Driving Home: My Unforgettable Super Bowl Run breaks down Jerome's final professional football season game-by-game, culminating with victory at Super Bowl XL while providing an inside look at Jerome's relationships with teammates like Ben Roethlisberger and Hines Ward, his parents Gladys and John, and his daughter Jada. In what was to be the final season of his career, Jerome Bettis chose to keep a journal for the first time, and it was indeed serendipitous since it ended up being the most dramatic end to a Hall of Fame career with a Super Bowl win in his hometown of Detroit. This guidebook captures the fairytale ending to a remarkable career.
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Few athletes get the opportunity to finish out their careers in the storybook fashion that Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis was able to experience. Bettis, a future Hall of Famer and one of the greatest ball carriers in the history of the NFL, captured the hearts of fans all over the country as his quest for a Super Bowl championship took him from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati to Indianapolis to Denver and, finally, back to his birthplace of Detroit for Super Bowl XL.
His Steelers had fallen one game shy of the title game the previous year, and Bettis wrestled with the decision that confronts all athletes at some point in their careers: do I have enough left for one more year—another run at the championship that’s always been just out of reach? The answer was yes, and "the Bus" battled through injuries and the daily rigors of his 13th NFL season in the hopes that his decision would pay off with football’s ultimate reward.
A late-season swoon was followed by a critical four-game winning streak that propelled the Steelers into the playoffs. They became America’s favorite road team throughout the postseason as fans nationwide pulled for the team’s affable fullback to get one last chance at a championship ring. A payback win over a brash young Cincinnati Bengals team preceded a thrilling victory over heavily favored Indianapolis, and then the Steelers manhandled the Denver Broncos to earn the trip to Detroit to face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.
Bettis’s homecoming was the feel-good story that dominated the headlines during Super Bowl week, and the image of him kissing the Lombardi Trophy after Pittsburgh won the game was the signature moment of the entire NFL season. And Bettis himself, knowing that the 2005 season would be his last, chronicled the campaign from training camp to the Super Bowl. His first-person account—lavishly illustrated with stunning photography of on-field action and intimate off-field moments—starts with the disappointment of the previous season’s finish. Bettis describes how, from the very first day of training camp, the understanding was that anything less than a trip to Super Bowl XL would be a disappointment.
Bettis shares details about his relationships with Steelers stars Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Joey Porter, and others, as well as his long partnership with head coach Bill Cowher. He discusses his home and family life, introducing readers to his parents and siblings, his wife, and his first child, whom he credits with altering his perspective on the importance of football in his life. He takes the reader through his pre- and postgame routines, revealing the fact that life as an NFL running back involves more pain and suffering than most fans realize. And he also offers a first glimpse into what life after the NFL will mean for Jerome Bettis and how he has prepared himself for the future.
But more than anything, Driving Home is Bettis’s triumphant story of one final season in a storybook career that truly had a fairytale ending.About the Author:
Jerome Bettis is a retired NFL halfback who played for the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers. He is considered one of the best big backs ever due to his footwork and power, and is currently sixth on the National Football League's all-time rushing list. He retired in 2006 after a Super Bowl victory at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, his city of birth. Gladys and John Bettis are Jerome’s parents.
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