Curtis Martin, one of the six NFL hall of fame 2012 inductees, has said that he was thankful for his award, but concerned that Bill Parcells was not also enshrined this year.
Martin, a former New England Patriots and New York Jets running back who accumulated the fourth highest total rushing yards in NFL history, thanked his fans, the staff of athletic organizations he's worked with and the media. Still, the running back was very vocal about Parcells not being inducted along with former cornerback Jack Butler, center Dermontti Dawson, defensive end Chris Doleman, defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy and former offensive tackle Willie Roaf this year.
Parcells was a former head coach for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants. He led the latter team to two Super Bowl championships. After he was elected on Saturday night, Martin spoke about his respect for Parcells who coached him at the New York Jets.
"There's God and then there's Parcells, as far as the meaning they've had on my career," Martin told the media on Saturday night. "I'm very grateful that Parcells is just the person who walked me through this entire process. I feel even the years he wasn't my coach, what he left (that) somewhat embedded in my character was different ways of how to be a man and how to be a professional."
Still, Martin said he was disappointed to hear that Parcells could not be inducted with him this year.
"I think I was probably more disappointed because for me, he meant so much to me. If I did dream about anything, it would have been going into the Hall of Fame with the guy that I feel was responsible for my career being what it had been," he said. "That's the only somewhat bittersweet moment for me, is that I was really looking forward to either Bill going in or us going in together."
Looking back at his career, Martin said the most meaningful moment was impacting lives in a positive way.
"When I view my career, my career was being a role model, not necessarily a football player," Martin said. "Playing football was just the vehicle that enabled me to be able to do what make my heart sing, which is to impact people's lives in a positive way."