Curtis Martin has gone from the mean streets of Pittsburgh to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The star running back with the Patriots and Jets for 11 seasons was one of six players elected yesterday to the shrine. Martin once disliked playing the game, but used it to escape a neighborhood where his grandmother was murdered. "When I get awarded something like the Hall of Fame, it's almost foreign to me," said Martin, the NFL's No. 4 career rusher. "This wasn't something I planned on doing. Football is something I did so I didn't end up jailed or dead.
Martin and four linemen were elected to the hall, along with one senior committee choice. He is joined by Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Willie Roaf, Dermontti Dawson, and senior selection Jack Butler. Jerome Bettis, Cris Carter, and Bill Parcells were among the finalists who didn't make it. Parcells, however, will make the Aug. 4 ceremony: Martin says he'll ask his former coach to present him for induction in Canton.