The NFL will announce this weekend which players will be joining the Hall of Fame family. The announcement will be made the day before the Super Bowl. This year’s nominees are filled with star power and each player has a very impressive resume. However, there is one particular player that deserves to get the call to Canton this year. His name: Jerome Bettis.
Bettis was eligible last season for the Hall, but he was left out of the final cut. Last year saw the likes of Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders enshrined. Bettis got snubbed last year and if it happens again this year it will be a travesty. He is the 6th leading rusher in NFL history and has one Super Bowl win. He was a vital part to the success of Pittsburgh’s offense during his tenure with the team. Up to five players can be inducted into the Hall’s class. Bettis’ name needs to be among those five this Saturday.
Bettis was perhaps the most physically intimating running back in the history of the NFL, and one of the kinder people. Bettis was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams (who moved to St. Louis in 1995) in the 1st round of the 1993 draft. He rushed for 1,429 yards as a rookie and was named Offensive Rookie of the Year and was named to the All-Pro team. He rushed for over 1,000 in his first two seasons with the Rams. He was traded to Pittsburgh prior to the start of the 1996 season.
He made an instant impact as soon as he arrived in Pittsburgh, rushing for 1431 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1996. Bettis gained many nicknames over the years. He was given the term “battering ram” when he played for the Rams. Steelers’ coach Bill Cowher called him “the closer” due to Bettis’ size and will power in the fourth quarter. The Steelers would hand him the rock repeatedly to burn clock. But Bettis is best known for his moniker “the bus”, which was given to him by Steelers legendary commentator Myron Cope.
Jerome Bettis made opposing defenses cringe at the sight of him running through holes and his down-hill running style. He was incredibly successful with the Rams and Steelers. He doesn’t have the speed that most hall of fame runnings backs do, but he had quickness, size, and vision to run his way to 6th all time in rushing yards. Bettis should be getting a jacket to add to his wardrobe.