On Saturday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame class for 2013 was announced. A total of seven new members were chosen for induction into the Hall. Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis was a finalist for the third year, but after writers spent close to nine hours whittling away the list to ten candidates before selecting seven, ‘The Bus’ will have to wait and see what happens in 2014.
Many Steelers fans were hoping that 2013 would be Bettis’ year. Bettis, an NBC Sports analyst on “Football Night in America”, was drafted out of Notre Dame by the Los Angeles Rams 10th overall in the 1993 NFL Draft. That year, he earned NFL Co-Rookie of the Year honors as well as the Sporting News Rookie of the Year and Rams MVP honors. Bettis was traded to the Steelers prior to the 1996 after the Rams moved to St. Louis. Fans reacted to the news that Bettis would not be a member of the 2013 Class; many were disappointed.
“I really thought he would get in [the Hall of Fame] this year,” said Chan Denning of Ohio. “I have been a ‘Bus’ fan since he started playing for the Steelers. After 10 seasons with the team I hated to see him retire. Being a finalist three years and not getting in – that must be hard to take.”
“Bettis is in the top five all-time for NFL running backs,” said a disheartened Jennifer Cooper. “I don’t understand why they decided not to put him in this year. A former Walter Payton Man of the Year at that.”
Bettis won a Super Bowl in 2006 with the Steelers and was a six-time Pro Bowl selection. His retirement came after the Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XL in Bettis’ home town of Detroit, Michigan. With 13,662 yards rushing over his career and being only one of six players in NFL history to rush for 13,000 yards, it seems that he is definitely Hall of Fame material.
“It seems like a slight, in my opinion,” admitted Philadelphia-area resident and long-time Steelers fan Michael Crossman. “He’ll get in the Hall of Fame, but I sure wish it had been this year.”
Those who were elected were: Bill Parcells, Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Warren Sapp and Jonathan Ogden. The two senior selections were Curley Culp and Dave Robinson.
Other finalists who were eliminated include: Andre Reed, Michael Strahan, Aeneas Williams and Charles Haley.
Tim Brown, Kevin Greene, Will Shields and former owners Edward DeBartolo Jr. and Art Modell were eliminated prior to the top ten choices.
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