Steelers fans have to wait at least another year for “The Bus.” Former Pittsburgh running back Jerome Bettis made the final round for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he was denied admission for the fourth straight year.
“As disappointed as it is to not get in, I’m happy for the players who got in,’’ said Bettis, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “They all deserve to be in. So I can’t be mad, I can only hope that next year is my year.’’
Those elected were Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams.
Bettis retired eight years ago, after the Steelers won the Super Bowl, and ranks as the No. 6 rusher of all time, with 13,662 yards in 13 seasons, three with the Los Angeles-St. Louis Rams and the rest with Pittsburgh. Playing at about 250 pounds on a 5-foot-11 frame, Bettis was a surprisingly nimble runner for such a big man and the backbone of the grind-it-out Steelers offense.
You have to figure he’ll be inducted into Canton one of these days.
ESPN.com’s Scott Brown wrote: “Bettis has the numbers, he has a ring and he has the strongest of endorsements of those who should matter the most: the coaches and teammates who were around him on a regular basis and know the impact ‘The Bus’ had on the field and in the Steelers’ locker room.”