Last February, I wrote a post about Jerome Bettis and how he should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 2014, he missed the bus to Canton. Jerome Bettis was finally enshrined into the Hall of Fame this past weekend. This past Saturday, Don and I were able to travel to Canton, Ohio to see one of the best running backs in the sport be honored with a gold jacket and a bronze bust in front of the Steeler Nation. It was amazing.
If you are a long time reader, you know we love our Pittsburgh Steelers. Neither of us are from Pittsburgh – or even Pennsylvania, but each year we cheer (and groan) with our men in black and gold. So, heading to Canton to see Jerome be enshrined was not a question to ask – it was just understood we would be going. While this honor was amazing for Jerome, I (and all Steelers’ fans) believe it should have happened the first year he was eligible. (Alas, politics plays a big role in who gets chosen.) But, I want you to consider the amazing achievements Jerome Bettis has done:
- Was a first-round draft pick for the Los Angeles Rams in 1993
- Was the NFL Rookie of the Year and held MVP honors in 1993 with the Rams
- Has made SIX trips to the Pro Bowl
- Was named “All Pro” by College & Pro Football Weekly and USA Today
- Was the 1996 Comeback Player of the Year and held MVP honors with the Steelers
- Was a member of the All Madden Team
- Was the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2001
- Played 13 years in the NFL
- His final game was Super Bowl XL where the Steelers defeated the Seahawks 21-10
- Is the founder of “The Bus Stops Here” foundation for underprivileged children
JEROME BETTIS IS THE 6TH LEADING RUSHER IN NFL HISTORY – 13,662 YARDS IN 13 SEASONS
And, he did it with asthma.
Bettis was pure magic on the field. He could take a hole that a small child couldn’t fit through and barrel through it like he was a hot knife through butter. For long as I live, I will never forget the look on Bettis’ face when he fumbled the ball during January 15th, 2006 game against the Colts. Bettis had come back for one more season with his eye on the prize – retiring in his hometown. Bettis fumbled. The disappointment on his face was devastating. He believed it was over. It was one of those moments where time and space hang suspended. The ball tumbling and tossing to the ground. And Big Ben was there. Watching Bettis play, is like what I imagine watching the Steel Curtain was – memorable, to say the least. Football isn’t the same without him breaking through the defensive line with a turn of his hips and leaving devastation in his wake.
He is legendary.
He is greatness.
And, this weekend was a trip of a lifetime for Don and I.
To watch Jerome’s speech, click here.
I really thought The Bus’ last stop was in Detroit at Super Bowl XL, but now I know The Bus will always and forever run in Canton, Ohio. ~ Jerome Bettis
Congratulations Jerome Bettis! Thanks for the ride!