What Time Is The Football Hall Of Fame Induction A True NFL Legend In Sport and Spirit: Curtis Martin

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A True NFL Legend In Sport and Spirit: Curtis Martin

NFL football enthusiasts around the world take pride in their team affinity, player stats and champion propensity each year. Most start by announcing to their friends and family that their team is certain to make the postseason in brazen fashion at the start of each season. That’s something most football fans have in common, even if the Super Bowl isn’t their goal, but the 500 team is. Football fans love to talk about their teams and the players who march onto the field on their behalf every week. When the player comparisons begin to stir among the crowd, especially when it comes to running backs, no session would be complete without mentioning football legend, Curtis Martin.

Curtis James Martin Jr. was born and raised on the rough, lower-income streets of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was raised mostly by a single mother who suffered untold abuse from his father before he abandoned them both by the time Curtis reached double digits. Despite the hardships her family faced, his hard-working mother made sure her son’s infectious smile and friendly humble personality were not wasted on the streets. She transferred him to a high school where education was not only a priority, but an exact focus. Curtis Martin never touched a football, at least not in the form of an organized game, until he was a senior in high school, which makes his story even more meaningful to NFL football fans across the nation.

Football was only an extracurricular tool for Curtis, at the urging of his mother. She knew he would be better off the less time he had to spend immersed in the horrific violence that had befallen him. Football became that outlet, thanks to his immense natural ability and talent that his high school coach didn’t overlook. After one year of playing nearly every position on the team, including quarterback, he was lauded by colleges from across the country.

In an effort to stay close to home, Curtis chose the University of Pittsburgh. With a lackluster college career plagued by various injuries, Curtis opted out of redshirt availability and sat out what could have been his final year as an amateur to NFL football scouts. He declared eligible for the 1995 NFL Draft and slipped to the very late third round before being selected by New England. The Patriots would be the first to use Curtis’ speed, style and durability to impress the NFL football world at large, and because of his success, Curtis could finally put his mother in a comfortable position in life. The latter, he always explained, was his only decisive success, which immediately endeared him to everyone who met him.

Curtis was a workhorse, winning his first rushing title in 1995, the same year he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. A year later, he joined his Patriots teammates in Super Bowl XXXX, losing to the Green Bay Packers by two touchdowns. In 1997, he became a free agent and was traded to the New York Jets where he spent the rest of his career. His hard-working demeanor and exceptional playmaking ability allowed him to play seven full seasons with the Jets while missing just one game.

Curtis cemented his solidity in the history books after adding another rushing title to his record, completing five Pro Bowl selections and all Pro assignments to match. Loved by many and respected by all, Curtis never wavered in his football skills, even late in his career. Nearly ten years after beginning what would become an illustrious existence in an NFL uniform, Curtis became the oldest player to win a rushing title at age 31. His reputation for excelling at a sport he never cared for as a child earned him fourth all-time in rushing yards in the NFL history books. Many would certainly argue that he could have jumped to the top spot on that esteemed list had his knees not been chronically injured.

He was forever a New York Jet, as his No. 28 jersey was retired by the team in 2012, and he was inducted into the rest of the league and its fans the same year he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His opening speech served as a vivid reminder to everyone who loves football, and to the man who handled the ball with such precision and expertise all those years, that life, love and family are more important than anything else.

In a clean manner, Curtis Martin, after describing his life in horrific detail, thanked football for making him the person he is today. What he is today serves as a beacon of hope for youth across the country, thanks to the Curtis Martin Job Foundation that provides support and financial assistance to single mothers as well as a group of poor individuals through numerous charities. Where the heart is, there is the soul, and Curtis Martin has developed both in an extraordinary way.

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