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Pittsburgh Steelers Great Jerome Bettis Passed Over for Hall of Fame Enshrinement

February 2nd, 2013 at 10:08 PM
By Mark Mihalko

The Pro Hall of Fame has finally announced the class of 2013. For some, their selection was long overdue, and for others, the wait will continue for at least one more year. Unfortunately, the latter is the case for Pittsburgh Steelers great Jerome Bettis, who was again passed over for enshrinement.

'The Bus' photo (c) 2008, Andy - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Bettis, who is sixth on the all-time rushing list with 13,662 yards, has been a three-time finalist for the honor, but has yet to be selected. For many, the fact that the six-time Pro Bowler and three-time All Pro was passed over will come as a shock. While he was never  mentioned with the greats of the game by some, his consistency was something on par with the greatest.

A big back (5-11, 252-pounds), Bettis burst on the scene as a rookie, when he displayed a tremendous combination of speed, power and agility, which was not seen in a running back of his size in a long time. He won Rookie of the Year honors for the St. Louis Rams. After falling out of favor with the Rams in 1995, the Steelers liberated Bettis, in what may be one of the best draft day trades in history: the Steelers got Bettis, and they did not even have to give up a first round pick.

From that point on, “The Bus” rolled along, topping 1,000 yards in each of his first six seasons in Pittsburgh. During his career, he was a fan favorite. He endeared himself to the blue collar fan base in a way that was not seen since the days of Franco Harris. Bettis retired after Super Bowl XL in 2006 and remains one of the more beloved Steelers in recent franchise history.

While Bettis was not elected, five modern era players were and for some, the honor was well overdue. Those elected were coach Bill Parcells, wide receiver Chris Carter, defensive tackle Warren Sapp and offensive linemen Larry Allen and Jonathan Ogden. Two veteran committee senior selections, offensive/defensive lineman Curley Culp and linebacker Dave Robinson round out Hall of Fame class for 2013.

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Tags: bill parcells, Chris Carter, curley culp, dave robinson, Football, Jerome Bettis, jonathan ogden, NFL, Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Steelers, Pro football hall of fame, warren sapp larry allen

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