Careers: Riggins — 14 years (1971-79, 1980-85)
Bettis — 13 years (1993-2005)
Teams: Riggins — New York Jets, Washington Redskins
Bettis — Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers
Jerome Bettis got his famous name while at Notre Dame. When the fullback carried a bunch of defenders into the end zone one day, the student body made the connection. Then Bettis took his talents to the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose team colors were yellow and black. Bingo!
(Some Baltimorons have tried to stick Gus Edwards with the same name, but no, stop it, please, that doesn’t work. There’s only one Bus — and there will never be another. Got that, people?!)
John Riggins was the 230-pound engine that drove the Washington Redskins offense. At the end of practices, coaches would run the Riggo drill, which called on the Super Bowl XVII MVP to carry the ball on 10 consecutive run plays.
Riggins required no introduction to internal combustion. This was the free spirit who once told Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner to "loosen up" at a public dinner before he fell drunk on the floor. He sent her a dozen roses the next day.