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Jerome Bettis parks 'The Bus' in Canton

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The humbled men in gold jackets were unmistakable.

So were the unending seas of yellow Terrible Towels there to greet them.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis headlined the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015 on Saturday night, the sixth-leading rusher in NFL history greeted by thousands of fans who made the short trip to Canton and gave the final stop of his singular career a decided western Pennsylvania flavor.

The capacity crowd at Tom Benson Stadium -- most of them clad in some version of black-and-gold -- roared as Bettis made his way down the red carpet, his enshrinement serving as the final destination for a player who embodied the blue-collar mentality of the city and the franchise he helped lead to a fifth Super Bowl title in 2006.

The adulation surrounding Bettis' induction proved fitting on a night so many saw their lengthy waits to join football's most exclusive club come to an end.

Only linebacker Junior Seau was elected in his first year on the ballot. For the rest, Saturday night was a mixture of relief, joy and wonder.

Defensive end Charles Haley cracked jokes between heartfelt disclosures of his battle with depression. Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff didn't say a word, instead letting Hall of Fame teammate Fran Tarkenton speak for him shortly after Tingelhoff's bust was unveiled.

"He's waited 37 years to get to the Hall of Fame," Tarkenton said as thousands rose to their feet in appreciation.

Kansas City guard Will Shields spoke with the same thoughtfulness that made him one of the best linemen of his generation during a standout career with the Chiefs.

Contributors Bill Polian and Ron Wolf paid tribute to the icons who paved the way for their success. Wide receiver Tim Brown led chants of "Rai-ders! Rai-ders!" in a joyous moment more than a decade after the last of his 1,094 receptions.

Haley, the only player in NFL history with five Super Bowl rings, gave a rousing, freewheeling speech that included a good-natured jabs at everyone from former San Francisco owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. DeBartolo called the decision to trade Haley to Dallas in 1992 his biggest mistake during his tenure.

Haley didn't disagree, though he also made sure to pay emotional tribute to the men who signed his paychecks. That included a touching nod to Jones, who organized a bone marrow drive when Haley's daughter Brianna was diagnosed with leukemia.

While Haley retired after the 1999 season with 100½ sacks and a fistful of championships. Yet he spent the better part of a decade watching former teammates get the call while his phone remained silent.

He blamed it partly on his own struggle with his inner demons. Haley said he was a "22-year-old man with a 16-year-old inside of me screaming for help and I would not ask for it" when he arrived in the NFL in 1986.

Even as he helped the 49ers win a pair of Super Bowls before earning three more with Dallas, Haley couldn't seem to shake the idea that something was wrong, something he couldn't quite articulate.

"My life spiraled out of control for years, for years," Haley said. "But today, guys, I am getting back into the locker room, to my teammates and tell them guys the mistakes that I've made and that the only way you can grow is that you've got to ask for help."

Wolf, who hired Mike Holmgren and traded for Brett Favre shortly after taking over in 1991, led off by praising the core that restored the Packers to legitimacy after two decades of mediocrity.

"There was always a threat to players of other teams that if they didn't shape up, they would be traded to Green Bay," Wolf said. "We worked hard to eliminate that stigma."

Green Bay won its first Super Bowl in nearly 30 years in 1997 when Favre guided the Packers by New England. Wolf, who spent 23 years working for the Raiders, called owner Al Davis a "remarkable teacher" who gave him a chance to grow from a scout scouring for prospects into one of the most respected team builders of his generation.

Polian praised Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy for helping him resurrect the Bills after Polian took over as general manager in 1984. The two men put together the foundation of a team that made four straight Super Bowl appearances behind Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed, all of whom Polian joined in the Hall. Polian finally won a championship with Indianapolis and Peyton Manning, though Polian couldn't help but wonder how a "kid from the Bronx" ended up in Canton.

There was no wondering for Bettis, who wasn't shy about his desire to follow in the footsteps of other Steeler greats who guided the team to greatness.

Many of them were on hand to watch Bettis join them, including Franco Harris, Joe Greene, Mel Blount and Lynn Swann. Several of Bettis' former teammates, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Hines Ward, watched from in front of the stage as the Hall's doors finally opened for the player known simply as "The Bus."

Billionaire NFL team owner Glazer dies at 85

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The Buccaneers' announce Malcolm Glazer's passing earlier today.

The Buccaneers have announced that the second owner in franchise history, Malcolm Glazer, passed away this morning at the age of 85.

After a period under Hugh Culverhouse's ownership that was marked with ill feeling between players and the owner, Glazer's purchase of the team saw a huge turnaround in the team's fortunes. Under his ownership, the Bucs went from the worst team in the sport by a considerable margin, to Super Bowl champions in just seven seasons.

Below is the Buccaneers' statement in full:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are saddened to announce the passing of Owner/President Malcolm Glazer earlier this morning at the age of 85. A dynamic business leader, Glazer helped mold the Buccaneers into a model franchise and one respected league-wide. Since being purchased by Glazer in 1995, the Buccaneers franchise has earned seven playoff berths, five playoff wins, and captured its first Super Bowl championship in 2002. Known among his league peers as a pioneering thinker, Glazer infused his team and employees with the determination and dedication to be the best in the NFL. Glazer's commitment to building a championship organization has provided the foundation for continued success, on and off the field. Glazer's input was instrumental on the league level as well, as evidenced by his time serving on the NFL's Finance Committee. He also played a major role in Tampa becoming a host for the Super Bowl on several occasions. In 1999, Glazer launched the Glazer Family Foundation, which is dedicated to assisting charitable and educational causes in the Tampa Bay community, highlighted by the opening of the Glazer Children's Museum in 2010. In its 15 years of existence, the Foundation has donated millions in programs, tickets, grants and in-kind contributions. In 2005, Glazer purchased Manchester United. Since then, the club captured five Premier League titles (2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013), as well as the 2008 Champions League title. Born in Rochester, New York as one of seven children, Glazer took over the family watch-parts business at age 15 following the death of his father and then continued his foray into the professional world, investing in other businesses. Glazer owned or was a substantial shareholder of a diverse portfolio of international holdings and public companies, including: First Allied, Zapata Corporation, Houlihan's Restaurant Chain, Harley Davidson, Formica, Tonka, Specialty Equipment and Omega Protein. A resident of Palm Beach, Florida, Glazer leaves behind his wife, Linda, six children and 14 grandchildren. Mr. Glazer's long established estate succession plan has assured the Buccaneers will remain with the Glazer family for generations to come. Linda Glazer, along with their five sons and daughter, will continue to own and operate the team as they have throughout the family's ownership. A private family funeral service will be held for Mr.Glazer. The opportunity for others to remember and celebrate Mr. Glazer's life will be announced at a future date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to All Children's Hospital, St. Joseph's Children's Hospital, and Shriners Hospitals for Children - Tampa.

Published in partnership with SBNation.com

Inmate sues NFL over missed call that cost Steelers playoff berth

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A prison inmate in Mercer County is suing the NFL because the Steelers didn’t make the playoffs.

According to Fox Sports, Daniel Spuck is suing the league over the play in which Kansas City missed a potentially game-winning field goal. (Click here to see the entire lawsuit.)

The referees didn’t call an illegal formation penalty against San Diego that would have given the Chiefs’ kicker another chance at the field goal.

Had the Chiefs won the game, the Steelers would have been the sixth-seed in the AFC.

Spuck is requesting the playoffs be postponed so Kansas City can try the kick again.

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