New series I’ll pop up from time to time to try and make the offseason at least feel a little quicker.
The Internet is a great place for some wayback Pittsburgh Steelers‘ games that you and I have long forgotten about (or not been alive to remember in the first place). That in mind, we’ll occasionally post clips of random – and sometimes meaningful – plays from at least a decade ago.
Jerome Bettis. The Bus. A hometown hero, a Pittsburgher forever.
You can fill the encyclopedia with his highlights. His quick feet. Underrated speed. But it was his size and power that turned him into a Hall of Famer.
Kim Herring, poor Kim Herring, found out what happens when you step in front of a moving bus.
It’s 1998, the Week One opener against the Baltimore Ravens. Bettis is having an objectively terrible game, bottled up by a Baltimore run defense that would end the year in the top ten. He has 15 carries for 29 yards, only two of those going for more than three yards and none longer than five.
But like a fine wine, Bettis was known for getting better as the game bore on, wearing down defenses as they absorbed blow after blow to take the
230, 240, 260 pounder to the Earth.
Early in the fourth quarter, with the Steelers nursing a 13-3 lead, Kordell Stewart connected to WR Charles Johnson for a 27 yard gain, putting Pittsburgh in field goal range. With some momentum in this otherwise defensive-minded game, the next play, Stewart handded off to Bettis.
A carry up the middle because of course, that’s where they all went. Bettis took the ball and made one quick step with his right foot to cut up between left tackle and guard.
Standing in his way was safety Kim Herring, the only other Raven to wear #20 before Ed Reed. Bettis met him in the alley.
Kim Herring was no longer standing in the way.
Of all the vicious hits, and there are scores of them, that’s gotta top them all. I’m pretty sure Herring still has a chalk outline on the field. Not only did Bettis lift him off the ground, he maintained his balance, showing the sensational feet he had, and rumbled forward for a nine yard gain.
Herring, by the way, wasn’t a small dude. He’s listed at 212 pounds. But in that moment, it didn’t matter. Jerome Bettis was taking some anger out on him. It’s a play you’ll briefly see in some of his highlight reels but it’s the first time I’ve found the live footage, where you can sorta soak it all in in all its glory.
And man, it is glorious.