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Thread: Tom Rock's blog on Curtis

  1. #1

    Tom Rock's blog on Curtis

    The Real Curtis Martin

    By Tom Rock

    I got to meet Curtis Martin today. Of course Ive had interactions with him the last few months on the beat, short chats in the hallway and long group interviews at his locker or in the courtyard. But this was the first time I saw the REAL Curtis Martin.

    The guys in the press room had been telling me about him, but my impression had been that he was just a well-spoken athlete who maintained the same distant relationship with the media as everyone else, and that went for everything from discussing his injury to evaluating his future. Then today, the gap closed a bit.

    Ive spoken to Eric and I asked him if I could be as honest and open well, honest is going to be a given, but as open and as free with information as possible, Martin said early in his 20-minute meeting with the press. He gave me that green light.

    Sadly, it was the only green light Martin will see for quite some time. He acknowledged that he will likely never play again, though he could not bring himself to declare that as a definite. But he was open and, yes, honest, about his injury, about what is going on in his mind and his heart right now, about what he hopes the future will hold, and about his regrets over never winning a Super Bowl. He pinpointed the dates of his injury, the results of his surgery, and the prognosis of his recovery.

    It was refreshing to hear an athlete talk about things without regard for being fined or betraying a strategy or undercutting a teammate or opponent. Im not blasting the Mangini-type atmosphere that is as prevalent around the league as it is with this team, where players recite the same lines over and over like programmed robots or, as someone said during training camp, Stepford Jets. If I was trying to run a football team, Id probably try to have as much message control as possible. But it was refreshing to hear some thoughts from beyond the script, ones that came from the heart without that semi-second pause many players have before answering a question.

    When he finished, and everyone was about to leave the room, Curtis jumped back up on the risers where he had stood for the interview:

    To all of you, I really want to say thank you so much. I mean that from the bottom of my heart. To come to New York and play as long as I have here, the favorable comments and writings that you all have given me over all those years, you dont understand how much that means to me and its one of my greatest accomplishments. I think that playing in New York, its so hard to maintain character, to stay favorable, and you guys, regardless of how things have been, theres only been a few down times or negative reports, and I thank you for that because most of them weren't true at the end of the day. I just wanted to tell you all that I really, really, really appreciate you all.

    Tiki Barber told David Letterman the other night that he doesnt want to go out like Curtis. Tiki should be so lucky.

    After the dust had settled, Dave Hutchinson of the Star-Ledger leaned over to me.

    Now you see, Rock, he whispered. Thats the Curtis Martin we knew.

    And now I know him too. He regretted never winning a Super Bowl. Ill regret never having the chance to work with him on a daily basis.
    I watched the video of the press conference on the Jets' web site and came a way with the same impression. Curtis is a real class act.

  2. #2
    A True Hall of Famer. There will never be another #28 on the Jets.

  3. #3
    Banned
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    I will be breaking with tradition on Nov. 12. Instead of my white Klecko jersey. I will be wearing my green Curtis Martin.

  4. #4
    Jets Insider VIP
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    Wed, 1 Nov 2006 12:14:42 -0800

    New York Jets RB Curtis Martin (knee) revealed Wednesday, Nov. 1, he never pushed the front office to select a running back in last year's draft, even though Martin faced the prospect of never playing again. "There has been speculation, and I heard about it. But no, and for one thing, what goes on in the front office is like Vegas. It stays there. We all knew my condition. I believe that if I was 100 percent or if I was retired, the decisions that were made here, it would be the same decisions," Martin said.

  5. #5
    JetsInsider.com Legend
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    Great job T-Rock

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