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Jerome Bettis, affectionately known as "The Bus", is considered one of the best big backs of his era and was an integral part of the Pittsburgh Steelers winning Super Bowl XL in 2006.
Bettis was picked in the first round (10th overall) of the 1993 NFL draft by the-then Los Angeles Rams. A star even in his rookie year, he rushed for 1,429 yards and was named Offensive Rookie of the Year. He rushed for over 1,000 in his second season with the Rams, but his carries declined and he was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1996. His career took an upturn after the trade and Bettis became an important part of the Steelers offense.
Shortly after the Steelers lost the 2005 AFC Championship game, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger promised Bettis that if he came back for one last season. Roethlisberger would get him to the Super Bowl. Apparently, it was this promise that got Bettis to play one more season. In his first 12 NFL seasons, Bettis had reached the playoffs five times but had never played in the Super Bowl.
Fast forward to 2006 - the Steelers were set to play the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship game. Bettis delivered a rousing speech to his teammates the day before the game, asking them to "Just get me to Detroit," his hometown, where Super Bowl XL was to be played. His wish was granted, as he and the Steelers advanced to Super Bowl XL with a 34-17 win over the Broncos.
Two weeks later, Bettis’s wish came true as the Steelers defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10. Bettis rushed for 43 yards on 14 carries, an average of 3.1 yards per carry.
Bettis retired after 13 seasons as the NFL's fifth leading all-time rusher with 13,662 yards and 91 touchdowns. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection. He also won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in 1996 and, in 2002, he was the recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award.
Bettis hasn’t slowed down since his retirement from football. He’s involved in a restaurant venture in Pittsburgh called Jerome Bettis 36 Grille and is active in philanthropic causes, including the Bus Stops Here Foundation to aid underprivileged children and the “Cyber Bus” program that enables Detroit middle and high school students to both build and use the latest computer technology.