Thursday, January 19, 2006

All aboard the bus...for the last time?

Let's get this straight. When the Browns and Steelers renew acquaintaces twice (and once, three times) yearly, I root for the orange and brown. I pretty much have to, I was born in Cleveland. Even my little man does.

But, you have to respect the Bus. I liked Jerome Bettis back when he was in Notre Dame (though I think they gave him the shaft in St. Louis--imagine him and Marshall Faulk running in the same lovely would that have been? Maybe Faulk would have stayed in Indy...and Indy would have never drafted Edgerrin...Manning, Faulk and nice would that have been...but, I digress...) was something how number 6 would just steamroll half of the cats and out run the rest. Sure he's blown through the Browns more times than I care to remember...but he's a good football player and, from what his teammates have to say, a good guy. From a NY Times article:

Ward became particularly close to Bettis during his contract holdout before the season. Bettis became Ward's spokesman, in the locker room and in front of the microphones. In an interview with The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bettis said that Steelers players were watching how the organization handled Ward's contract. But behind the scenes, he advised Ward not to let the situation become personal, and he told Ward to call Cowher. Ward did, and that eventually led to the end of his holdout.

I hope that, if the Bus does pull into the depot, he considers coaching. Guys like TO need coaches like him. Guys that will teach them. TO didn't go off the deep end because he's crazy. He went off because he felt like no one cared. I am not saying coddle him, but someone should have said "Yo, you are an Eagle now. We live and die together. You don't have to like me. I don't have to like you. But, on that field, it's you and me for 60 minutes." The Bus did that with a guy who could take his job, Willie Parker. Why couldn't anyone do that with TO? Why can't Brett Favre sit down and do that for Aaron Rogers? But, why does Jerome Bettis do it?

He's a big man...a man of character. That's why I still pull for the bus. Even though my football brain says Denver, I still want the Bus to do well, win or lose.

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