Martin Spent 14-Year Career with the New York Giants
Martin was co-captain of the 1986 Super Bowl winning New York Giants
Newark, N.J. (Friday, March 6, 2009) - When the New Jersey Ironmen host the Milwaukee Wave on Saturday, April 4th, for their Heroes Day, former New York Giants defensive end and Super Bowl hero George Martin will be present at Prudential Center to perform the role of honorary captain. In addition to a stellar career in the National Football League, the philanthropic Martin most recently founded a Journey for 9/11 and has raised over two million dollars for the medical care of first responders to the 9/11 attacks at Ground Zero.
“We are delighted to have George Martin serve as our honorary captain on Heroes Day,” Ironmen General Manager Tony Novo commented. “From the thrilling performances he displayed on the football field to his selfless commitment to raising funds for the first responders affected by the 9/11 attacks, he is a true hero in every essence of the word.”
In folklore a Giant is defined as a being with human form but superhuman size and strength, which perfectly defines the 6-foot-4 Martin. He is a Giant among men and a true ironman in all its worth, missing only six games in 14 years of service to the New York Football Giants.
While there have been many well-defined moments in his lifetime, Martin showed the true character of his being with the foundation of a Journey for 9/11. Many of those who had rushed to aid in the aftermath of 9/11 are sick with respiratory and other diseases that can cause permanent disability. Some have unfortunately lost their jobs and have been unable to get necessary treatment for their health problems due to a lack of insurance. Bothered by this, Martin decided he wanted to make a difference and established a Journey for 9/11.
In support of his foundation, Martin began walking on September 16, 2007, at the George Washington Bridge in New York City with his sights set on walking all the way to San Diego, California, to raise money for a Journey for 9/11. 3003 miles, nine months and 27 pairs of shoes later, he arrived in San Diego on June 21, 2008. He raised over two million dollars in the process, while also shedding 41 pounds on his journey. Further displaying his perseverance as an absolute ironman, Martin did not miss a single day of walking due to injury, sickness or fatigue. He remains steadfast in his commitment to raising funds for his initiative still today. The Ironmen will be donating all of the proceeds that they raise from their halftime ball toss on April 4th to his foundation, and there will be further information at that game as well about how to contribute. For more information or to make a donation to his cause today, visit www.ajourneyfor911.info.
Prior to his heroism for a Journey for 9/11, Martin displayed the same fearlessness on the football gridiron. Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Martin was drafted by the Giants in 1975 after playing college football at the University of Oregon. He was co-captain of the Super Bowl XXI Champion Giants, sacking Denver Bronco quarterback John Elway for a safety in the first half. Earlier that season, he picked Elway in a regular season contest and returned the interception for a 78-yard touchdown, a series of events that then-Giants head coach Bill Parcells called the greatest football play that he had ever seen.
Over his 14-year career, Martin tallied 46 sacks and seven touchdowns (six on defense). His six defensive scores came by means of three interception returns, two fumble returns, and a lateral on a blocked field goal. That ranked as the best by a defensive lineman in NFL history until defensive end Jason Taylor broke the mark in 2006.
A Journey for 9/11 is only a portion of the philanthropic work of Martin. The AXA corporate officer also serves as the co-founder and Executive Board Member of Minority Athletes Networking, a non-profit organization that cultivates the inner city youth. He also serves as an Ambassador for the NFL Youth Football Initiative and as a board member of the New York Football Giants Alumni, where he helps former players get back into productive roles in society. He is additionally the Honorary President of Tomorrows Children’s Fund and the Honorary Dinner Chairman of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Martin was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1986 as their Humanitarian of the Year, and he is also a current member of the Sports Hall of Fame of New Jersey.
After a thrilling golden goal in sudden death overtime by veteran midfielder Goran Vasic lifted the Ironmen past the Detroit Ignition last Saturday, New Jersey remains on the road for their next two matches before returning to Prudential Center on Sunday, March 22nd, to host the Milwaukee Wave. Serving as honorary captain for that game will be former Cosmos captain Werner Roth. Following that match-up, the team will be hosting the 2009 New York Senior Boys All-Star Showcase in collaboration with Big Apple Soccer, featuring some talented All-Stars from the state of New York. The Ironmen then return to the Rock that Friday, March 27th, to host the Detroit Ignition. Playing the role of honorary captain for that match will be five-time MLS Cup Champion Jeff Agoos. Tickets start at only $10 and can be purchased today by calling 1-800-IRONMEN.