NFL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2012: Curtis Martin Finally Gets Spotlight
Curtis Martin may be the most underrated running back of all time, but he'll finally get his due when he's inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Martin headlines the lineman-heavy class set to be enshrined in Saturday's ceremony and for a running back who was largely unheralded, the honor is well deserved.
While most fans will look at the era in which Martin played and think of running backs like Barry Sanders, Emmit Smith and LaDainian Tomlinson, there weren't many running backs you would rather have on your team than Martin.
Martin never won an MVP trophy and was only invited to the pro bowl in five of 11 years in his illustrious career, but his consistency over his career was nothing short of remarkable. Martin rushed for at least 1,000 yards in each of his first 10 seasons in the league—only failing to do so in the final season of his career.
A look at where Martin stands all-time in rushing is absolutely staggering, considering he is rarely mentioned in talks about the greatest backs of his era. His 3,518 carries ranks third all-time, his 14,101 rushing yards puts him behind only Emmit Smith, Walter Payton and Barry Sanders on the all-time rushing list, and his 90 career rushing touchdowns make him good for 12th all-time.
The Hall of Fame is designed to honor the game's greatest players. Looking at Martin's career, there's no question that Martin is one of the most consistent and durable backs in NFL history. His 119 consecutive regular season starts gave his teams a solid workhorse back to depend on week in and week out.
For a star that always seemed a little under-appreciated—especially for playing most of his career in New York—it's fitting that Martin finally gets his time in the sun.
Martin is the only skill position player to be inducted in this year's class of Cortez Kennedy, Chris Doleman,Willie Roaf, Dermontti Dawson, and Jack Butler.
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