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Blount: 'It almost brought me to tears'


CANTON, Ohio - Former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 8 in Canton, Ohio as a member of the Class of 2015 and his good friend Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount shared his thoughts on him.

What does it mean to have Jerome Bettis become the next Steelers Hall of Famer?
"It's so special. It almost brought me to tears when he made it. There were the years that he didn't make it. I couldn't figure out what they were looking for. Jerome was a tremendous, tremendous football player and his numbers verified that. He is even a better person. He is an asset to the Hall of Fame. We welcome him. He is representing a great organization, the Steelers organization, and we are very excited for Jerome. I plan to be there to welcome him into the Hall of Fame."

Is there a lot of pride when a Steelers' player is inducted?   **"We are competitive people so the more Steelers we get in there, the more bragging rights we have and it's special. It's not like a guy who is in there just because he played for the Steelers. He put the numbers up, he was a great ambassador for the Steelers and he will be a great ambassador for the Hall of Fame."

What made Jerome a Hall of Fame player?
"Jerome was special because of his footwork and size. He was a lot faster than people realized. He was physical, he was a throwback. He was the kind of guy who could play in any era. He represented what Pittsburgh was all about, hard-nosed, physical, tough running. He was fun to watch. He got the tough yards. He was the kind of back you could win championships with. That's what made him special."

Were you a fan of his?
"'The Bus.' Everybody loved 'The Bus.' He was fun because he would run over people, he could make people miss. He was a good, tough, hard-nosed runner. Whoever made that trade to get him…that was pretty awesome."
What's your best advice to Jerome as he prepares for his enshrinement tomorrow night?
"I think the one thing is it's your moment. My advice would be pour out your heart and enjoy. It's a once in a lifetime thing. You can look back and say I am so glad I shared this story, or mentioned this person. That is my advice to him. Just enjoy the moment. Thank the people that need to be thanked and enjoy the moment."

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