With his entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, Jerome Bettis is ramping things up with a media circuit discussing his life and professional career.
In the interview, Bettis spoke on his rough beginnings as a kid growing up in Detroit. He told Bensinger how he and his brother began dealing crack cocaine to make money for their struggling family:
The mind-set was, "We're in the hood. Mom and Dad, they're working their butts off. There's no money around. We need to make some money." So we said, "You know what? Let's give it a shot." And it was one of those moments that you regret, but at the moment, that was the only thing that was really available to us.
Bensinger pursued the point, asking if violence—specifically shooting at someone—had ever been a part of his life. Bettis said it had:
Yeah. That was part of growing up in our environment, in our neighborhood. That wasn't out of the realm of normal. When you go back, it's nothing that I ever wanted to glorify, because I know in retrospect that it was awful. Here you are in a position to take someone's life, and that's never a good thing. And so as I look back on it now, I always see the wrongs that are in it and never want to bring light to it in that respect: that it was a good thing. It was the worst thing that I could've ever done. It was a bad decision, but it was the decision that I made and that I lived with at that moment.
Life could've been a lot different for The Bus.
Clearly, he regrets the bit of it he spent doing things that could've quickly curtailed his life, much less his chances at becoming a professional football player and Hall of Fame member.
Never go full Bodie, guys. It's not worth it.