Jerome Bettis | October 2022
In the world of Pittsburgh sports, Jerome Bettis needs no introduction. As a member of the Steelers ground game from 1995 until the end of his career, the Hall-of-Famer amassed over 13,000 rushing yards, fifth all-time. His powerful style and stature earned him the nickname “The Bus,” known for running over would-be tacklers as he went on to earn sixty-one 100-yard games during the regular season plus three more in the playoffs. Combined with an additional 1,449 yards on 200 receptions, Bettis netted 15,113 total yards, good enough for 19th best all-time at his retirement.
To cap off a legendary career, Bettis hung up the cleats for good following a successful 2005 season leading the Steelers to a victory in Superbowl XL defeating the Seattle Seahawks and bringing a championship to the Steel City for the first time in over two decades. Appropriately, with the kind of impressive stats Bettis managed to accumulate during his 13-season career, The Bus pulled into Canton, OH, in 2015 to be inducted into the Professional Football Hall of Fame. In a story made for the silver screen, Bettis grew up in Detroit, Michigan, trying to make ends meet. The young teenager was diagnosed with asthma at 14 and didn’t start playing football until high school.
Despite the odds, Bettis became a standout running back and linebacker who attracted the attention of top-tier schools in the country and went on to play football for the legendary Fighting Irish, setting the Notre Dame single-season touchdown record. Bettis left school before graduating to enter the 1993 NFL Draft where he was selected 10th overall by the Los Angeles Rams. Bettis returned to Notre Dame to take classes in 1996 while considering early retirement, though he was traded to the Steelers and went on to have one of the most storied NFL careers. Fast-forward to 2021, Bettis again began taking courses at Notre Dame and officially graduated this spring with a business degree.
This kind of tenacity both on and off the field is what encapsulates the Steel City attitude and shows the world just the type of people that thrive in our city.