Hall of Fame Committee Continues to Black Ball Jerome Bettis

In what is becoming an annual rite, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee has announced its class, and once again, Jerome Bettis is not in it.

Bettis almost certainly we be inducted into Canton at some point, but it is hard to avoid the feeling that he is being blackballed. Yes, blackballed.

Peter King, the most visible member of the committee, has been on record a number of times saying that he is uncomfortable with the large number of Steelers in the Hall of Fame. Ed Bouchette, a voter and avid supporter of Bettis’ candidacy, disputed that argument, observing that:

Its true. Jack Butler and Dermontti Dawson did make the final cut in 2012, and in doing so they nicely bookended Chuck Noll’s legacy as a master talent evaluator.

But the fact that Butler and Dawson went into the Hall together quite possibly hurts Bettis’ candidacy – if voters are already uncomfortable about putting “too many Steelers” into the Hall of Fame they “well we just inducted two more two years ago” mentality cannot favor the Bus.

Scott Brown of ESPN does think that Bettis suffers from an anti-Steelers bias, and adamant that such attitudes should not prevent Bettis from getting into the Hall of Fame.

Steel Curtain Rising wishes to show no disrespect to Michael Strahan, Walter Jones, Derrick Brooks, Aeneas Williams, and Claude Humphrey on their selection to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Andre Reed is also a worthy candidate but should not go in ahead of Tim Brown.

But to those voters who voted against Jerome Bettis, we ask you to watch this video and answer two questions:

What is it that Bettis didn’t do that he should have done and what similar highlight film can you put together for Ray Guy to argue that he deserves induction over Bettis?

Think about that and get back to us.

Steelers Nation Snub Continues

Jerome Bettis was not the only candidate with ties to the Pittsburgh Steelers to be left out in the cold. Kevin Greene, who while only playing 3 seasons with the Steelers elevated himself into a household word while in Pittsburgh, was eligible but did not make the cut.

Tony Dungy, who cut his roots in the NFL as a Pittsburgh Steelers player and defensive coach, likewise was on the ballot but did not get in. While Dungy’s candidacy rests on his accomplishments as Tampa Bay and Indianapolis Colts head coach, he remains appreciative of his Pittsburgh roots:

@SteelCurtainRis: #SteelersNation wishes Good luck to @TonyDungy on his #NFL #HOF prospects”.  Thank you Steeler Nation. You were my roots!
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) February 1, 2014

Better luck next year to Tony Dungy and Jerome Bettis.

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6 thoughts on “Hall of Fame Committee Continues to Black Ball Jerome Bettis

  1. Warrick Dunn has more yards rushing/receiving than Bettis does – is he even mentioned? If Bettis gets in just because he ran it more than almost anyone (at less than 4ypc) and finished 6th in career rushing then Testaverde should get in for being the 9th all-time leading passer.

    Just because you do something more than anyone else doesn’t mean you’re a HOFer.

  2. Anonymous,

    41 more yards gets Jerome Bettis average to 4.0, equal to many people in the Hall of Fame.

    Bettis also converted numerous 1 yard touchdown (especially late in his career) as well as many 3rd and short 4th and inches.

    Do you want those 41 yards? I’ll take the touchdowns.

    You’re right. Just because you do something more doesn’t make you a Hall of Famer.

    And Jerome Bettis’ stats don’t do him justice. Stat’s don’t show how Bettis dominated games. Stats fail to reveal how he came through as a leader both on and off the field, time and time again.

    I liked Warrick Dunn and respected his work. I LOVED the way Tony Dungy teamed him in Mike Alslott to give what was perhaps the last true two back rushing offense.

    But Dunn didn’t dominate games the way Bettis did. Nor did he rally his team to a Super Bowl.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. All arguments for Bettis getting in invariably end up suggesting that he deserves some kind of extra credit because he was a big back, so we should overlook his YPC

    He converted numerous 1 yard TD runs and that hurts his YPC? He was top five in TD runs 1 time in his career

    The guy had 3 HOF years…’93,’96,’97

    Numerous people have pointed out that in most years he actually ran worse then the league average back

    He’s going to get in, but there are a bunch of better backs that will never sniff the Hall

  4. Anonymous,

    Thanks again for continuing the conversation.

    The question of rushing average vs. total yards is an interesting one, not only for assessing something like Hall of Fame, but in terms of evaluating running backs in general.

    That’s why you sometimes see backs with limited carries but high averages getting big free agent deals only to flop.

    Or you have a player the piles up a lot of yards by grinding it out, and then is done after 3-4 years.

    Bettis fell into neither of these categories, which strengthens his HOF argument.

    That’s one of the reasons why his rushing total is so impressive.

    Pro Football reference has 4417 running backs in its database, which dates back to the 1920’s.

    Out of those 4417 people, only five running backs have more yards than Bettis.

    That doesn’t put Bettis in the top 5% the top 1% or even the top 0.5% of all NFL rushers. It puts him in the top 0.1%.

    You mention specific seasons, which were in fact among Bettis best. Consider this however. During the 1998 and 1999 campaigns the Pittsburgh Steelers had PISS POOR offensive line. Yet Bettis still managed 1,000 yard seasons.

    In 2001 he also broke the 1,000 yard barrier in only 11 games (and with a 4.8 y/c average).

    Longevity and consistency are indeed part of greatness. Bettis brought both to the table.

  5. Football more than any of the other pro sports is toughest to define Hall of Fame by #’s (heck look at all the recent offensive lineman who have been getting in lately). Anyway, I am bit biased because Bettis is one of my favorite RB’s from back when he was at Notre Dame but the point I am trying to make is that in football your eyes have to tell you that you’re watching a special elite Hall of Fame player by his actions on the field and for me, the way he played for as much of the yards and TD’s is why I would give Bettis my Hall of Fame vote (certainly over Andre Reed this year as well as I would have had Tim Brown and Marvin Harrison ahead of Reed as well). Thanks, DK

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