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Jerome Bettis, The Bus Enters the Hall

The Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio induction ceremonies came and went the other day and I wanted to put my two cents in about inductee, running back Jerome Bettis.  Jerome Bettis is also affectionately known as “The Bus”.  His is a poster child for Inner Might Sports because he exemplifies toughness, team leadership, humility and athleticism.

Bettis played 13 bruising years in the NFL for two different teams.   He retired in 2006 after playing for the Super Bowl winning Pittsburgh Steelers.  That was an amazing season because Bettis really wanted to retire the year before, but quarterback Ben Roethlisberger promised him they would win the championship the next year.  The decision to return wasn’t that simple but he did come back and ran hard and tough that year.

Bettis finished his career with a total of 13,662 yards, placing him 6th on the all-time list.   Those yards were tough and bruising because he specialized in running between the tackles.  He scored ninety four touchdowns, caught 200 passes and had a 3.9 average per carry.  His gathered an abundance of awards, such as Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year,  Walter Payton Man of Year, six Pro Bowls and the list goes on.

Jerome Bettis came from poor and humble beginnings on the tough streets of Detroit.  He preserved to get himself a scholarship to Notre Dame and eventually became the 10th overall pick in the 1993 draft.   There is no doubt his entry into the Hall of Fame is justified statistically but most football fans think of him in a different light.

He played with a lot of heart and determination which sometimes sounds clichéd but Bettis is epitome of those words.  He carried the load in a lot of close games, a he also had another nickname, “The Closer”.  He was the guy you wanted to carry the ball in the final moments of a game.  His teammates loved him, and he was leader and well respected by coaches and most of all, the fans.   Every football team, every fan wished they had a guy like him on their team.  Salute Jerome Bettis!!

Photo: isportsweb.com