Lost in the hype of Super Bowl week is the fact that the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be announcing their 2012 class of inductees on Saturday evening. Former New York Jets running back Curtis Martin, who is one of 15 modern era finalists, is in his second year of eligibility and reportedly has a very good chance of being enshrined. Some of Martin’s career accomplishments include:
– 4th leading rusher in NFL history with 14,101 yards (behind Emmitt Smith, Walter Payton, Barry Sanders)
– 1 of only 2 players in the history of the NFL to rush for 1,000 yards for 10 consecutive seasons (the other Barry Sanders)
– According to Stats Inc. ranks 3rd in the history of the NFL with 4,002 offensive touches (behind Emmitt Smith and Walter Payton)
– In a list of players with over 1,000 NFL touches, Martin ranks 1st averaging 23.8 touches a game
– Curtis ranks 10th in the history of the NFL averaging 103.8 yards per game from the line of scrimmage.
– In his last full NFL season Martin became the oldest player to ever lead the NFL in rushing with 1,697 yards
-100 career touchdowns (90 rushing, 10 receiving)
– 5 time Pro-Bowler, 4 time Jets team MVP ( in 2007 team award was named after Martin)
– In a span from 1995-2004 Martin missed only 4 games
Not for nothing but I think that is a very impressive NFL resume. Statistically Martin meets the criteria for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When you add in the man that is Curtis Martin, the induction should be a slam dunk.
Curtis took a tremendous amount of pride in helping out his community, even going as far to allocating a portion of his checks to charity. Most of Martin’s off the field endeavors went unnoticed as the star running back was never looking for notoriety or the spotlight, just a chance to give back.
On a personal level I have had the chance to meet Curtis Martin several times throughout his career and you could never meet a more fan friendly professional athlete. Martin always took the time before and after games to take pictures and sign autographs for the fans. Curtis was one of the few players that was respected by all NFL fans, not just those of the New York Jets.
On Saturday I hope that the selection committee votes Curtis Martin into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Martin was a warrior on the field and a tremendous ambassador off of it. What else could you ask for out of a NFL player?