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Curtis Martin: "My Legacy Starts with Me as a Man."

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August 4, 2012; Canton, OH, USA; New York Jets former running back Curtis Martin poses with his bust during the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremonies at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Curtis Martin was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame last month. This afternoon at MetLife Stadium, his #28 jersey was retired by the New York Jets during a ceremony at halftime. When players earn these types of accomplishments, they often look back on where they have been as a football player. Curtis was a little different, talking about how important being a good man is first:

I think my legacy starts with me as a man. A lot of times I try to read as much fan mail as possible and it’s rare that someone talks about a game that I played or a run that I’ve had. Most of the people tell me about the impact that I’ve had on their lives, how I inspired them, or aspired them to do something better or more in their lives. That’s what I want my legacy to be. I want to be known as the man more so than the football player.

He had a tough time talking about what the honor today meant to him:

Words can’t express (how I feel). I almost feel like it’s the Hall of Fame. There’s a part of this that’s even bigger than the Hall of Fame because it’s the hometown, it’s the crowd that I’ve played in front of for all these years. I’m just excited. I’m usually not really excited until I’m coming through the tunnel, but I’m already excited.

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