Curtis Martin: Saved the best for last

Running back Curtis Martin, fourth on the all-time rushing list, entered Canton the right way, with a stirring, heartfelt, notes-free speech that was inspiring, moving, and entertaining.

Martin explained that he wasn’t a football fan.  After then-Patriots coach Bill Parcells called Martin to advise the former Pitt Panther that he’d been selected in the third round of the 1995 draft, Martin said, “Oh my gosh, I don’t want to play football.”

Martin said that his pastor at the time put the situation in perspective.  “Curtis, look at it this way,” LeRoy Joseph told Martin.  “Maybe football is just something God is giving you to do all those wonderful things that you say you want to do for other people.”

The man who went on to play for the Patriots and Jets explained that he decided in that moment he would embrace the game.  Martin also said that, on Friday of this week, he finally became a fan of football after hearing 93-year-old Bills owner Ralph Wilson speak passionately about the sport — and after spending time with current and former Hall of Famers. Read more here…