Well, another Super Bowl has passed, and another Hall of Fame class has been announced. The NFL will induct seven more men to the list of 240 players to be enshrined forever as NFL legends. Congratulations to Derrick Brooks, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan, Ray Guy, Walter Jones, Aeneas Williams and Claude Humphrey. These men will be placed in Canton, Ohio this August for the kickoff of the 2014 preseason.
One man who did not get his name called last Saturday night was former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis. The sixth leading rusher in NFL history was turned down again in his fourth year of eligibility.
Bettis called it quits in 2006 after the Steelers won Super Bowl XL one season after the Steelers were defeated in the AFC Championship by the New England Patriots and the running back contemplated retirement. When Bettis returned, he finished his career hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy in his hometown of Detroit, Mich.
The three-time All-Pro finished his 13-year career with 13,662 yards on 3,479 carries and 91 touchdowns. Bettis ran for a 1,000-yard season eight times in his career and remains the last great power back to play in the league. Perhaps the “Bus” is the greatest power back of all time seeing how most running backs his size never lasted as long.
Even with the sad news of not getting in, Bettis stayed classy. He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: “As disappointing as it is to not get in, I’m happy for the players who got in. They all deserve to be in. So I can’t be mad.”
When will the Bus get the call to the Hall? Time is ticking and the 41-year-old Steelers legend deserves it.