NOVI (WWJ) – Detroit native and NFL great Jerome Bettis will be inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame during Thursday’s ceremonies in Novi.
Bettis ended his career after winning the Super Bowl in Detroit with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he didn’t have many chances to play against the Lions.
“The first time I ever played there was on the Thanksgiving Day game. That was amazing, to play on Thanksgiving. The only bad part was there was some coin toss that happened in the game that kind of changed everything,” Bettis said.
That game in 1998, Bettis appeared to call “heads” but the referee declared that he called tails. The Lions won not only possession of the ball, but also the game in overtime.
The Mackenzie High graduate and Notre Dame standout is currently a TV analyst, but also an investor in re-developing the old Uniroyal Tire property along the Detroit River.
“I’m really looking forward to helping bring Detroit back to its original lustre. I think it can be an incredible city and it has that potential. It’s a great town now and I think it can be even better,” he said.
So where did the nickname “The Bus” come from? Bettis said it first popped up in Notre Dame’s campus newspaper.
“The student body used to have a little chant ‘Nobody stops the bus’ and they used to say that when I was running. It kind of stuck and once I got back to Pittsburg, it kind of resurfaced,” Bettis said.
Among others, Bettis will be honored along with former Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr, Lions Hall of Famer Dick LeBeau and MSU All-American Carl Banks. The ceremony takes place at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi from 5 to 9:30 p.m. For more information, click here.