The legendary running back deservedly got inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH in 2015.
Here’s a chapter excerpt from one of my books, NFL Favorites, into which “The Bus” motored into the #7 spot.
This powerful running back got his nickname “The Bus” for transporting would-be tacklers on his back nearly every time he carried the football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bettis was built more like a linebacker than a quick and fast ball carrier.
One of the best big backs in NFL history, Jerome Bettis ended his 13-year NFL career as a 2006 Super Bowl XL Champion with the Steelers.
In addition, the retired Bettis is now ranked as the sixth all-time rusher. He ran for 13,662 yards and scored 94 touch downs. Big number 36 also made the NFL Pro Bowl six times.
Genesis of “The Bus” Nickname
The nickname “The Bus” was first used during his college days at Notre Dame. But, the clever nickname was put on hold, or sort of parked in the garage, for several years.
Nobody remembered the name during his early NFL years with the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams called the powerful running back the “Battering Ram.”
Bettis earned the “Battering Ram” name because of a spectacular first season with the Los Angeles team in which he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
After relocating to St. Louis in 1996, the Rams surprisingly traded Bettis to the Steelers. Pittsburgh radio commentator Myron Cope quickly called Bettis “The Bus” because of his punishing running style.
Also, “The Bus” nickname fit perfectly with the colors of the Steelers black and yellow uniforms.
Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher named Bettis the team’s feature running back, and “The Bus” starred in Steel City both on and off the field.
The popular Bettis was voted the Steelers’ Most Valuable Player three times.
Jerome Bettis Awarded 2001 Walter Payton Award
Bettis was also awarded the coveted 2001 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the NFL’s highest honor, for his community involvement off the football field.
Now an NFL Network analyst, the always smiling Bettis is still called “The Bus” in the broadcast booth.
He’s also earned respect away from the gridiron and the studio where Bettis founded his non-profit Jerome Bettis: The Bus Stops Here Foundation.
No football fan ever questioned that Jerome Bettis’ final stop would be in Canton, OH.
There, the deserving former NFL running back known as “The Bus” was rightfully enshrined into the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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