Curtis Martin talks about the NFL, Kaepernick, Adele, the Jets and the injury that ended his career
Curtis Martin, the Hall of Fame running back who accumulated over 14,000 rushing yards and 90 rushing touchdowns during his 11-year career with the New England Patriots and New York Jets, recently had a chance to sit wit AOL to discuss his work with Verizon and the company's newly launched LTE Advanced, the Jets this season, his career, Adele and more.
Q: Verizon recently launched LTE Advanced, which gives NFL fans more access to football this season with the nation's largest and fastest 4G LTE Network. This season, Verizon customers can exclusively stream live local and prime time games through the NFL Mobile app, up to 50% faster. How exciting has it been to work on this launch and campaign?
A: The interesting thing for is that this is how I get most of my football information, NFL Mobile. When I'm in airport or wherever, I'm not the type of guy to just sit and watch a game straight through, unless the Jets are playing. For the most part, I watch Red Zone, and then I'm an NFL Mobile guy constantly throughout the season.
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Q: When you think back to playing days, do you miss it?
A: No, not really. I don't miss playing. I miss all the things that came along with football, that had to do with team-oriented things, the leadership, camaraderie. I miss the lessons that came with football, but the playing part, I could do without.
Q: When you look back at your time with the Jets, are there one or two memories that stand out the most?
A: I would probably have to say the day I signed he contract and the day I retired. ... Coming to the Jets was somewhat of a miraculous thing, just to get there. And being with the coach who brought me in, drafted me -- it couldn't have been a better situation for me. I knew that the Jets, with him in charge, we were poised to do something good. And I said 'when I retired' because I put my all into football. One of my goals was to retire without any regrets. I felt like it was mission accomplished.
Q: Even with the injury? You're at peace with that? If you didn't get hurt, how much longer would you have played?
A: You know something? At the end of my career, I was feeling better than I ever felt. The year before, I won the rushing title and I was feeling like a kid coming out of college. So, I knew that, barring some significant injury, I could play as long as I wanted to. I had another three years after that year in mind, and then I was going to reevaluate.
Q: How big a fan would you say you are now? Do you look forward to seeing how every Sunday plays out, like most fans?
A: I keep up with the Jets and Patriots. Literally, though, most of the time I'm on my phone and look up a lot of things, see who did what and what happened around the NFL. That's how I stay in touch and that's enough.
Q: A hot issue with the Jets this offseason was the situation with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Do you think it's hard to watch it all as a teammate? How do players deal with that, when one of their team leaders are kind of in limbo? Is it strictly 'football is a business and it is what it is'?
A: Yeah, everyone knows it's a business. In those situations, players are usually cheering for the player. We understand the game, we understand how short it can be. Me, I was fortunate enough to play 11 years, but it's literally one freaky injury -- that didn't even really hurt -- that ended my career. You know you're up against that every day in the NFL. So, we kind of cheer for each other when in contract negotiations.
Q: The Jets are 1-1 thus far and have shown a lot of positive signs. What are your thoughts on them this year?
A: They have a tough schedule, but the thing is, if they stay healthy, they'll be there come playoff time. They have the talent. They definitely have the talent. They have the coaching. I'm looking forward to seeing it all because I think they have the right pieces.
Q: Matt Forte has started off red-hot, despite a lot of people wondering if he's had too many miles on his legs. Do you see any similarities between you and him, being a model of consistency?
A: Yeah. This is his 10th year I believe. I had my best year in my 10th year. I think Forte has more talent than I ever did. He's bigger, faster, stronger and quicker. It really depends where your mind is at, because if he still has a strong drive for the game, he's going to finish with a fantastic year.
Q: Another hot topic around the NFL, obviously, has been the protests during the national anthem. What's your take?
A: You know, for me, to each his own. Colin has that type of spirit about him and he will protest, and he is an activist at heart. A lot of guys aren't. It doesn't mean people won't stand up for the same thing, but people like Colin, they believe in something so intensely, they put everything on the line and make sacrifices for it. Hey, I think he's showing how adamant he is and how much this means by no giving it up. Guys can say some things, but when you're really faced with decisions that may cost you millions and millions of dollars and may make your infamous, rather than famous, you have to dig deep and consider how much you really believe in what you're doing. I think he's showing that he's not backing down. It takes a lot of conviction to do what he's doing.
Q: Here's a couple quick-hitters. What was your favorite stadium to play in?
A: Pittsburgh, because I grew up there. My goal was was just to destroy them as much as possible.
Q: What was your favorite visitor's locker room?
A: You know something? I'm usually so focused during a game, I couldn't tell you what one locker room looks like. It's like when you're playing you don't the hear the crowd. I'm so focused, it's almost like I didn't recognize my surroundings.
Q: Favorite music artist?
A: That's a challenging one because I shift between genres. Right now, my daughter is into Adele. I can't get her songs out of my head (laughs). I wouldn't say she's my favorite. I like Maxwell, but yeah, Adele is embedded in my head.
Q: Favorite movie?
A: "Godfather Part II."
Q: Favorite food?
A: I'd have to go with Crab legs.
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