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Jack Butler, An Earthquake And The Bus…

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…Walk into a bar.  The bartender looks up and says, “What is this? A joke?”

Actually, this is serious business.  I get emails.  A long time ago on a site that blows now, I got an email from a guy by the name of John Butler.  The son of former [intlink id=”125″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers[/intlink] cornerback Jack Butler, he created a website to promote his father’s candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Well, it looks like his hard work has finally paid off as the NFL’s Veteran Committee named Jack Butler one of their two nominees for the HOF.

The Post-Gazette has a nice write-up on Jack Butler. His story sounds awfully similar to [intlink id=”124″ type=”category”]Dick LeBeau[/intlink]’s.  Like LeBeau, Butler was one of the great corners of his era, finishing with 52 career interceptions (good for second place on the all-time list upon his retirement).  I’m firmly convinced if LeBeau hadn’t gone on to become the greatest defensive coordinator who ever lived, his accomplishments as a player would’ve faded into obscurity.  It was only through people like Rod Woodson constantly talking up their beloved coach that the HOF was forced to give him the honor he rightly deserved.  While Jack Butler went on to be a director of the BLESTO scouting service which served as a training ground for scores of NFL scouts and management personnel (including our current GM Director of football operations, Kevin Colbert), he wasn’t front and center enough to generate the same buzz.

Congratulations to the Butler family.  It’ll be nice to see another Steeler enshrined in the Hall.

Which brings up an interesting conundrum facing modern fans.  Last year, Jerome Bettis became eligible for the Hall of Fame.  The Bus has HOF credentials: Rookie of the Year, six time Pro Bowler, fifth leading rusher of all-time.  However, he fell well short of election and I have a feeling he will again next year.  And several years subsequent to that.  The election committee, which is basically a select group of writers who lock themselves in a post hotel and argue amongst themselves for a few hours before voting, tends to play silly political games with their selections.  If a guy is deserving but not legendary superstar great, they make him wait a few years.  If a team has too many guys in the Hall, they become a little more picky about choosing players from that team.

Thus, Bettis is hampered by playing the majority of his career in the Black and Gold. If any readers out there haven’t been to Canton, I strongly recommend putting it on your bucket list.  I’ve been there twice and it’s a first class facility.  And it’s also like the Hall of Steelers as everywhere you look there’s a bust of a former Steeler.  Seriously, they might as well just induct the entire 70s Super Steelers and give them their own wing because it seems like 75% of the team is already there and the few that aren’t probably deserve to be.  So I can see why the committee is finicky about enshrining yet another Steeler, even if they obviously deserve it.

Finally, the intro above is provided by the fine folks over at Benstonium. For those outside the ‘Burgh, he did a brilliant job of mashing up local reports about Tuesdays earthquake with footage of the Steelers mashing up opponents.  I remember when Benstonium first emailed me one of his videos, it was a parody of those insipid Coors Light press conference commercials except this one featured Mike Tomlin and was funny.  Still, it was a pretty no-frills effort with clips of a Tomlin presser intercut with the Benstonium crew asking questions from what looked like a basement dressed up with a drape and a couple chairs stolen from the local VFW.  His current videos (and I strongly suggest you poke around his site for more great clips) are so polished, the Heinz Field scoreboard people should’ve hired him like yesterday.

I mean, I enjoy “Renegade” as much as the next yinzer but would it kill them to come up with some new material?