The merciless second Jerome Bettis determined to cease promoting crack and get into shootouts with rival drug sellers
Jerome Bettis earned his nickname “The Bus” because of his size and bruise style, where he preferred to run over defenders rather than around them. After 13 seasons, including the last 10 with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bettis retired after the 2005 season and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. All of this almost never happened.
That’s because Bettis grew up in a troubled neighborhood in Detroit where drugs and guns were part of everyday life. Bettis was no different. He sold crack. He shot rival drug dealers. However, two moments, including a gruesome incident, forever changed his mind and steered him away from the dangerous criminal life and into the world of football.
Jerome Bettis has a career in the Hall of Fame
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The LA Rams designed Jerome Bettis with the number 10 in the 1993 NFL draft. Bettis has proven himself in this first season, completing 1,429 yards and seven touchdowns after just 12 games. He received All-Pro and Pro Bowl awards for his rookie season and was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Bettis made the Pro Bowl three out of the next four seasons, the last two coming in Pittsburgh, where he was traded by the Rams after the 1995 season. With the Steelers, Bettis became a staple in the backfield for a decade.
In 2005, Jerome Bettis hurried only 368 meters with decreasing role. But this season, individual performance didn’t matter. That’s because the Steelers made it to the playoffs and got hot at the right time and made it to the Super Bowl, which was played at Ford Field in Bettis’ hometown of Detroit that year.
After the Steelers defeated the Seahawks 21:10, Bettis took to the stage and announced his resignation. “I played this game for a championship. I’m a champ, and I think the last stop on the bus is here in Detroit. “
Jerome Bettis sells drugs with his brother
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Jerome Bettis’ NFL career ended with a fairytale in Detroit. His life in Detroit was anything but that. Selling drugs in the neighborhood was a major industry. After the elderly neighbor died, her house became a crack house.
Although Bettis’ parents led him and his brother away from this lifestyle, the appeal of making money was too great.
“The mindset was that we’re in the hood, mom and dad are working their bums off, and there’s no money around,” Bettis said on In Depth With Graham Bensinger. “We have to make some money. Let us try it. ”
Jerome Bettis admitted that guns were an integral part of business and that you had to be prepared to use them.
“I shot people because that’s the nature of business. They have competitors and they want to put you out of business too. You want the whole business to yourself. “
Fears for his life
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Jerome Bettis said there was one particularly harrowing incident that dramatically changed his feelings about continuing his life and career in drug sales.
“We hung out. Next thing you know, some guys kick us out and guys start shooting. We drove off, ”he said to Bensinger. “There is a busy intersection. We run right through the busy intersection and don’t even care if cars are coming or not. We don’t care if we’re hit by a car that goes 40 miles an hour. It was just this fear of those shots that we fired straight through the traffic. “
Personal survival of the gunfire and traffic was scary enough. What happened to his friend shook him to the core.
“And later we found out that one of our partners was shot. He was shot in the arm. His biceps was blown off. It was one of those moments when it looked like, “Whoa, hey guys, this is really serious. That is life and death. Is there any other alternative? ‘”
Coach intervenes and delivers words that he had to hear
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While his friend had his biceps blown off, it was the words of his high school coach that pointed Jerome Bettis in the right direction and changed his life forever. It happened when the trainer showed up at Bettis’s house to speak to him and his mother.
“I’ll never forget. I sit there. He says,” I learned that Jerome Bettis sells drugs. He has so much potential. I think he can be a great football player and I want the best for him. ‘I could don’t believe he actually said that, ”admitted Bettis.
“When he said I was coaching guys who were playing in the NFL and I was coaching Pro Bowl players, that hit me. I said maybe I could do that. That moment really affected my life and helped me and showed me that I can be a better person, a different person. I can be a successful person and it really helped me to go my own way. “
A remarkable path that ended in 2015 with a bust in Canton in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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