August 21, 2007

Even Jerome Bettis Has Feelings...

Since retiring from the NFL after a dramatic Super Bow XL victory, The Bus has taken a job as a national broadcast analyst, opened a restaurant on the North Side, and now, most recently, penned an autobiographical account of his career on and off the field, aptly titled, "The Bus: My Life In and Out of a Helmet."

This in and of itself is certainly not controversial. However, apparently, Bettis candidly comments on a couple things that Steeler fans might find "interesting" (for lack of a better word). The first of these being Kordell Stewart. According to The Bus, Kordell was "set up" for failure, and when Cowher benched him in 2002 in favor of Tommy Maddox, it was because the Steelers "didn't want to pay him a big salary and signing bonus." Bettis continues:

"It was cheaper for them if he didn't have success. If he recovered and had a huge year, then the public sentiment would be, 'Hey, you've got to resign him for whatever it costs.' I'm telling you, it was a monetary decision. The Steelers had no interest in paying Kordell his market value."
Of course, as the story referenced above points out, Bettis, being the loyal guy he is, was quoted at the time as saying:
"It's one of those things, a coach has got to make a decision in the best interest of this football team. You have to do what you have to do."
But really that's about the most interesting of the book's content, from what I can tell. Other "uncharacteristic" Bettis comments mentioned in the article (from the book) were: the 2005 loss to Jacksonville in which Cowher "just forgot" to put The Bus in, during "crucial short-yardage situations"; and a 2004 home game against the Bengals, in which he scored two touchdowns and noticed fans booing him (being a touchdown vulture). Now I can't say, not having been there myself, but I can understand The Bus being upset about the Cincy game. I don't really care how few yards he has, so long as we were scoring touchdowns. If it is in fact true that fans boo'd him for poaching touchdowns, that's pretty sad...but not all that unbelievable.

Anyways, the moral of this story - even giants have feelings...somebody give that teddy bear a hug.

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