When it was announced Jerome Bettis will be the next representative of the Pittsburgh Steelers to be forever enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I wondered who he would choose to have him present him at the induction ceremony in August.
He certainly has his share of people to choose from. He could have chosen Bill Cowher, the coach who brought him from the Rams to the Steel City. He could have chosen any number of teammates he had when in Pittsburgh. Joey Porter, Hines Ward, Ben Roethlisberger...all would have been good candidates to give Bettis the introduction he deserves.
With all those worthy candidates, Bettis decided to keep it in the family and have his brother, John, present him at the Hall of Fame, per Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
"My brother has been the biggest Steeler fan in the world since we were kids,'' Bettis said. "All he wanted was for me to play for the Steelers, and when that opportunity came there was nobody happier than my brother"
"He's been my biggest fan, my biggest supporter my entire career. My father was my obvious first choice and my dad was even trying to prepare for it his latter years, but obviously since he's not here. My brother has been more than willing."
"He's told me on a couple occasions he wants to step in in my father's stead and present me in my father's place. He also says, 'We got the same name so it's close.' That's why [I chose] my brother. There is nobody more deserving than my brother."
On August 8th, when Bettis is sitting in Canton, OH donning the famous gold jacket, his brother will be the one giving his final pre-game speech, and his father will surely be watching somewhere being ever-so proud of what both his sons have accomplished on that particular day.
To say Canton will become a Pittsburgh town that weekend might be the understatement of the year.