In the wake of the Pacman Jones combusiton at a Vegas strip club, there have been many calls (including one of my own) for the NFL to start cracking down on the misbehavior of their players. A group of players recently met with union head Gene Upshaw and commisioner Roger Goodell about instituting a "three strikes, you're out" policy. Curtis Martin wasn't part of the group but he should have been. Martin was honored by the group One Hundred Black Men recently for being a decent human being. So it's not surprising that when he shared his thoughts about what he'd do if he was in charge of the NFL on the NFL network he focused on off-field issues.
"I would probably do something with the discipline in the league because right now we're just having too much going on and we want to keep the league reputable," Martin said. "I would implement more stipulations that would govern how we are off the field."
Something tells me that Martin, who grew up amidst violence and gangs in Pittsburgh and had a gun pointed to his head as a kid, would favor something less than three strikes when it came to the kind of off-field life Pacman finds so enjoyable. Martin also said that he's got no interest in becoming a coach nor does he watch much football. Some might find that strange but after 33 years spent mostly around the gridiron why would you want to spend your free time with it as well.
Even if he doesn't want to be a coach the NFL should do all it can to ensure that he plays a role in the league going forward. He's an ambassador of everything good about pro football and the antithesis of the thugs that have sprouted throughout the league. If Goodell is serious about stemming the off-field proclivities of his players one of his first calls should be to the future Hall of Famer.
(Updated: Brian Bassett of The Jets Blog has more of Martin's comments. I guess he actually gets the channel. Lucky bastard.)