I will first admit that when I was a teenager there was no college football team more popular in my circle of friends than Notre Dame -
I know surprise huh? an Irish Catholic kid from Boston and his group of friends were Notre Dame fans, shocker you say!
I LOVED watching Jerome Bettis wearing his # 6 and rumbling down the field, running over opposing defenses and saying to myself that
he was going to be something special once he entered the NFL.
Looking back on it yes he did have a good NFL career, he was productive, lasted longer than most backs - which I believe the average career for an NFL running back is 3.2 years, but with all this talk about the Hall of Fame despite my past Notre Dame & Jerome Bettis fandom I would have to say that he was NOT one fo the best of his era.
To me that is the measuring stick for the Hall of Fame, were you the best of your era, did you dominate, were you special week in and week out on a consistent basis and I can't say with a resounding YES! that the Bus was all that.
He never lead the league in rushing, only once did he average 100 yards a game in a single season(1997 he avgd. 111 per game) though he did have a season where he averaged 97.5 yards a game (2001) too so I will give him that because it was pretty close, he's 22nd. in TD's alltime, good but not GREAT, not HOF worthy in my opinion.
I'd be interested to hear form other NFL fans and what you consider your criteria for HOF consideration, is it strictly a numbers thing? or do you also take into account what they contributed to the team and would you put Jerome Bettis into the HOF?