Big Lead Sports Bar


Today's Episode of "Steeler Fan Angst"

I've been peppered by many readers with this line from's Dr. Z. in his Hall of Fame column today:
Still with the Hall, Steve of Charlotte, N.C., wants to know if I see Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis as first ballot Hall of Famers? Faulk, possibly. Martin, yes, because there will be a lot of sentiment attached. He's really a terrific guy. Bettis, no. Down the line, maybe.
  • 6-time Pro Bowler
  • 5th All Time in Rushing - 13,662 yards
  • 10th All Time in Rushing TDs - 91
  • 13th All Time in Yards from scrimmage 15,111
  • Super Bowl Champion
  • Inspiration for the Helmet Cake
If that's not a first-ballot HOFer, who is? Don't answer that, we already have the answer: Curtis Martin and Marshall Faulk. Other than the obvious "shut up, whiny Steeler fans", any thoughts on Dr. Z.'s opinion?
Jerome Bettis career stats [Pro Football Reference]
Curtis Martin career stats [Pro Football Reference]
Marshall Faulk career stats [Pro Football Reference]


Unknown said...

Dr. Z's gonna get buried in email from Stillers fans this week. I'm hoping he'll address what his logic behind the choice is.

And how is Curtis Martin's story better than Bettis'? MOre than the yards and the TD's, Bettis was the Closer, the one guy that the other team didn't want to see in the 4th quarter, because they knew they couldn't stop him, and that they would be losing the game.

Marcus T said...

I'm a Pittsburgh fan, and like Jerome Bettis, but I wouldn't say its a definitive "YES". Does he probably belong? Yea, but I understand where other people are coming from. Only 4 years did he rush for more than 1,300 yards. And before I get bashed for being picky and not saying, "8 thousand yards seasons". Do the math, 1,000/16 games = 62.5 yds per game. A back who rushes for 62 yds a game isn't stellar, I'm sorry.

I once heard some very wise words "It's the Hall of FAME, not the Hall of GOOD".

As for Faulk, career numbers aside, he was THE BEST player in football for a 3-4 year stretch; Bettis probably couldn't crack the top 20 in any given season. This is also the tricky part with any Hall of Fame, how do you rate the consistent good guy who never did anything astounding?

Louis Lipps is my homeboy said...

The logic is that sportswriters seem to know they can get a rise out of us if they "insult" the Steelers.

And, top 5 in rushing is an automatic hall pass. All the other statistical breakdowns are great and all, but top 5 rushing is HUGE!

Also, I disagree, Bettis was a Top 5-10 player in 96 and 97.

He was also leading the league in rushing at the time of his regular season-ending injury late in the 2001 season.

And actually, the arguement we made against Bettis also fits Martin. Perhaps better so. His YPC is only slightly higher than Jerome's (4.0 to 3.9) and he was a feature back his whole career, whereas Bettis was basically called on to get a couple yards at a time in his last few seasons.

Bettis also has one more TD than Martin.

I mean, he never really put up huge numbers, he was just consistent and they added up.

I'm not trying to say anything bad about Martin. I think if you're top 5, which both are, you should be in first ballot. I mean, whether it was flashy or not, you're in the top 5 ALL TIME. That's a massive amount of yards any way you slice it. If it was easy to do, everyone would do it.

They should both go in on the first ballot IMO. No questions asked.

Anonymous said...

This coming from the same DR. Z. who predicted HOUSTON OILERS VS. LA RAMS in the Super Bowl for 5 straight years in the last 80's/early 90's.

(Funny enough, it kinda happened when St. Louis beat Tennessee in SB XXXIV. Even still, Z is a putZ.)

Unknown said...

Marcus ought to check his stats, very few RBs in the Hall of FAME have per game averages that are not stellar. Very few average much over 70 yards a game for a career.