Bettis tells them how he got the ‘Bus’ rolling

Published 12:12 pm Friday, April 23, 2004

By Staff
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Jerome "The Bus" Bettis still gets good mileage as he prepares to begin his 12th NFL season. His travel log includes 12,353 rushing yards, 8,451 as a Pittsburgh Steeler which ranks him second best in franchise history, and even a perfect 300 game on the bowling lanes – where he first wanted to make a living.
Bettis, who racked up over 1,900 yards in three seasons as a fullback at Notre Dame (1990-1992), was brought back to South Bend for the luncheon by The College Football Hall of Fame. The KeyBank Gridiron Legends Luncheon
Series is now in its eighth season at The College Football Hall of Fame.
Bettis took advantage of this opportunity to tell the crowd exactly how "The Bus" got rolling.
So Bettis gave in to the concrete gridiron, playing football on the streets of Detroit with his older brother and his friends who were four years older and really didn't want young Jerome hanging around with them.
His brother now takes credit for jump starting. "The Bus'" career, but
Bettis credits his college coach at Notre Dame, Lou Holtz, for keeping it tuned up.
From the minute Bettis put on the blue and gold, he enjoyed football success. And it was Holtz who made certain of it, figuring a revved up "Bus" spells wins for the Irish. Bettis recalled many of these motivating tactics at the luncheon, entertaining the crowd with his best Lou Holtz impersonation. But all laughs aside, Bettis was quick to praise his former mentor.
While his thanks to Notre Dame was perhaps most noticed on the gridiron, Bettis continues to give back to his school through an endowment scholarship. One of the beneficiaries of Bettis' contributions, Notre Dame sophomore Alexis Phillips, was at the luncheon and was able to meet him.
On the field, Bettis has kept it going as the NFL's sixth all-time best rusher in history. Consistency has been his key as he plans on rolling up yet another 1,000-yard season. And even though he has bowled a perfect 300 on the lanes, the only bowling he's concerned with is in late January, 2005.
Future KeyBank Gridiron Legends Luncheons for 2004 will feature Bobby Ross (May 5), Nick Saban (May 19), Gale Sayers (June 2), Joe Tiller (June 29) and Mike Golic (July 21). For more information, please contact The College Football Hall of Fame at 574-235-5715.
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