Cards: Action Packed 1990, Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 2018, C/o Work
Sent: 12/31 Received: 1/13 (14 days)
Failure: TTM 2010, C/o Work. TTM 2017, C/o Home.
I think the first time I really heard of Curt Warner was when I picked up the original copy of Tecmo Bowl on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It took me a little bit to get used to it but I really liked playing the Seattle team as I relied heavily on the run with Curt Warner. I’d add a ProSet 1989 card and his Starting Lineup figurine to my collection soon enough. Despite the fact that he was in the downward phase of his career at that point- Curt was my favorite player on the Seahawks so I was really surprised when they left him unprotected for 1989.
Curt Warner played for the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1979 to 1982. There he became a legendary runningback for the school running for over 900 yards in 3 consecutive years. He’d finish ranked first on Penn State’s all time rushing list with 3,398 yards, and a bevvy of school records.
The 1983 NFL Draft was considered by many to be one of the best in league history. After John Elway and Eric Dickerson went off the board 1 and 2 respectively, the Seattle Seahawks selected Curt with the 3rd overall pick. Curt would become the bell cow of rookie head coach Chuck Knox’s ‘Ground Chuck’ attack.
An electric player out of the backfield, Curt could do it all for the Seahawks, running, catching or blocking. He led the AFC in rushing with 335 carries for 1449 yards and 13 TDs on the ground, He also caught 42 receptions for 325 yards and a TD. The Seahawks became legitimate contenders when Warner was in the backfield, and if not for Eric Dickerson, Warner probably would’ve won rookie of the year in 1983. As it stands he settled for his first of 3 Pro Bowl appearances.
After a gruesome knee injury in the opening game of 1984 ended his season, Curt rebounded in 85 with another 1,000 yard season. He’d have the best season of his career in 1986, returning to Pro Bowl form when he rushed for 1481 yards on 319 carries (13 TD)- averaging 92.6 yards per game. Warner earned his final Pro Bowl nomination in the strike shortened 87 campaign, with 985 yards in 12 contests. While he’d still cross the 1,000 yard barrier in 1988, Warner’s production began to slow down.
He’d sign as a free agent in 1990 with the Los Angeles Rams, expected to replace newly departed RB Greg Bell in the lineup. Things looked good initially as Curt scored the first TD of the Rams 1990 season, but it was pretty much downhill from there. After the Rams stumbled to a 2-5 record, they decided to lean on young backs Gaston Green, Cleveland Gary, and the reborn Marcus Dupree. Curt was unceremoniously cut rushing for 139 yards on 49 carries for LA. It was a quiet end to a quick and prolific NFL career.
Curt was inducted into the Seahawks Ring of Honor in 1994. He’s done some coaching and in the founder of an autism foundation. In 2018 he popped up onto my radar thanks to my hobby friend Deadhorse, who found that Curt was now an insurance agent. I had burned through all my cards for him in my previous attempts- so I opted to nab this Action Packed card to go along with the Rams card I had wanted for so long to be signed.
I had tried previously in the past to get Curt, but admittedly he is as elusive as he was in his playing career. He has two twin boys that have autism which understandably has been quite a handful. He and his wife have written an inspiring book about their experiences called “The Warner Boys”- Our Family’s Story of Autism and Hope.
Great cards here of Curt. It was really tough to choose between any of his modern NFL cards from Score, ProSet, and Action Packed- but in the end I settled on these two. The Rams card was a set need, and is the only card during a game in the uniform. It’s a great looking card. Too bad his career didn’t work out in LA. His Seahawks card shows Curt in all his imposing glory and it was a tough choice between that and his Score 89 card.