Monday, February 9, 2015

Bettis and Ben, and Buckner and Branca

In his Sunday column yesterday, John Mehno wrote about the now infamous call made by Seattle Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll that, it is fair to say, probably cost Seattle their second consecutive Super Bowl victory.  He said, not without merit, that this play call will most likely earn Carroll a spot alongside Bill Buckner and Ralph Branca, men who are known mainly for one specific misplay that has overshadowed two pretty nice career bodies of work.  (I don't have to recount those two instances, do I?)

Anyway, that got me to thinking about something else that took place last weekend, and which I have previously commented upon, the election of Jerome Bettis to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  What Steelers fan does not remember the play in the Playoff game against the Colts following the 2005 season where Jerome fumbled the ball on the goal line, and were it not for this play...

...a certain Steelers win, which led a few weeks later to a Super Bowl victory, would have turned into a loss that would have been every bit as ignominious as the Pirates-Braves 1992 NLCS Game 7 in the annals of Pittsburgh sports history.

If Ben Roethlisberger doesn't make that shoe top tackle of Nick Harper, Jerome Bettis would  have become the Pittsburgh version of Bill Buckner, and I am guessing he would not be the Beloved Bus among the denizens of Steelers Nation that he is today, and I am also guessing that he would not be going into the Hall of Fame, either.  That would not be fair or right or just, but that's how it would be, I believe.

I am thinking that Jerome ought to give serious consideration to having Ben Roethlisberger be his Presenter at his HOF Induction this summer.

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