As a longtime Colts fan, I will be honest when I say I don't have many fond memories of Marshall Faulk when he wore blue and white. As a fan of the Colts during Faulk's career in Indy (1994-1998), the memories I do have of him are of a whiny, finger-pointing, entitled jerk who thought he was above the team. Sure, he was talented, and he did help redefine the running back position (with the help of Tom Moore and Peyton Manning, I might add).
But, as a Colts player, he simply didn't do much to help the team win. For a paying fan, the bottom line is winning, not padding stats and redefining things.
Is Faulk a Hall of Famer? Very likely. Was he a great Colt? Hardly.
Look no further than the 1995 season.
Faulk got hurt in the opening minutes of Indy's playoff game against the Chargers. All season long, Faulk had complained about the offense moving away from him and into the hands of Jim Harbaugh and the receivers. Well, it was Harbaugh, the receivers, and then-unknown backs like Zack Crockett and Lamont Warren that helped the Colts beat the Chargers and the Chiefs in the playoffs, and where an Aaron Bailey endzone grab away from playing the Cowboys in Super Bowl XXX.
Faulk clashed with Bill Polian and Jim Mora when they were brought in to clean up the losing culture that had permeated in Indianapolis prior to 1998. Faulk was part of that culture and, in many ways, nurtured it. His entitled sense of himself clashed with Mora's 'no one is above the team' mantra. When Faulk was late for a team meeting late in 1998, Mora took him out of the starting lineup against the Seahawks. Sure, Faulk was producing huge numbers in rushing and receiving, but the team was 3-11 at that time, and lazy players, or players who felt they were above the collective failures of the team, were going to get called out.
Faulk sulked about the benching, as he was prone to do when people held him to a high standard.
By that point, the club knew Faulk had no desire to be a Colt after 1999, the year his contract was up. Thus, the Colts traded him to the Rams.
In an environment like St. Louis, with a discipline-laxed coach like Mike Martz in charge, Faulk thrived. For three years, the St. Louis Rams were a great football franchise. They played in two Super Bowls, winning one in 1999. Meanwhile, since Faulk was sent to St. Louis, the Colts themselves have played in two Super Bowls, winning one. They've also one a helluva lot more football games (138-54 record with eleven playoff appearances) than the Rams (92-101 with five playoff appearances) since they sent Faulk packing.
Indy drafted Edgerrin James the same year they traded Faulk, a player every bit as good as Marshall; maybe even more so when you take into account the team dynamic.
I sincerely hope Marshall Faulk is selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he should go in their wearing a Rams uni. He did next to nothing to help the Colts win when he wore the blue shoe, and his penchant for whining always rubbed me the wrong way as a fan.
Now, I've met Faulk several times in recent years, and he was kind enough to do an interview with SB Nation Indiana. So, my personal and professional interactions with him have always been good. He comes off as a nice guy.
But, as a fan, I didn't like him when he played in Indy.
Oh, and just FYI:
Marshall Faulk's career numbers are 12,279 yards rushing, 6,875 yards receiving, 136 total TDs, 36 fumbles.
Edgerrin James' career numbers are 12,246 yards rushing, 3,364 yards receiving, 84 total TDs, 44 fumbles.
Keep in mind, Faulk's numbers are with him as the focal point of the Rams offense. Edge's numbers with him being secondary to Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison.
If Faulk gets in, Edgerrin should get in. If Edgerrin doesn't get in when he is eligible, I will officially give up caring about the Pro Football Hall of Fame.