Curtis Martin

Curtis James Martin Jr. (born May 1, 1973) is a former American football running back who played in the National Football League (NFL) for the New England Patriots and New York Jets. He is considered one of the greatest running backs of all time. Martin began his professional career with the Patriots, who selected him in the third round of the 1995 NFL Draft. As a free agent in 1998, he joined the Jets where he finished his career in 2007 due to a career-ending knee injury in the 2006 NFL season. He retired as the fourth leading rusher in NFL history. He was selected as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

Curtis Martin
refer to caption
Martin at a Times Square pep rally for the Jets in January 2010 prior to the AFC Championship Game
No. 28
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:May 1, 1973 (age 45)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Height:5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Pittsburgh (PA) Allderdice
College:Pittsburgh
NFL Draft:1995 / Round: 3 / Pick: 74
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:14,101
Yards per carry:4.0
Rushing touchdowns:90
Receptions:484
Receiving yards:3,329
Receiving touchdowns:10
Player stats at NFL.com
Player stats at PFR

Early years

Curtis Jr. was born to Rochella Dixon and Curtis Sr. on May 1, 1973.[1] Curtis Sr. left the family in 1978 after turning to drugs and alcohol leaving Curtis's mother to support the family by working three jobs.[1] During his youth, Curtis often moved around the various neighborhoods in Pittsburgh and was consistently surrounded by violence.[2][3] His grandmother, Eleanor Johnson, was found murdered with a knife in her chest; at age 15, Martin had a near-death experience when a loaded gun pointed at his head was pulled seven times, but never fired.[4]

He and his mother settled in Point Breeze prior to his sophomore year of high school where he began attending Taylor Allderdice High School which was known for its highly regarded academic reputation.[2] He played basketball as a sophomore but did not participate in any sports during his junior year.[2] At the insistence of his mother, who wanted him to participate in an extracurricular activity as a way to keep him away from crime and violence, Curtis began to play football during his senior year despite having never cared much for the sport.[3][5]

Martin was considered a natural athlete according to former head coach Mark Wittgartner and became an immediate star on the football team as he played at the running back and linebacker positions. He also played on special teams and occasionally at quarterback.[2] He ran for 1,705 yards and scored 20 touchdowns in his lone season of high school football.[5] Martin graduated from Allderdice in 1991 and was inducted into their alumni hall of fame in 2011.[6]

Martin's performance at Allderdice attracted the attention of the University of Pittsburgh's football coach Paul Hackett. Though other offers were available, Martin decided to remain close to home and attend Pittsburgh.[5]

College career

Martin, whom Hackett likened to Tony Dorsett, was expected to be a valued contributor to the Panthers when he arrived in 1991. However, injuries plagued much of his college career.[5] As a junior, he rushed for 1,045 yards in ten games but he missed the final two with a sprained shoulder.[5][7] In 1994, Martin opened his senior year running for a career-high 251 yards against Texas however the following week against Ohio he suffered a sprained ankle that sidelined him for the rest of the season.[7]

Martin had the option to redshirt and play one more season at Pittsburgh or enter the NFL Draft. He chose to enter the draft stating "in the end it was the best thing to do".[7] Draft analysts predicted that had Martin stayed another season at Pittsburgh and remained injury free he could have been a potential first round selection.[7] Martin was highly touted for his speed—he ran a 4.4 in the 40 yard dash—and his slashing running style.[7]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
5 ft 11 14 in
(1.81 m)
203 lb
(92 kg)
31 78 in
(0.81 m)
9 14 in
(0.23 m)
4.10 s 41 12 in
(1.05 m)
10 ft 11 in
(3.33 m)
16 reps
All values from the 1995 NFL Combine[8]

New England Patriots

The Patriots lost three running backs to free agency upon the conclusion of the 1994 season and sought to fortify their backfield.[7] One running back, Kevin Turner, was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as a restricted free agent and Philadelphia sent a third round selection to New England.[7] The Patriots used the selection to draft Martin in the 1995 NFL Draft despite concerns about his durability.[7] Martin signed a contract with the team on July 19, 1995,[9] and made his NFL debut in the Patriots' week one win over the Cleveland Browns.[10] Martin ran for 30 yards on his first carry and finished with 102 yards for the day.[10][11] He became the first Patriots rookie to rush for 100 yards during their debut.[11] Martin continued his impressive streak and rushed for over 100 yards eight more times during the season. He finished the season as the AFC's leading rusher with 1,487 yards and 14 touchdowns.[11] He won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and was named to the Pro Bowl.[11]

The following year, Martin only rushed for 100 yards twice during the season but recorded 1,152 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.[10] In the playoffs, Martin, playing in his first career playoff game, served as a key player in the Patriots' wild card victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He rushed for a then franchise record 166 yards and three touchdowns including a 78-yard touchdown, the second longest touchdown run in playoff history at the time.[12] The Patriots went on to play in Super Bowl XXXI, but lost to the Green Bay Packers. Martin rushed for 42 yards, caught three passes for 28 yards, and scored a touchdown in the game.[10] Martin was again named to the Pro Bowl.[13]

New York Jets

After the 1997 season, Martin became a restricted free agent. On the first day of the free agency period Martin's agent, Eugene Parker, contacted the New York Jets to gauge their interest in potentially signing the running back.[14] Negotiations ensued between Parker and Jets head coach and general manager Bill Parcells and an offer sheet was formulated.[14] Though Martin had reservations about playing in New York and particularly for a division rival, the presence of his former coach Parcells influenced his decision to ultimately join the Jets.[15] On March 20, 1998, Martin signed a six-year, $36-million poison pill contract.[16][17] The "poison pill" was a clause in the contract that stated Martin would become an unrestricted free agent after one-year if the Patriots matched the offer and it would have forced New England to pay a $3.3 million roster bonus that would have compromised their salary cap.[17] Under these conditions, the Patriots did not match the offer however they received the Jets' first and third round selections in the 1998 NFL Draft as compensation after filing a complaint with the NFL management council claiming the offer sheet violated the terms of the league's collective bargaining agreement at the time.[14][18]

In his first seven seasons with the Jets, Martin missed only one game and was selected to the Pro Bowl three times. In 1998, Martin gained 182 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns against the Jacksonville Jaguars in a Jets playoff win. Martin rushed for a season-high 196 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals in the team's home opener, and would rush for over 100 yards eight more times that season, finishing with 1,697 yards.[19] Martin won the NFL rushing title by one more yard than runner-up Shaun Alexander and became the oldest player, at age 31, in league history to win the rushing title.[19] Martin was named the FedEx Ground Player of the Year and named an All-Pro and elected to his fifth and final Pro Bowl.[13][20]

With the retirement of Emmitt Smith after 2004, Martin entered 2005 as the active leader in career rushing yards. In 2005, Martin suffered what was deemed as a strained right knee injury in the Jets' second game of the season against the Miami Dolphins, when he was tackled by linebacker Zach Thomas.[21] An MRI of the knee was negative and Martin continued to play through the season despite a noticeable drop-off in production, having only rushed for 100 or more yards once the entire season.[22][23] On November 27, 2005, Martin joined Barry Sanders, Walter Payton and Emmitt Smith as the only running backs to rush for 14,000 yards in their career.[24] By December, the severity of the knee injury began to increase and Martin, despite wanting to become the second player (after Smith) to rush for 1,000 yards in 11 straight seasons, elected to have season-ending surgery, finishing with 735 yards on the season.[25] Martin began 2006 on the Physically Unable to Perform list as the post-operation recovery period took longer than expected though the surgery was considered minimally invasive.[26] By November 2006, despite months of rehabilitation, Martin was declared out for the season with a bone-on-bone condition in his right knee.[27] After re-negotiating his contract to help provide more salary cap room for the Jets, Martin announced his retirement in July 2007 thus ending his career having amassed 14,101 total rushing yards, the fifth highest total in NFL history.[28]

Post retirement

Following his retirement, Martin expressed interest in becoming the owner of an NFL franchise.[29] He continued to involve himself in various charity work including through the Curtis Martin Job Foundation, established by Martin during his playing career, designed to provide "financial aid and hands-on support to single mothers, children’s charities, individuals with disabilities and low income housing providers".[30]

Martin was considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 2011; however, he was not selected.[31] Martin was again a leading candidate for selection in 2012 alongside former head coach and mentor Bill Parcells.[32] He was selected for induction on February 4, 2012 and formally inducted on August 4, 2012. Martin's speech, which he conducted without notes, was widely praised by critics for its sincerity.[33]

The Jets retired Martin's No. 28 jersey in a halftime ceremony at New York’s season-opening game against the Buffalo Bills on September 9, 2012.[34]

On November 11, 2013, Martin was added to the Miami Dolphins' five-man committee to develop the conduct code by owner Stephen M. Ross following a locker room hazing incident involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin.[35]

Personal life

In 1998, on Father's Day, Martin and his mother Rochella began a long reconciliation process with his father, Curtis Sr., by renting a new, furnished condominium for his father, who had left the family due to his addictions to cocaine and alcohol.[1] In 1990, Curtis Sr. checked into a veteran’s hospital for two weeks followed by a six-month stay at a rehabilitation center and was able to remain sober until his death from cancer, in June 2009 at age 58. The family members made peace with each other in the final weeks of the elder Martin's life.[1]

Martin married his longtime girlfriend Carolina Williams in a ceremony held at Oheka Castle in Huntington, Long Island in 2010.[36] On December 15, 2011, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Ava.[1]

Career statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving
G GS Att Yds TD Lng Y/A Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng
1995 NE 16 15 368 1,487 14 49 4.0 30 261 8.7 1 27
1996 NE 16 15 316 1,152 14 57 3.6 46 333 7.2 3 41
1997 NE 13 13 274 1,160 4 70 4.2 41 296 7.2 1 22
1998 NYJ 15 15 369 1,287 8 60 3.5 43 365 8.5 1 23
1999 NYJ 16 16 367 1,464 5 50 4.0 45 259 5.8 0 34
2000 NYJ 16 16 316 1,204 9 55 3.8 70 508 7.3 2 31
2001 NYJ 16 16 333 1,513 10 47 4.5 53 320 6.0 0 27
2002 NYJ 16 16 261 1,094 7 35 4.2 49 362 7.4 0 28
2003 NYJ 16 16 323 1,308 2 56 4.0 42 262 6.2 0 29
2004 NYJ 16 16 371 1,697 12 25 4.6 41 245 6.0 2 22
2005 NYJ 12 12 220 735 5 49 3.3 24 118 4.9 0 14
2006 NYJ Did not play due to knee injury
Total 168 166 3,518 14,101 90 70 4.0 484 3,329 6.9 10 41

Playoffs

Year Team Games Rushing Receiving
G GS Att Yds TD Rec Yds TD
1996 NE 3 3 49 267 5 8 55 0
1998 NYJ 2 2 49 138 3 10 97 0
2001 NYJ 1 1 16 106 0 6 34 0
2002 NYJ 2 2 31 141 0 5 43 0
2004 NYJ 2 2 37 143 0 8 76 0
Total 10 10 182 795 8 37 305 0

Awards and honors

Award/Honor Time(s) Year(s)
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year 1 1995[13]
PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year 1 1995[13]
Pro Bowl 5 1995, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004[13]
All-Pro 3 2001 (First team); 1996, 1999 (Second team)[13]
UPI And Pro Football Weekly All-AFC 4 1995, 2001, 2004 (First-Team) 1996 (Second-Team)
Lead the American Football Conference in rushing yards 2 1995, 2004[37]
Lead the American Football Conference in touchdowns 1 1996[37]
Ed Block Courage Award 1 2001[38]
Led the NFL in rushing yards (1,697) 1 2004[37]
Oldest player to win the rushing title in NFL history (age 31) 1 2004[19]
FedEx Ground Player of the Year 1 2004[20]
Bart Starr Man Of The Year 1 2006[39]
Fourth leading rusher of all-time (14,101 yards) 2007[37][40]
Second player to have the most seasons with 1,000 yards or more rushing 2007[37][40]
Second player to start with 10 consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons 2007[37][40]
Third Most Career Rushing Attempts (3,518) 2007[37][40]
Tenth all-time in combined net yards (17,421) 2007[37][40]
Third most consecutive regular season starts by position (119) 2007[40][41][42]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Politi, Steve (January 28, 2012). "Politi: Jets' Curtis Martin has shown greatness beyond football, including forgiving his father". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d Chass, Murray (January 14, 2005). "Pro Football; For Martin, a Mixture of Oil With Talent". The New York Times. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Finder, Chuck (January 14, 2005). "AFC Playoffs / The Jets: Curtis Martin a football star by accident". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  4. ^ Pedulla, Tom (August 4, 2012). "For Martin, Hall Is Latest Stop in a Still Unfolding Career". The New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  5. ^ a b c d e Mihoces, Gary (September 29, 2004). "Jets' Martin: High output, low profile". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 4, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  6. ^ "Allderdice to induct 6 to Alumni Hall of Fame". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. October 31, 2011. Retrieved July 18, 2012.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Smith, Timothy W. (August 13, 1995). "Pro Football: Notebook; In Need of Running Backs, Patriots Pencil a Rookie Into the Starting Lineup". The New York Times. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  8. ^ http://nflcombineresults.com/playerpage.php?f=Curtis&l=Martin&i=23635
  9. ^ "Transactions". The New York Times. August 19, 1995. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c d "Curtis Martin Career Game Log". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on February 5, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  11. ^ a b c d "Curtis Martin". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on June 9, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2012.
  12. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (January 8, 1997). "It's Open House for Patriots and Martin". The New York Times. Retrieved September 14, 2012.
  13. ^ a b c d e f "Curtis Martin". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  14. ^ a b c Cimini, Rich (August 4, 2012). "Curtis Martin changed two franchises". ESPN New York. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  15. ^ Vrentas, Jenny (July 24, 2012). "Hall of Fame running back Curtis Martin never liked football, and he hated New York and the Jets". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  16. ^ "Martin Signs Jet Offer Sheet". Los Angeles Times. March 21, 1998. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  17. ^ a b Hutchinson, Dave (April 8, 2009). "New York Jets could insert 'poison pill' into offer sheet to Cowboys WR Miles Austin". The Star-Ledger. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  18. ^ Graham, Tim (September 11, 2008). "Jets-Pats rivalry transcends games". ESPN. Archived from the original on January 17, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2010.
  19. ^ a b c "Martin rushes to the top". Pro Football Hall of Fame. August 1, 2012. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  20. ^ a b "Brees, McCoy earn top FedEx honors". National Football League. 2011. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  21. ^ Associated Press (September 19, 2005). "Jets' Martin to have MRI on strained right knee". ESPN. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  22. ^ Clayton, John (September 20, 2005). "Martin's MRI a break for Jets". ESPN. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  23. ^ "Curtis Martin Career Game Log". Pro Football Reference. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  24. ^ Associated Press (November 28, 2005). "Smith, Payton, Sanders other players to reach mark". ESPN. Archived from the original on August 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  25. ^ Associated Press (December 11, 2005). "Jets' Martin to have season-ending knee surgery". ESPN. Archived from the original on May 27, 2006. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  26. ^ Associated Press (July 27, 2006). "Jets place Martin, McCareins, Teague on PUP list". ESPN. Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  27. ^ Associated Press (November 2, 2006). "Martin out for 2006, unsure he'll ever play again". ESPN. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  28. ^ Associated Press (July 24, 2007). "Jets running back Martin to announce retirement this week". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  29. ^ Associated Press (November 14, 2007). "Ex-Jet Curtis Martin expects to be NFL owner by next season". ESPN. Archived from the original on January 4, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  30. ^ Associated Press (August 2, 2012). "Class Of 2012: Curtis Martin needed persuasion from mom to play football". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 4, 2012.
  31. ^ Cimini, Rich (February 6, 2011). "Curtis Martin denied in Hall of Fame vote". ESPN. Archived from the original on May 9, 2012. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  32. ^ Gola, Hank (February 3, 2012). "Former NY Jets RB Curtis Martin hopes to be inducted into Hall of Fame alongside mentor Bill Parcells". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on May 26, 2013. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  33. ^ Serby, Steve (August 5, 2012). "Mother of all speeches comes from Curtis' heart". New York Post. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  34. ^ Associated Press (September 9, 2012). "Jets Retire Curtis Martin's No. 28". CBS New York. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  35. ^ Ralph Vacchiano [@RVacchianoSNY] (November 11, 2013). "Dolphins owner Steve Ross will form 5-man committee to develop conduct code: Don Shula, Tony Dungy, Dan Marino, Jason Taylor, Curtis Martin" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  36. ^ Porter, Todd (August 2, 2012). "Martin finds post-football happiness in marriage". Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival Guide. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h "Curtis Martin:Career Highlights". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  38. ^ "Ed Block Courage Award Alumni" (PDF). Ed Block Courage Awards. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  39. ^ "Curtis Martin – 2006 Award Winner". Super Bowl Breakfast: Bart Starr Award. September 2, 2011. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  40. ^ a b c d e f Ranking based upon numbers at the time of Martin's retirement in 2007.
  41. ^ Fittipaldo, Ray (July 31, 2012). "Hall of Fame Week: Curtis Martin". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.
  42. ^ "Career Flashback: Former Titans RB Eddie George". Tennessee Titans. May 16, 2011. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2012.

External links

1992 New York Jets season

The 1992 New York Jets season was the 33rd season for the team and the 23rd in the National Football League. The Jets were looking to improve on their 8–8 record under head coach Bruce Coslet in 1991 and also make a second consecutive trip to the postseason. However, it was not to be.

The Jets' problems began in the offseason when veteran quarterback Ken O'Brien announced he was holding out of training camp to get a new contract. O'Brien’s holdout continued into the season and Coslet named second-year backup Browning Nagle as the team's starter. Nagle did not have an effective year, only winning three of his thirteen starts. He was eventually replaced by O'Brien late in the year, but was pressed back into action after the veteran suffered a season-ending injury. The Jets didn't win a game until Week 5 against the New England Patriots and only won three more times the rest of the year to finish with a 4–12 record. Two of those wins came against division rivals, the eventual AFC Champion Buffalo Bills and the AFC East winner and conference runner up Miami Dolphins.

In addition to O'Brien’s injury, the Jets saw career-ending injuries claim two of their star players and a season-ending injury befall another. In Week 2 defensive end Jeff Lageman, who had been a defensive star for the Jets during their 1991 playoff push, went down with a season-ending injury. Then, in a Week 10 loss to the Denver Broncos, star receiver Al Toon suffered his ninth career concussion and was forced to retire immediately after eight seasons in the NFL. Finally, in Week 13 against Kansas City, defensive end Dennis Byrd broke his C-5 vertebra in his neck; while going to try to sack Chiefs’ quarterback Dave Krieg Byrd ran headfirst into teammate Scott Mersereau to cause the injury. The Jets wore a decal on their helmets for the rest of the season with Byrd's #90 surrounding an ichthys and have not issued #90 since; Byrd has since regained the ability to walk. With Byrd's injury still fresh in their minds the Jets went to Buffalo for their Week 14 matchup with the Bills and defeated them for their fourth and last win of the season. Denis Byrd was used as inspiration in the 2010/2011 playoffs by then Head Coach Rex Ryan. Byrd not only addressed the team prior to the upset win the AFC Divisional Playoff game at the New England Patriots, but his jersey that was cut off of him on the day he was injured was carried out to mid-field for the coin toss. Sadly Dennis Byrd was killed by a drunk driver in the winter of 2016.

After the season, Jets star running back Freeman McNeil announced his retirement. At the time of his retirement he was the all-time leading rusher in Jets history, but he has since been surpassed by Curtis Martin.

1994 Pittsburgh Panthers football team

The 1994 Pittsburgh Panthers football team represented the University of Pittsburgh in the 1994 NCAA Division I-A football season.

1995 NFL Draft

The 1995 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 22–23, 1995 at the Paramount Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. At the time of the draft, the Raiders were still based in Los Angeles. They would officially return to Oakland after a 13-year hiatus in July 1995. Additionally, the former Los Angeles Rams had gotten approval to move to St. Louis shortly before the draft on April 13 (they would return to Los Angeles in 2016). The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season.

There were 32 picks in the first round of this draft as the two expansion teams each received two extra picks between the first and second rounds. The Carolina Panthers, having selected second in the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft, were awarded the first overall pick in this draft and the Jacksonville Jaguars, having picked first in the expansion draft, selected second. The Panthers, however, traded their number one pick to the Cincinnati Bengals for the Bengals' fifth overall pick and their fourth pick in the second round. The Panthers were also stripped of two later supplemental picks, numbers 61 and 191, for improperly recruiting the Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Coordinator, Dom Capers, as their Head Coach.This marked only the third time to date in NFL History that two Hall of Fame players were selected by the same team in the same round (the other being the Bears in 1965 draft and the Ravens in the 1996 NFL Draft.) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Warren Sapp with the 12th overall pick and Derrick Brooks with the 28th overall pick. The two future Hall of Famers would go on to lead a strong defense which contributed heavily to the win in Super Bowl XXXVII.

1995 New England Patriots season

The 1995 New England Patriots season was the team's 36th, and 26th in the National Football League. The Patriots finished the season with a record of six wins and ten losses, and finished fourth in the AFC East division. Unlike the previous year, Drew Bledsoe had a poor season by throwing just 13 touchdowns and 16 interceptions and completed just 50.8% of his passes. On the other hand, rookie running back Curtis Martin shined with a Pro Bowl season and would be the Patriots' feature back for two more seasons before being traded to the New York Jets in 1998.

1996 New England Patriots season

The 1996 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 27th season in the National Football League and the 37th overall. They finished with a record of eleven wins and five losses, and finished first in the AFC East division.

After a disappointing 1995 season, Drew Bledsoe bounced back with 4,086 passing yards and threw 27 touchdown passes to just 15 interceptions while Curtis Martin had another Pro Bowl season. The team lost Super Bowl XXXI to the Green Bay Packers.

1998 New England Patriots season

The 1998 New England Patriots season was the franchise's 29th season in the National Football League and the 39th overall. They finished with a 9–7 record, good for fourth place in the division but also a playoff berth; they lost in the first round to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

In the offseason, the Patriots tendered restricted free agent running back Curtis Martin with the highest possible tender, which would return the Patriots first- and third-round draft picks if any team were to sign him and the Patriots were to decide not to match the offer. Fueling the rivalry between the two teams, the New York Jets and head coach Bill Parcells, who had resigned from the Patriots two years earlier, signed Martin, the 1995 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and per restricted free agency rules ceded their first- and third-round picks in the 1998 NFL Draft to the Patriots. With the first-round pick the Patriots selected another running back Robert Edwards, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in his rookie campaign. Suffering a broken finger in November, veteran quarterback Drew Bledsoe was unable to start the team's final two regular season games and was replaced by Scott Zolak. With a 9–7 record the Patriots finished fourth in the AFC East but earned a sixth seed in the AFC playoffs. With Zolak still at the helm, the Patriots were defeated on the road by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the second straight playoff defeat for second-year head coach Pete Carroll, and is one of only two games the Patriots have ever lost to the Jaguars, the second being in 2018.

1998 New York Jets season

The 1998 New York Jets season was the 39th season for the team and the 29th in the National Football League. The team improved on its previous season by three games, finishing 12–4 in their second season under head coach Bill Parcells, winning their first division title since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970; the 12–4 record was also the best in Jets history. This success came just two years after the Jets’ 1–15 record in 1996.

The Jets earned a first-round bye, given to the two division winners with the best records, for the first time. They defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Divisional round of the playoffs. Their attempt to reach their first Super Bowl in thirty years was halted by losing in Denver when the 14–2 Broncos scored 23 unanswered points in the second half.

The 1998 Jets are one of only two teams in NFL history to win seven games against teams that would go on to make the playoffs.Vinny Testaverde threw for 3,256 yards, 29 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions in 421 pass attempts (1.7%).

The title game was the Jets’ last title game appearance until 2009, although they returned to the playoffs in 2001, and qualified for the postseason four more times that decade.

2000 New York Jets season

The 2000 New York Jets season was the 41st season for the team, and the 31st in the National Football League. It was also their first under the ownership of Woody Johnson, who purchased the team in January 2000 from the estate of former owner Leon Hess.

The team tried to improve upon its 8–8 record from 1999 under new head coach Al Groh, who became the successor for Bill Parcells after Bill Belichick abruptly resigned to take the same position with the New England Patriots. Although they managed to finish one game better than they had in 1999, their 9–7 record (including three losses to close the year) was not enough to make the playoffs.

Shortly after the season ended, Groh resigned as coach to take the head coaching position at the University of Virginia, his alma mater. Shortly after that, Parcells stepped down as Director of Football Operations and retired from football. Like his previous retirement, it proved only temporary and Parcells was back in the NFL in 2003 as the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

2001 All-Pro Team

The 2001 All-Pro Team comprises the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 2001. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP team. These are the three teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 2001 the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly combined their All-pro teams, a practice with continues through 2008. In 2001 the AP did not have a separate “fullback” position. Also, in 2001, the AP returned to choosing two inside linebackers, rather than one.

2001 New York Jets season

The 2001 New York Jets season was the 42nd season for the franchise, and the 32nd in the National Football League. The team tried to improve upon its 9–7 record from 2000. Under new head coach Herman Edwards, the Jets finished 10–6 and qualified for the final Wild Card position in the American Football Conference. They lost in the Wild Card round to the Oakland Raiders, 38–24.

2004 New York Jets season

The 2004 New York Jets season was the franchise’s 35th season in the National Football League and the 45th season overall.

The season began with the Jets attempting to improve on their 6–10 2003 record. The Jets started the season by winning their first five games, which constituted a franchise record. They ultimately finished 10–6, and clinched the fifth seed in the playoffs, reaching the postseason for the third time in four seasons.

They upset the AFC West champion San Diego Chargers in the Wild Card round, winning in overtime 20–17, but would lose in the Divisional round to the Pittsburgh Steelers, also by a score 20–17 in overtime.

Art Rooney Award

The Art Rooney Award is given annually by the National Football League (NFL) in recognition of outstanding sportsmanship on the playing field. Established in 2015, the award is named in honor of Art Rooney, the founding owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The award is determined by a vote of the NFL players. The award is presented each year to an NFL player who demonstrates on the field the qualities of great sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for opponents, and integrity in competition.

Each NFL team nominates one player during the season. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community selected from the 32 nominees eight finalists (four in the American Football Conference; four in the National Football Conference). The panel of Legends Coordinators in the inaugural year was composed of Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler. Along with the award, the winner receives a $25,000 donation from the NFL Foundation to a charity of his choice.

Curt Fraser

Curtis Martin Fraser (born January 12, 1958) is a former ice hockey player of dual American and Canadian citizenship. He currently serves as assistant coach of the National Hockey League's Dallas Stars.

Fraser was born in Cincinnati while his father played for the International Hockey League's Cincinnati Mohawks. He was raised in Winnipeg and Vancouver. Fraser was diagnosed with diabetes in 1983 and is active in fundraising and awareness efforts for the disease.

Fellowship of Catholic University Students

The Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) is a Catholic outreach program for American college students founded in 1997 by Curtis Martin and Dr. Edward Sri at Benedictine College.

Frank Gore

Franklin Delano "Frank" Gore (born May 14, 1983) is an American football running back for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Miami, and was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft, playing with them from 2005 to 2014. He is the 49ers all-time leader in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

In his NFL career, Gore has had nine 1,000-rushing-yard seasons and five Pro Bowl selections. While achieving some personal success, he struggled with a team that suffered numerous losing seasons until he and the 49ers achieved a 13–3 record in the 2011 season under new head coach Jim Harbaugh. In 2011, the 49ers won the NFC West division and reached the NFC championship game. In 2012, Gore helped lead the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, although they would lose to the Baltimore Ravens. In 2011, Gore became the 49ers career rushing yards leader and in 2012, he became the 49ers rushing touchdowns leader. In 2014, Gore became the 29th player to have rushed for over 10,000 yards. He also spent three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. He is currently the oldest active running back in the league.

Freeman McNeil

Freeman McNeil (born April 22, 1959) is a former professional American football player who was selected by the New York Jets in the first round as the third overall pick of the 1981 NFL Draft.

After leading Banning High School to the Los Angeles City football title, the 5'11", 214 lbs. running back attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where he was a two-time all-Pacific-10 Conference selection. In his final game, he caught a deflected pass from quarterback Jay Schroeder that was tipped by USC defensive back Jeff Fisher and went 57 yards for the winning touchdown with two minutes left in the Bruins' 20–17 win.

McNeil played in 12 NFL seasons for the Jets from 1981 to 1992. During the mid to late 1980s he was a member of the Jets' "Two Headed Monster" backfield along with teammate Johnny Hector, a tandem that ranked among the league's elite. When he retired he was the Jets all-time leading rusher with 8,074 yards; he was surpassed by Curtis Martin and currently ranks second in Jets team history. In 1982, McNeil led the NFL in rushing with 786 yards. He was the first Jet to the lead the league in rushing. He is one of a few running backs in NFL history to average 4.0 yards per carry in every season he played.

From 1990 to 1992 McNeil was the lead plaintiff in a case won by jury verdict that struck down the NFL's Plan B free agency system, under which teams could protect 37 players. McNeil and the seven other plaintiffs were among the protected players listed by their teams. The system was deemed too restrictive and a violation of antitrust laws. However, Freeman was not one of the four plaintiffs awarded damages. The suit is considered a major step in the achievement of free agency rights by the NFL Players Association.In 2005, he was inducted into the Nassau County Sports Hall of Fame. Freeman lives in Huntington, New York on Long Island.

Matt O'Dwyer

Matt O'Dwyer (born September 1, 1972) is a former American football player who played in the National Football League from 1995 to 2005. A 6-foot-4, 315-pound lineman out of Northwestern University, O'Dwyer played for the New York Jets (1995–1998), the Cincinnati Bengals (1999–2003), and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2004). He blocked on lines that produced a 1,000-yard rusher in seven of his 10 NFL seasons (Adrian Murrell 1996–1997, Curtis Martin 1998 and Corey Dillon 1999–2002). He also helped Dillon to break Walter Payton's single-game NFL record, a 278-yard performance vs. Denver, October 22, 2000 (since surpassed by Jamal Lewis in 2003 and Adrian Peterson in 2007).

Selected by the Jets as the #1 pick in the second round (33rd overall) of the 1995 NFL Draft, O'Dwyer started 64 consecutive games at guard for the Jets (1996–1998) and Bengals (1999). In 2002, he was Cincinnati's only player on the field for every snap. Overall, O'Dwyer played 122 regular season games (105 starts), as well as two postseason starts, both in 1998 when the Jets nearly advanced to Super Bowl XXXIII. O'Dwyer was known for his tough style of play; he was one of the most penalized players in the NFL in 1997. After playing for the Buccaneers in 2004, O'Dwyer was signed by the Green Bay Packers in 2005, but he was cut at the beginning of the season. He retired from the NFL on September 1, 2006. He lives in Tampa Bay & Chicago.

O'Dwyer appeared in the Jon Favreau & Vince Vaughn movie Made with fellow NFL player Jason Fabini & future The Sopranos star Federico Castelluccio as doormen.

Members of the Queensland Legislative Assembly, 1974–1977

This is a list of members of the 41st Legislative Assembly of Queensland from 1974 to 1977, as elected at the 1974 state election held on 7 December 1974.

1 On 11 February 1976, the Liberal member for Clayfield, John Murray, resigned. Liberal candidate Ivan Brown won the resulting by-election on 11 May 1976.

2 On 19 February 1976, the Labor member for Port Curtis, Martin Hanson, resigned due to ill-health, and died the following day. Labor candidate Bill Prest won the resulting by-election on 29 May 1976.

3 On 12 August 1976, the Liberal member for Lockyer and Deputy Premier, Sir Gordon Chalk, resigned. Liberal candidate Tony Bourke won the resulting by-election on 16 October 1976.

4 On 7 March 1977, the Independent member for Mackay, Ed Casey, who had won twice as an independent after losing Labor preselection ahead of the 1972 election, was readmitted to the Labor Party.

5 On 12 May 1977, the Liberal member for Clayfield, Ivan Brown, died. No by-election was held due to the proximity of the 1977 state election. The Clayfield electorate was abolished at the election as a result of an electoral redistribution.

Super Bowl XXXI

Super Bowl XXXI was an American football game between the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots and the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Green Bay Packers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1996 season. The Packers defeated the Patriots by the score of 35–21, earning their third overall Super Bowl victory, and their first since Super Bowl II. The Packers also extended their league record for the most overall NFL championships to 12. It was also the last in a run of 13 straight Super Bowl victories by the NFC over the AFC. The game was played on January 26, 1997 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana.

This Super Bowl featured two clubs that had recently returned to competitiveness. After 24 mostly dismal seasons since Vince Lombardi left, the Packers' fortunes turned after head coach Mike Holmgren and quarterback Brett Favre joined the team in 1992. After four losing seasons, the Patriots' rise began in 1993 when Bill Parcells was hired as head coach, and the team drafted quarterback Drew Bledsoe. Under their respective head coaches and quarterbacks, Green Bay posted an NFC-best 13–3 regular season record in 1996, while New England advanced to their second Super Bowl after recording an 11–5 record.

The game began with the teams combining for 24 first-quarter points, the most in Super Bowl history. The Packers then scored 17 unanswered points in the second quarter, including Favre's then-Super Bowl record 81-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Antonio Freeman. In the third quarter, the Patriots cut the lead to 27–21 off of running back Curtis Martin's 18-yard rushing touchdown. But on the ensuing kickoff, Desmond Howard returned the ball a then-Super Bowl record 99 yards for a touchdown. The score proved to be the last one, as both teams' defenses took over the rest of the game. Howard became the first special teams player ever to be named Super Bowl MVP. He gained a total of 154 kickoff return yards, and also recorded a then-Super Bowl record 90 punt return yards, thus tying the then-Super Bowl records of total return yards (244) and combined net yards gained (244).

This was the first Super Bowl broadcast by Fox under its first contract to carry NFL games. By a large margin it was the highest-rated program aired in the network's history at the time.

Curtis Martin—awards and honors

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