Leading up to the NFL Draft, current and former Steelers’ players will be sharing their Draft Day Memories. In this installment, former running back Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala shared his memories.
Sixth Round – 1998
When the phone call comes, when the moment happens that you are drafted, sometimes you don’t even hear what is being said on the other end of the phone. That was the way it played out for Christ Fuamatu-Ma’afala, who had to wait a while just to get the call.
“Waiting for the call and getting it from the Steelers, it was very stressful,” said Fuamatu-Ma’afala. “I was projected to go in the third round, but I fell to the sixth round. After the third round went by I stopped watching the draft. I had my whole family there. I was anticipating the moment. The fourth round came, finally the sixth round and it was the Pittsburgh Steelers. I thought I don’t care what these guys want me to do, I am going to do it. I was going to give them all I had. It saved my family. We were anticipating the moment. I always felt indebted to the organization and I tried to play that way.
“When I got the call, I couldn’t hear Mr. (Dan) Rooney. My family was jumping up and down going crazy. I was trying to listen. I kept watching the television. I couldn’t hear anything. My family was yelling, I was yelling. When I saw my name going across the bottom I kept yelling thank you, thank you. I didn’t hear a word he was saying. I was definitely excited.”