warner
By Drew Mitchell
We chose former Seattle Seahawks running back Curt Warner to be the subject of this week's "Where are they now" feature long before St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner set the league on fire.
We swear it.
After a brilliant senior season on Penn State's 1982 National Championship team, Warner blazed a trail of his own through the NFL in 1983. As a rookie, he rushed for 1,449 yards and scored 14 touchdowns for a 9-7 Seahawks team that made the playoffs for the time in franchise history. Seattle beat the Denver Broncos and Miami Dolphins before losing to the Los Angeles Raiders in the AFC Championship Game.
United Press International and the NFL Players Association named Warner AFC Offensive Player of the Year that season. He also made the first of his three Pro Bowl appearances.
Warner, who finished his eight-year career with the Los Angeles Rams in 1990, now lives in the Seattle area. He and his wife Ana have three sons: Jonathan, 7, and six-year-old twins Austin and Christian.
ABC Sports Online: What line of work are you in now?
Warner: I am the owner, operator and dealer of Curt Warner Chevrolet in Vancouver, Wash. I was in a store up in Bellevue [Wash.] with Curt Warner Buick/Pontiac/GMC, then I sold the interest out of that store and came down here. Things are going very well.
ABC Sports Online: On Nov. 28, 1988, the Seahawks beat the Raiders 35-27. What are your memories of that game?
Warner: I remember [fullback] John L. Williams and I had a pretty good day. I think we both went over 100 yards (Warner had 130 yards and a TD catch; Williams had 105 yards). The running game was on and the crowd was hostile toward the Raiders and it was a lot of fun.
ABC Sports Online: What motivated you during that pressure-packed game?
Warner: I think it all stems from the Raiders mystique, and [owner] Al Davis just adds fuel to the fire. He makes it a lot of fun just because of his demeanor and whole attitude toward the Raiders. We've had some pretty good battles with the Raiders in the past and it's always been fun.
ABC Sports Online: Do you still watch NFL games?
Warner: Yeah, but not as much as I used to. I've got a wife, three boys, and I'm running a business, so I don't get to watch it as much as I'd like to. My kids normally take over the television set, so I try to catch bits and pieces here and there.
ABC Sports Online: Tell us about your rookie season. Did you ever start feeling invincible?
Warner: When you first go into the NFL, you almost think you are invincible. It takes a while for someone to disprove that philosophy. It was one of those Cinderella seasons for us. Everything was new. The Seahawks hadn't had a winning season in a while. We were able to mesh and put things together and make it happen.
ABC Sports Online: What are your thoughts on the current Seahawks?
Warner: I think everyone is excited, especially when you bring in a coach who has had as much success as [Seattle head coach Mike] Holmgren. From an offensive standpoint, things are going to be different. A new coach means a new system that mixes things up and doesn't allow other teams to zero in on you when you play twice in one season. Holmgren has brought in a winning attitude and style. He knows that [the system] works and he's heavily involved in it.
ABC Sports Online: Do you still follow your alma matter, Penn State?
Warner: Oh, yes. I don't think they have the offensive firepower that we did, but defensively, that's a whole different story. They can play some defense. They shut people down. Their defense is great and their offense is so-so and they just find a way to win.
ABC Sports Online: Do you get calls for "the other" Kurt Warner, the Rams quarterback?
Warner: No I haven't (laughs), but I like what he's doing. He's bringing good attention to our name. That can't hurt. He's having a great season and the Rams are having a great season. He's got a lot of people's attention.
|Seahawks RB Curt Warner moves the ball against the Los Angeles Raiders at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.|