First Impressions: "They stuck with me and I'm glad they did."
While driving in his red 1986 Volkswagen GTI Hatchback down highway 81 outside of Roanoke, Virginia, Chris Warren's car broke down on his way to a workout for the Seattle Seahawks before the 1990 NFL Draft.
He was still an hour from his school, Ferrum College, and he thought to himself "How am I going to get there now?"
"I'm driving to get to the workout, and my car breaks down," Warren said. "I'm like maybe an hour away from school, and the [Seahawks] running back coach is sitting at the school waiting for me to work out. I walk to a pay phone, and call using the pay phone."
Warren jokingly followed up saying "We didn't have cell phones back then."
But Warren never had to figure out how he was going to get to school, an hour away, without a car because the Seahawks came to him.
The Seahawks' tenacity showed Warren that they cared about him.
"I'm thinking it's over, my dreams are gone," Warren said. "They drove an hour from the school to work me out, where my car broke down at a rest stop. That was my introduction to the Seahawks," Warren said. "They could have easily gone on to the next guy, or the next school like 'Oh he's not responsible enough' but they made it work."
As you can probably imagine, working out at a rest stop isn't the most conventional place.
"The people are looking at me like 'What is this guy doing?'," Warren said. "The coach is like 'Run over here. Run over here. Do this. Do that.'"
That year, the Seahawks drafted Warren in the fourth round, and it was the beginning of Warren's career where he would go on to earn three Pro Bowl selections and by the end of his career with the Seahawks, he was the all-time leading rusher.
Throwback Uniforms: "I mean, where do you get this color from anyway?"
Thinking back on his NFL career, Warren said the first time he felt like he was in the NFL was during a preseason game in Tokyo.
"We take the flight, we get over there and I'm like, I'm really in Japan. I'm about to play football [in the] NFL. It's like two months ago I was at home, just trying to figure it out," Warren said.
The Seahawks were preparing to play John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
"Just walking out of the locker room and looking across the field, seeing the other team and you know, like you see guys that you've only seen on TV before."
His rookie year would go on to be a memorable year playing in the Kingdome and wearing the now throwback jerseys.
"The fans always kept us motivated. They were like, right on top of you and it was just a great home field advantage," Warren said reminiscing on his time playing in the Kingdome.
During the interview, Warren was sporting a royal blue throwback baseball cap and pointed to it.
"This blue and silver, that's it. It is the best. I mean, where do you get this color from anyway, and then match green with it? It works. And put the silver in there. Nostalgic. That's all I can say," Warren said. "It makes you feel like you've accomplished something, to bring back the old jerseys and have that nostalgia. It lets you know that you were respected."
Giving Back: "Sports was a big part of my life."
Life after football for many players is about figuring out exactly what life after football looks like for them.
And for Warren he's been mentoring two young men on the University of Virginia football team.
"I'm their mentor for the year. So, I'll be giving them advice. Helping them through the season, the ups and downs of college life. I've experienced it and I've had some good days and some bad days. So just mainly to share my experience and guide them."
Along with mentorship Warren has written a book about his experiences with the game of football.
"It's about the playing days and just the ups and downs of life, football, how it's all concurrent, and parallel." Warren said.
He is already working on his second book that he hopes will be well received by his children.
"Book number two will be called 'Resilience' and I'm in the process of doing that now. It's more like a 30-day journal of daily practices to be resilient," Warren said. "Really the idea was just to connect with my kids and to have something, they could read it and see like a totally different part of me."
On the book Warren said, "I wrote the book with my kids in mind and I thinking 'Well if it helps my kids, then it could help other people'."
Warren is a busy man and has plans for an athletic center to be developed in Maryland.
"It was a vehicle for me to, you know, stay out of the streets, stay out of trouble. Not running with the wrong crowd. And it gave me a purpose in life. So, I just want to, you know, to give back and of course, have something to do that I like." Warren explained.
And like many Seahawks players who have decided to stay and live in Seattle after their playing days were over Warren said, "Yes, [moving to Seattle will happen]. I've been on the fence for a few years about it," he said. "I have so many great friends here, great memories."
Chris Warren played 11 seasons in the NFL, 1990-2000, including the Seahawks, Cowboys, and Eagles. Warren was a 3-time Pro Bowler. Take a look back at some of the best photos and moments from Warren's career with the Seattle Seahawks.