On Saturday night, former New England Patriots and New York Jets running back Curtis Martin was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Martin, 39, was the sole member that earned enough votes to get into the hall in 2012.
As a part of his induction, Martin gave a very moving speech in front of a large crowd on the football field in Canton, OH. Martin chose to have Bill Parcells, his former coach in both New England and in New York to unveil his status and present him to the crowd. You can watch the full speech here.
The majority of his career success came with the Jets, where he ran for over 10,000 yards and 58 touchdowns in 123 career games. But before he played for the Jets, he played for and was groomed by the rival Patriots. He was drafted in the third round by Parcells and the Patriots, and quickly became their starting running back,
In three seasons with the Patriots, Martin rushed for 3,799 yards and 32 touchdowns in 45 career starts. Martin scored 14 touchdowns in back-to-back seasons in 1995 and 1996. He was, in my opinion, the true core of the Patriots' offense during his tenure here.
Growing up as a young Patriots fan, I can probably say that Martin was my first real favorite NFL player. I began watching football as a four year old in 1997, and I was the proud owner of a Curtis Martin #28 Patriots jersey. During my young days of watching football, I envisioned myself as a future NFL running back, and I looked to Martin who I wanted to be someday.
While I never really achieved that childhood dream, and see how great a player Curtis Martin was in my eyes. Say what you want about him going in as a Jet and having the most success there, but he will always be a Patriot in my eyes. I remember being really sad when I heard that he wouldn't be playing for the Patriots next season.
Curtis, thank you for all of the shows you put on for a young four-year old and for Patriots fans everywhere. I can't thank you enough for playing a big part in sparking my football interest. Congratulations Curtis, you deserve this.