PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With more than 13,000 yards and 91 touchdowns in Jerome Bettis’ professional career, this time around, Steelers Nation felt pretty good about The Bus’s next stop being at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

At Jerome Bettis Grille 36 on the North Shore on Saturday evening, fans cheered when the first 10 finalists were announced. Only to have the wind knocked out of their sails just minutes later.

The news that Bettis had been passed over again had Steelers’ fans bowing their heads in disbelief, and even, perhaps, drying a tear.

Mike Weibush, who lives in Canton, Ohio, says Bettis has rightfully earned his keep among the greatest football players of all time.

“He deserves it,” said Weibush. “He’s earned it, sixth leading rusher of all time. It’d been nice to see. We’ll get him next year.”

Rick Smith, of McKeesport, agrees. He just wishes that The Bus had made it through this year.

“I was pretty sure this was gonna be the day,” Smith said. “Obviously, it isn’t. I’m disappointed.”

And he’s not the only one.

“Anytime the Steelers don’t get in, you’re sad,” added one Steelers’ fan.

“He’s a Hall of Famer,” said another fan. “It’s just a matter of time.”

Fans say Bettis epitomizes the City of Pittsburgh and that’s why he’s so well loved.

“He always pulled through and won the game for us when we needed it,” said Denise Prasnikar, of Harmarville.

“He epitomizes the City of Pittsburgh. He is Pittsburgh; that’s why we love him so much. He is the city,” added fan Jack Brown of Munhall.

Most fans believe Bettis will eventually make it in because of his impressive record.

Former Steelers RB Jerome Bettis Not Elected To Pro Football Hall Of Fame (2/2/13)
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