Curtis Martin bared his soul on Saturday night giving a powerful Hall of Fame speech that made an impact on everyone who was listening. Football was something that didn’t even interest No.28 all that much in high school and college, but it helped shape the man he has become today. The NFL’s 4th leading rusher of all-time (14,101 yards) described the feeling of being placed amongst the all-time greats in pro football. Curtis Martin joined Westwood One with Scott Graham and James Lofton to discuss being enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame, holding his emotions together during his HOF speech, doing everything in his life with a purpose and the Hall of Fame induction being like the movie ‘The Godfather: Part II.’
Congrats on being enshrined into the Hall of Fame and the great speech you gave to the crowd:
“Thank you. This was a once in a moment chance at this and I just wanted to be as vulnerable, open and truthful as possible. I am glad it turned out the way it did.”
How did you hold it together while delivering the speech and the way your mother reacted as well?
“For me the reason why I think it was emotional was because I went up there and said ‘Listen I am going to put it all on the line and I am not taking any notes.’ I don’t want a notecard. I am not looking at anything. I am not worried about anything. I am going to see what comes out and when you are speaking from the heart…that is truly from the heart because there is no plan and I think that is why I started getting emotional, but the guys had a bet that I would be the one who would cry and no tear fell, but I felt like I was crying all day inside.”
You said in your speech that you got to a point where everything you did in your life you were going to do with a purpose. That was a heck of a message you sent huh?
“I have a saying and there’s this poster I had of an eagle’s eyes and just focusing down on a rabbit and the caption under it says, ‘Focus. If you chase 2 rabbits at once both will escape.’ The point being is that I had a goal. I focused on that goal and I didn’t allow anything else to distract me outside of that goal. If it didn’t fit within my focus I didn’t do it.”
Describe the Hall of Fame experience. There’s nothing like it and there’s nothing better than this right?
“You know something I tell you about this experience? Godfather: Part II is one of my favorite movies. I am kind of fascinated with the whole mob scene. Getting into the Hall of Fame is like being made. You are really and when you go that luncheon and you are sitting there it is almost like you go into the bust room and it’s like wow. You are at this luncheon and it’s like all the bust heads are just talking. That was a pretty incredible experience for me.”