Bettis missed the Bus to Canton. I wish I could be writing something along the lines of “The Bus is going to the Football Hall of Fame.” But, I’m not. It has been four years since Jerome “the Bus” Bettis has been eligible and he was, once again, over looked as an inductee. Don’t get me wrong, MOST of those who were chosen to be inducted deserve to be.
But, come on. Being inducted into any Hall of Fame is nothing but a popularity contest. Take a look at Pete Rose… he should be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame because of what he accomplished. Not, what he did – betting on baseball. But, he never will be.
Bettis should be inducted. He should have been inducted the first year he was eligible.
- Jerome Bettis was a first-round draft pick for the Los Angeles Rams in 1993
- He 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
- He is one of the top fourteen rushers not in the Hall of Fame – and the other two are not eligible
Jerome Bettis is the 6th leading rusher in NFL history – 13,662 yards in 13 seasons
And, he did it with asthma.
It amazes me and dumbfounds me this man has not been inducted.
Jerome Bettis is a big man. 240 pounds while he played with the Steelers. He could find the smallest opening in the line and do a little hip move and break through. He moved like a hot knife through butter. He moved like a bus through a defensive line.
He was magic on the field.
For as 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.
The Steelers went to the Super Bowl that year in Detroit, Michigan. They won and Bettis retired on top.
Yet, he is still waiting for his bus pass to Canton.
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.
One day, Don and I will be able to tell the kids about watching Bettis play. About watching his mojo on the field. About the magic.
Whether you love or hate the Steelers, it doesn’t matter. Jerome “the Bus” Bettis is what legends are made of.
Bettis should be in the Hall of Fame. It’s time.
It’s 212 miles to Canton and the wheels on the Bus go round and round.
Tags: Everyday Life