Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What Ever Happened to Jerome Bettis?

Perhaps you have heard of this former Steelers running back who retired after winning a Super Bowl in his hometown of Detroit. So where is Jerome Bettis now?

Even though Bettis has been retired for nearly three years now, he still seems to get mentioned regularly. Over the past few months, Jamal Lewis, Mewelde Moore, Le'Ron McClain, Michael Turner, Brandon Jacobs, LenDale White, and even Tunde Ogun of Division III's Christopher Newport and Frankie Hejduk of the Columbus Crew have all been compared to Bettis.

Tennessee Titans' coach Jeff Fisher - Yeah, [Jamal Lewis is] an emotional runner. He's enthusiastic. He is kind of like the old Jerome Bettis where he'll get up after a big play, jump up. Yeah, he's fun to watch. Not fun to play against, but fun to watch.

Pats Fan.com after the Patriots lost to the Steelers - Mewelde Moore, filling in for the injured Willie Parker, looked like Jerome Bettis and caused severe tackling problems for the Patriots.

ExtremeRavens.com - In my mind, [Le'Ron]McClain looks more and more like Jerome Bettis every week he gets to carry the ball. That's not a bad thing.

Los Angeles Times - They are both men of girth, RBs packing some extra lbs., so the comparison is a belt-line cinch: Is Tennessee Titans running back LenDale White the next Jerome Bettis?

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard - "Other than maybe (New York Giants running back) Brandon Jacobs and possibly Steven Jackson, we haven't seen a guy like this since we faced Jerome Bettis in Pittsburgh (in 2004). Look at [Michael] Turner's thighs. They're like tree trunks."

USA Today - The closest thing to The Bus in today's NFL comes to Heinz Field on Sunday with the New York Giants in the person of 264-pound running back Brandon Jacobs.

Asbury Park Press - In just his fourth season, Jacobs running style has already drawn comparisons to some of the big, punishing backs of the past, including Jerome Bettis, the former Steeler, Christian Okoye and Natrone Means.

Washington and Jefferson coach Mike Sirianni - There's no way he's 6-foot, 218 (pounds)," Sirianni said, citing [Christopher Newport's Tunde] Ogun's listed height and weight in CNU's media guide. "Being from the Pittsburgh area and having Jerome Bettis here, he looks like Jerome Bettis. But he's bigger. He's as good of a back as I've seen in a long time in Division III. Not only is he physical and hard to bring down, but he's got great feet. He can run past you."

Deadspin - So, Sunday was Hejduk's Jerome Bettis moment as a club player—Hey, Frankie's from Southern California, that's where our game is being played—when the Columbus Crew beat the New York Red Bulls 3-1 in MLS Cup.

While many people seem busy comparing Bettis to other athletes, Steelers fans miss #36 the running back as a Post-Gazette reader asked Ed Bouchette earlier this fall if the Steelers need another Bus.

In addition, everyone seems to want Jerome's opinion

On Notre Dame's Charlie Weis in the Chicago Sun Times:
'I'm a fan of Weis,'' former Irish and Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis said. ''He's done a great job in getting the players there, and now he's got to win. You've got the first half right, in terms of getting some top talent there. Now the second part is you've got to get that talent to win.'

On Hines Ward in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:
"Hines is not dirty," former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis recalled. "Hines was not the kind of guy in practice who beat up on his own teammates. He waited until game day, and you saw something totally different out of him."

On Adrian Peterson in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune:
"He is the best running back in the game," Jerome Bettis said. "After talking to him, it seems to me that he's a student of the game and as he develops and learns more he's going to get even better. That's scary."

On athletes and guns following the Plaxico incident:
"Athletes are targets. Some players like to splurge on very expensive items; rings, watches, bracelets and chains, so there have been a lot of instances where players have been robbed."

So besides numerous interviews, what does Jerome Bettis do these days as a retired athlete?

He inspires people through Sharing Miracles, a 30-minute public affairs television program that tells the compelling and inspirational stories of real patients. This month's episode featured Bettis -- known in the sports world as "The Bus" -- who was 14 years old when he was first diagnosed with asthma. He says: "Initially I thought that with asthma, I couldn't be involved in any sports or other activities. Thankfully, my mother encouraged me, instead of discouraged me, to play. She said, 'As long as you take your medicine, the doctor told me that you will be fine.' But, as I got older, I had to take serious steps to control my asthma."

He likes to golf.

He speaks in Erie, PA:

It wasn't until he officially became a champion that Jerome Bettis realized he had been one all along. That was the message the former Steelers running back had for a crowd of more than 2,000 Thursday at Penn State Behrend's Junker Center. Bettis, appearing as part of the college's award-winning speakers series, urged attendees, including dozens of children clad in Steelers jerseys and caps, to follow his example of passion, hard work and singular focus in their life's pursuit. Any chance it is the Guy Junker Center?

Bettis participated in the annual U.S. Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" drive when they launched their "Stuff the Bus" campaign.

He also has the restaurant Jerome Bettis' Grille 36 and the "Bus Stops Here" Foundation.

Bettis is also married and has two kids.

So to answer my original question, I guess Jerome Bettis is everywhere. Who knew? I also heard that he's on some kind of NFL television show.


Anonymous said...

that seemed like a lot of work.

Sean said...

This idea started by the numerous comparisons of every "power" or "heavy" running backs to Jerome Bettis and just sort of evolved from there. It was a lot of work, but I thought it would be fun. I hope you enjoyed it!