ARTICLE OF THE DAY

The Bus
by Kevin Monroe
1/24/06

As a lifetime Cowboy fan, it is almost against my religion to root for the Pittsburgh Steelers anytime, but especially not in a Super Bowl. The two teams have a long standing rivalry that was formed in the seventies.  Dallas and Pittsburgh met in Super Bowl X in 1976 then again in 1979 and the Boys were on the losing end of both games.  It wasn’t until Super Bowl XXX in 1996 was Dallas able to get its revenge winning 21-17 over the Steelers. 

My point in bringing that up is I usually don’t need any motivation to root against the Steelers because it just comes natural.  This year however, I am taking a different approach.  After watching Ben Rothlesberger in only his second season play like a seasoned veteran, seeing Troy Polamalu dominate a game from the safety position like no other, and watching Jerome Bettis take a pay cut and a back seat to Willie Parker just to win a Super Bowl ring, I feel I have no choice but to root for the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

That’s right. I said it. I am on the band wagon..I mean..the Bus for the February 5th showdown versus the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit.  It’s really not that much of a stretch for me. As a child, I grew up enjoying Notre Dame football.  I loved Tim Brown, Rahib Ishmail, and Jerome Bettis.  I was a fan of Bettis when he was with the Rams in 1993 & 94, but I was devastated when he was traded to Pittsburgh because I knew I would have to root against him.  In his brilliant 13 year NFL career he has never missed more than 5 games in a season because of injury. 

From 1996 to 2001 Jerome had 6 straight seasons of over 1000 yards rushing.  In his 13 seasons, Bettis has over 13,000 yards and 91 touchdowns.    The Steelers made him a back up after acquiring Duce Staley in 2004 and then Willie Parker in 2005, but the bus has not slowed down.  Being used in short yardage situations and on the goal line, Bettis has 22 Touchdowns in the last two years.

The Bus possesses unquestionable character, and in this day and age of big egos and extreme selfishness, it is refreshing to watch a player like Jerome Bettis.  If this truly is his final season in the NFL, we should all consider ourselves blessed to have watched him play. Five years from now, he should be a first ballot hall of famer.

Kevin Monroe
kevin@downeastsports.com