Jets honor Martin for Hall of Fame induction

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Curtis Martin’s Hall of Fame speech touched people both young and old.

“Oh my gosh, one of the most telling things for me was being at an autograph signing the next day, and there was a little eight-year-old boy who tried to express to me in his little eight-year-old words how much my speech touched him, and literally a few people down the line was a guy who was at least 90 years old in a wheelchair, trying to express the same things the eight-year-old was trying to express, so it made me feel good,” said Martin, who will be honored by the Jets on Sunday for his Aug. 4 enshrinement in Canton.

As part of “Curtis Martin Day,” the team will retire his No. 28 jersey during a ceremony at halftime.

“It’s been incredible. My family and my friends always joke with me because I’m not a very excitable person. I get excited right in the moment, so leading up to things, I’m usually just the same old Curtis, but I think they’ve all been able to see a little difference in me leading up to this moment, even more so than the Hall of Fame,” Martin said.

“These are some of the highest honors I could receive as a football player. I never thought I could come close to any of this. I don’t think that it’s fully set in yet, but I’m enjoying the process of it setting in. I can’t remember feeling this excited in my life before.”

Martin played for the Jets from 1998 to 2005, racking up seven 1,000-yard seasons in the process.

“Every day I went out there on that field, I practiced the way I’d want to watch myself practice if I was the owner,” he said. “I did my best on and off the field to represent the New York Jets organization as well as all the fans that I held myself accountable to, and even to the media.”