Flashback Athlete of the Month for November 2022
Jerome Abram Bettis Sr. is nothing short of a Steelers and NFL legend. Nicknamed “The Bus” for his towering size and running style, Bettis would go down in history as one of football’s GOATs.
Bettis, a Detroit native, was first selected in the 1993 NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He finished second in the NFL in rushing during his rookie season after gaining 1,429 yards. His 212-yard day that season was a career-high, and at the time, he was only the 8th rookie in NFL history to rush for 200 yards in a game. His incredible performances that year marked the first of eight 1,000-yard seasons in his first nine years. Already a star in the eyes of many, Bettis was named Rookie of the Year by several media outlets and was chosen as a first-team All-Pro and All-NFC. And that was just the beginning.
Bettis would continue leading the Rams in rushing before he was traded to his star team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. He rebounded from a less-than-stellar year in 1995 with the Rams to earn Comeback Player of the Year, and was again named first-team All-Pro in 1996–his first with the Steelers. Bettis rushed 1,431 yards on 320 carries and scored 11 TDs for the division-winning team.
“The Bus” certainly carried Pittsburgh’s load. He was the Steelers’ leading ground gainer eight times in 10 seasons. Bettis gained even more star power as a six-time Pro Bowler, but would retire after his lone Super Bowl appearance in the Super Bowl XL (2005). With history-making stats under his belt, it was clear that Bettis had no further reason to prove his excellency on the field.
Jerome Bettis’s legacy is such that he is remembered as one the NFL’s best running backs of all time. He ranks third in history with 3,369 rushing attempts, earning him a rightful spot in the NFL Hall of Fame. Since his retirement, Bettis has supported numerous charitable causes such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation and the American Heart Association. He is also the founder of his own charity, the Bus Stops Here Foundation, which was founded in 1997 and exists to serve inner city youth with the opportunities needed to live a healthy and productive life.
View Jerome Bettis’s career highlight reel here on the Steelers Nation Highlight’s YouTube channel.