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Old 02-02-2012, 06:17 AM   #1
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Default Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/bi...tml?mode=print

By Mike Bires Times Sports Staff | Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 11:45 pm

This summer, the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies will have a black and gold touch to them. But don't look for Jerome Bettis to be part of the festivities.

Of the 17 finalists for the Class of 2012, three are former Steelers. It's hard to imagine that at least one won't get in.

There's Bettis, the burly, bruising running back.

There's Dermontti Dawson, who followed Mike Webster and continued the tradition of excellent center play.

There's Jack Butler, a cornerback from the 1950s.

Some day, all three will be immortalized in the hallowed halls of Canton. But this year, there's no way all three can get in. The list of 17 finalists -- 15 modern-day nominees and two senior nominees -- is too strong.

That's why Bettis will probably have to wait until next year.

On Saturday when the Hall of Fame voters cast their final ballots, the running back who deserves to get in this year is Curtis Martin.

A former Pitt star, Martin was a little more productive than Bettis. Martin has the edge -- albeit a slight edge -- with more 1,000-yard seasons, more 100-yard games, more career touchdown and more career yards. On the NFL's all-time rushing chart, Martin (14,101) ranks fourth and Bettis (13,662) sixth.

Of the 15 modern-day finalists, Dawson is one of three offensive linemen. Tackles Will Shields and Willie Roaf are the others, and convincing arguments can be made for both. However, Dawson was the best center of his generation and was named first-team All-Pro six straight years (1993-98). He was the center of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s. Bill Cowher once said Dawson was the most athletic center to ever play that position.

This could be the year Dawson finally gets the Hall call.

Likewise for Butler, who was one of the best cornerbacks of his era. He and Dick Sanfel, a guard who played on three teams in the 1950s, are the two senior nominees. Both can get in. Both can be bypassed. But it's hard to imagine the voters leaving out Butler.

After all, he still ranks 26th on the NFL's all-time interception list with 52 -- and he didn't even play nine full years. In the seventh game of the 1959 season, Butler suffered a career-ending knee injury.

Butler, now 84, was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1950s.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

bettis will get in eventually. dawson deserves it more, he's had to wait longer and he's one of the best at his position to ever play
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/bi...tml?mode=print

Likewise for Butler, who was one of the best cornerbacks of his era... he still ranks 26th on the NFL's all-time interception list with 52 -- and he didn't even play nine full years.
In the seventh game of the 1959 season, Butler suffered a career-ending knee injury.
let's look-at this another-way... in an era where every team emphasised the running game, Butler played just 103 games, and had 52 inceptions:
even in today's pass-n-tab brand of football, nobody averages a pick-off every-other game
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

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bettis will get in eventually. dawson deserves it more, he's had to wait longer and he's one of the best at his position to ever play
Couldnt agree more, Dawson deserves the spot......Like you said, the Bus will get in.
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Old 02-02-2012, 04:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

What About Donnie Shell???????
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

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What About Donnie Shell???????
compared to Butler?

Shell has 1-fewer pick in almost twice-as-many games, and while that shouldn't be a determining factor if he doesn't make it, it's possible (probable?) that today's voters will admit few Steelers of that era, as so-many are already enshrined:
had Shell played with another great team of that era (Oakland, Dallas, Miami), he might have a better chance

Andy Russell (who many thought was in-line for that honor before Ham & Lambert arrived) is also in that category
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

Too bad for JB, I would have liked to see him get in this year, although I agree that Martin has slightly better credentials that warrant induction over him if it is necessary. Like was said above me, you know the Bus is getting in at some point. It'll still be great to have some Stiller representation at the HOF ceremonies this year.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

Butler is the most deserving player of this class...he has been waiting too long and what he did has not ever been done. Think about it in 103 games he had 52 ints...Rod Woodson had 28 after 103 games. I have met Butler and he has never said a bad word about the league or the voters, even though he had to right too.
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

IMO all three should get in. I realize that the HOF voters won't put three Steelers in at the same time, but Dawson is arguably the best center to ever play in the NFL (sorry Webby, you're still one of my favorite all time Steelers). Bettis , IMO, deserves it more than Martin. As good as Martin was, NO SUPER BOWL, and since the "stats" are close, Bettis trumps Martin. And for all thiose that say bettis was a passenger in '05, if it wasn't for him down the Stretch, we wouldn't have been in the playoffs that year, let alone win the super bowl. Butler is a no brainer.
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Bires: Bettis may be odd Steeler out for Hall of Fame

I'd love to see Bettis get in this year and also feel he deserves it equally w/ Martin. Both were great backs. Hopefully he isn't the odd man out. But;er was before my time, but stats wise, he deserves it, and arguably, has a more difficult time to even get to the finalists than Bettis will in the next few years. If one of three have to be the "sacrificial lamb", Bettis is probably the one that will assuredly prevail in the next couple of years.
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