Curtis Martin — 2012 Hall of Famer
After about two weeks traveling the country for some exciting new opportunities, I’m happy to be back and ready to share some of my thoughts. I drove up from Beaver Falls to Canton last week for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony, and, as always, it was a phenomenal weekend. I got to see so many guys from back in the day, sharing both old stories and our excitement for the upcoming season. I was able to visit with John Madden, which is always a wonderful treat. I got to see our Ambassador to Ireland, Pittsburg Steelers owner Dan Rooney. I was able to meet with Roger Goodell, who’s work I am a big fan of. I understand where he’s coming from, trying to protect the safety and longevity of the players. At one point, I was sitting around a table with members of the Raiders and Cheifs. Who would have ever though, we discussed, that the group of us could ever sit civilly among each other as piers.
The highlight of the weekend though was the Hall of Fame Induction Speech of Mr. Curtis Martin. A man of great dignity and class, Curtis spoke from the heart and revealed some facets of his life that we never knew. I was stunned emotionally by his stories, specifically all that his mother had to deal with from his father. It was gut wrenching to hear the struggles he dealt with. It was also inspiring to hear then how he helped his mother through those hard times. He helped her forgive his father, and overcome the hardships to be as happy as she’s ever been today. I cringed when hearing about his lack of love for the sport, but then remembered my own situation. As a kid coming out of high school, football was my 3rd favorite sport behind baseball and basketball. I was led towards football, and learned to love the sport. Curtis said he never truly loved the sport until Hall of Fame weekend, and it was great to hear that such an event helped him come around. It was an emotionally touching speech that I was lucky to hear in person. Curtis is a man of great dignity and class, and a great running back on top of that. Well earned, Curtis!