There was only one way for Marty Lyons to receive his honor on Sunday afternoon and that was to accept it on behalf of all Jets fans. If there was one player who ever suited up for the Jets who played with unlimited passion, it was Lyons.
Lyons was officially inducted into the Jets' Ring of Honor on Sunday afternoon, a moment that culminates a sterling 11-year career with the team. Lyons was always the type of player who did the dirty work while in New York and the induction ceremony gave Jets fans the opportunity to thank a player whose very purpose was to make others around him on the field shine.
In turn, Lyons made it clear the team's long-suffering fans shared in this honor along with him.
“Thirty-four years being a member of the New York Jets organization has been very special. So I stand here today to thank you for making me the person I am today,” Lyons said. “On behalf of my family, my friends, my teammates — from all the fans up top, to all the fans over here, to all the fans in the end zone and all the fans up there — it is truly an honor and a privilege for me to represent each and every one of you as we get inducted into the New York Jets Ring of Honor. My name will always be your name and we will be united forever for one.”
Now in retirement, Lyons is still connected to the Jets and the area. He's an analyst for ESPN New York on the Jets Radio Network. In addition, he is more active than ever with his Marty Lyons Foundation, which provides support for terminally ill children.
It was those children that gave the ceremony its most poignant moment.
“[It is] especially [about] the children — the ones that survived their illness, thank you for teaching me how to fight,” Lyons said. “For those that lost their life before they had the opportunity to live completely, this award is more about you than it is about me.”
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.