Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jerome Bettis Update

Welcome to third annual “What is Jerome Bettis doing” post. You remember Bettis as an NFL superstar with the Pittsburgh Steelers and then part of NBC’s Football Night in America in retirement. While Bettis is no longer part of the NBC team, he keeps busier than just about anyone (just look at the 2008 and 2009 versions of this). So let’s take a magical tour to see where in the world is Jerome Bettis.

- The Bus participated in Peyton Manning's annual bowling tournament along with Kurt Warner; Franco Harris; "former Pacers star Reggie Miller and first-round NBA draft pick Gordon Hayward; college basketball coaches Tom Crean, Matt Painter and Brad Stevens; former Purdue coach Gene Keady; Manning's wife, Ashley; his father, Archie and more than a dozen of Manning's teammates." I wonder if Bettis and Manning talked about the January 15, 2006 divisional playoff game. [NBC Sports]

- Bettis served as the commentator in the “Hoopin’ for Health” charity basketball game in Orlando between NBA Moms like Dwight Howard’s mother Sheryl Howard and mothers of NFL players. Orlando Magic players Vince Carter and Rashard Lewis along with former pro football stars Eddie George and Kenard Lang. “The NBA mothers easily downed the NFL moms 24-12 and Flo Allen-Hopson, mother of Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen, took home MVP honors.” Bettis also almost started a bench-clearing brawl. [WDBO & Orlando Sentinel]


- Gansevoort, NY resident Nancy Needham was the national winner of the DiGiorno Pizza "You Bettis Believe" sweepstakes where she and her fantasy football league received an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas. Bettis coached Nancy in selecting the winning picks for her Fantasy Football Draft Party. [Digital Journal]

- The Berardi family of Irwin, PA won the Bus' Backyard BBQ Sweepstakes sponsored by S&T Bank to have Bettis host a cookout at their house. (WPXI]

- Bettis and Tony Dungy teamed up with Campbell's Chunky Soup to get Dads off the couch and on the field. [Chunky Soup's Facebook page and MarketWatch]

- Guinness teamed up with Bettis where you can win a chance to go to compete against The Bus in the perfect pint pouring contest. To enter, let Guinness know about a moment where you boldly stepped up and faced a sports or athletic-related challenge, mental or physical, and ultimately persevered. [Guinness]

(The Wall Street Journal noticed this contest too and discussed the Guinness advertising in America angle.)

Even though he's been out of football since Super Bowl 40, people still admire The Bus.

- Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden admired Jerome Bettis' full-steam-ahead style. [Sacramento Bee]

- University of Central Florida RB Jeff Brinson, diagnosed with asthma, considers Jerome Bettis his hero. "Jerome Bettis was because he had asthma and he did the things he did with asthma." [Orlando Sentinel]

- When asked what football player Gainesville, Florida's Keystone Heights RB/DB Zack Lambert pretended to be when he was younger, he replied, "I always tried to be Ray Lewis. Him and Jerome Bettis were always my favorites." [Gainesville Sun]

Newspapers and websites continue to try to compare current football players to Bettis:

- San Diego Chargers RB Mike Tolbert [SB Nation]

- "The Bus" is the new nickname for Vernon Hills, Illinois Cougars senior running back Brian Palmer. It was given to the stout 5-foot-9 Palmer due to his striking resemblance to former NFL star Jerome Bettis. Palmer also earned the title due in large part to his bus-like running style. [Daily Herald]

- Cleveland Browns’ RB Peyton Hillis runs like Jerome Bettis. [Canton Rep]

Bettis also stays busy writing for Sports Illustrated, hosting WPXI’s Jerome Bettis Show and owning Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36.

While all of this is impressive, I saved the best for last. Bettis hung out with Cotter of One For The Other Thumb, Tecmo of PSAMP and Ryan of Steelers Lounge among several bloggers. Yes, I am jealous.

Oh, I forgot to mention that The Bus has been nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Not too shabby! [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

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