The same day an article went up about former Rutgers standout David Milewski possibly joining the Italian Football league (IFL), OtB member TheJomo and fellow contributor Adam Breitman pointed out to me that fan favorite Joe Martinek signed with the Parma Panthers of the IFL.
Once again, with the help of Google Translate and my brief Italian background, I'll do my best to translate the article into English:
"Joe 'Jersey' Martinek landed in Milan today and will have his first practice with the team tomorrow. The last minute purchase of the Panthers was called to bring support and more options to the Parma offensive attack.
The strong Fullback and Running Back had a superstar high school career with the Hopatcong Chiefs in New Jersey. He still holds the record for career rushing yards in the state with 7,589. After a solid college career with the prestigious Rutgers Scarlet Knights, he made the big jump to the NFL, signing a contract with the New York Giants in 2012 and has the accomplishment of scoring a touchdown in a pre-season game against the New York Jets.
The next game is curiously against the Giants, but this time from Bolzano. 'Jersey Joe' should don the #99 black and silver jersey.
This is just another reason to be at the Tardini (Panther's home stadium) on Sunday the 17th for a game holding great importance in the race for second place.
Martinek was one of the greatest High School running backs in the history of New Jersey and arrived at Rutgers with the hopes of producing similarly impressive stats. His best year was his sophomore year in 2009 when he produced 1,107 total yards to go along with 9 TDs. Martinek began to see a reduced role and was ultimately moved to fullback. However, he embraced this role and worked his tail off and later earned himself a shot to play for his hometown team, the New York Giants. Martinek's NFL career never panned out but look for him to make a huge impact in the NFL. He was a fan favorite for a reason; he was one of the hardest workers on the team and was absolutely relentless with the ball in his hands. We wish "Jersey Joe" the greatest of success in Italy!