"Steelers Jerome Bettis fails to make Pro Football HOF after reaching the cut to 10 today." - Ed Bouchette
I could understand why he hadn't made it before...Steelers bias?...not a "first-ballot" Hall of Famer?...other running backs ahead of him? Various reasons to fall back on for debate as to why he hadn't been inducted yet. Yet, he missed it by 80 yards.
The third was supposed to have been the charm for The Bus. He was supposed to have pulled into his last stop this year - in Canton. Instead, seven others will wear the mustard-colored jackets at the Hall of Fame Induction ceremonies August 3rd, 2013.
All because of 80 yards!
Why do I keep saying that? Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Trib Total Media tweeted this from his Twitter (@arobinson_Trib) account: "HOF selectors spent more than 30 minutes debating Bettis. One hangup: his 3.9 yards average. 80 more yards and he hits 4.0."
To help make his point more lucid, last year's HOF inductee running back Curtis Martin ran for 14,101 yards in 11 years and finished with a 4.0 average. Bettis? 13,662 yards in 13 years finishing with the aforementioned 3.9 average. Thus, Martin got the edge last year...and most thought Bettis would get in this year. Instead, the third charm felt more like a third strike.
As Ed Bouchette also wrote, however: "Maximum of 7 make Pro Football HOF. Bettis candidacy was his strongest yet. Should make it, maybe 2014." Maybe. Hopefully.
Nonetheless, as If It Ain't Steel has written before, Bettis was the best truly big running back in NFL history. Period. End of sentence.
The "first ballot" nonsense has always gotten on my nerves: A Hall of Famer is a Hall of Famer. This should've been the year the bowler who's built like a bowling ball and who was a multi-year Pro Bowler was to roll a strike. Instead, not even a seven/ten split.
Those seven new Hall of Famers who did make it are legendary coach Bill Parcells, Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Larry Allen, the wide receiver who 'only caught touchdowns', Cris Carter, Green Bay Packers linebacker Dave Robinson and Curly Culp. Larry and Moe didn't make the cut. (Actually, Culp was an Pro Bowl defensive lineman for the KC Chiefs and Houston Oilers.)
To add insult to an already injurious weekend, Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden was a first-ballot inductee (sorry, Steelers fans, I hate it but he deserves it), and the chapter 13-filing, Tourette-Syndrome having, diarrhea-of-the-mouth spewing Warren Sapp who'll find a way to hock his jacket within a year's time.
So, let's review a rundown of this weekend: the Ravens are in the Super Bowl ('nuff said), they're playing the San Francisco 49ers (possible 6-0 SB record), Bettis doesn't get into the HOF, and then Ogden and Warren B**ch Tits do get inducted.
Yeah...I'm going to bed until Monday.
At least the NFL provided a parting gift...