Thursday, November 02, 2006

Martin's Class [J. Mark English]

This comes from journalist Jeff Alder:
It came as no surprise Wednesday to find out future Hall of Famer Curtis Martin would not play at all this year, or possibly ever again. At 33 years old, Martin is already at a point where most running back's skills have declined significantly, and he is battling a knee injury that has resulted in a painful bone-on-bone condition. So it's very possible his playing days are behind him.

Which is a shame in my view, because Martin is one of my favorite players today. Despite currently ranking fourth on the all-time rushing list, he has never been the type of player to promote his own cause. In fact, it's almost unbelievable how little publicity he has received over the years despite some of the things he has accomplished in the nation's largest television market.

And that stems from the fact that Martin has never been one of those "look at me" type players who get all the attention, a la Terrell Owens. In today's game, all you have to do to get noticed is do a little end zone dance to belittle your opponent, get into shouting matches with your coaches on the sideline, or just act like a jackass in general. All those things are beneath Curtis Martin, and it's a shame that the spotlight is consistently focused on lesser players and men because of their immaturity while a guy who deserves the accolades has toiled much of his career in relative obscurity....

Comment -
I'm not a Jets fan, and I tend to look on the team at times with pity. Its not like my Giants have been all that much better then the Jets over the past 15 years, but I feel sorry for a team that must play in a stadium named after another team in the NFL.
It must be rough for a Jet to have his/her own identity when the team plays in a different state from its name sake, and in a stadium named after another team.
Yet...Curtis Martin came to embody the Jets over the last decade. He was a powerful back, who never flashed, but only worked his butt off every single day.
The 1998 Jets were a team that Bill Parcells could be proud of, because they were efficient, played tough defense, and they almost upset the Broncos in the AFC Championship team. That team would never have made it far without Martin as their war horse.
He'll be missed by Jet fans, but he should be missed by all of New York, as well as the rest of the league.