Some relatively shocking news is being reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette regarding the Pro Football Hall of Fame voting: legendary Steelers running back Jerome Bettis has been left out of the Class of 2011. From the report:
Bettis was a six-time Pro Bowl selection, a two-time AP first team All-Pro selection, the 1996 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, and the 2002 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award for his off field volunteer and charity work.
It was Bettis's first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame.
Bettis seems almost certain to enter the Hall at some point; with so many other deserving candidates, perhaps it was determined that he needed to wait in line. The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most storied franchises in football, and Bettis is among the most beloved Steelers of all time.
In his rookie 1993 season, Bettis busted loose for 1,429 yards for the then-Los Angeles Rams. In his third season in the league, however, his carries were diminished under new head coach Rich Brooks.
Bettis was then traded to the Pittsburgh, which “The Bus” would call his home for the final ten years of his career. The 24-year-old Bettis rushed for 1,431 yards in his first season with the Steelers, and 1,665 in his second. Bettis reached the postseason time and again with the Steelers, and on their sixth trip to the playoffs together, Bettis finally won a Super Bowl ring.
He announced his retirement at the conclusion of Super Bowl XL, having finished fifth on the all-time rushing yardage list. Between his accomplishments on the field and his popularity among fans, Bettis seems a lock to enter the Hall of Fame at some point.
For more on the Pro Football Hall of Fame candidates, as well as inductee announcements, stay tuned to this StoryStream. And for more on Bettis, check out our Pittsburgh Steelers blog, Behind The Steel Curtain.