Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis has been eligible for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for several years now. He has been a finalist the last two years and is trying to become the next great Steelers player to have his bust forever enshrined in Canton, OH.
It hasn’t always been easy for “the Bus” when it comes to his trip to the Hall of Fame, but he isn’t the first football player that has had to wait. Nonetheless, this has to be Bettis’ year to finally get inducted. After all, he certainly has the numbers to support his enshrinement.
Bettis is currently sixth on the all-time NFL rushing list with 13,662 yards from scrimmage along with 91 touchdowns. He averaged nearly 4.0 yards a carry over his career, and has a Super Bowl ring to add to his stellar career.
Steelers fans have been clamoring for their beloved Bettis to be inducted since his eligbility, and looking at the Hall of Fame finalists for 2014, this might be the year. In the past, Bettis has had to go up against the likes of Hall of Fame running backs Marshall Faulk and Curtis Martin, but he is the only true legitimate back to be a finalist this year.
The sad and scary aspect of Bettis’ trip to Canton is that if he doesn’t get inducted this year, when will he? Bettis is one of those players with solid numbers but is never mentioned in conversations about the greatest running backs of all time — even though he is sixth in all-time rushing.
Think about Bettis’ skill set, and you see how those yards were very hard earned. After all, he wasn’t a speedster like Barry Sanders and Walter Payton, who both sit above him on the yards list. Bettis was a mudder, to put it nicely, and earned each and every last one of his yards gained from scrimmage.
Bettis deserves the Hall of Fame. He was truly one of the classier players to ever grace the Steelers’ organization, and his legendary trip to Detroit to win Super Bowl 40 will be talked about in Pittsburgh sports bars for years to come. Bettis’ playing career only mirrors those sentiments, and for that, it is time to park “the Bus” in Canton, OH forever.