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Football Hero Tackles Asthma

Jerome Bettis, the new Sunday Night Football in America commentator, talks about asthma, fitness, and staying healthy.


Do you have favorite techniques for pain management?
Stretching. You have to stretch. I played for 13 years because I'm flexible, I'm limber. Also, massage therapy is great.

How did you get your nickname, "The Bus"?
At Notre Dame whenever I scored I always dragged a few players with me into the end zone, so they used to chant it in the stands. It disappeared when I played for the Rams, but when I was traded to the Steelers, the broadcaster Myron Cope dug it up, and the nickname was reborn.

Tell us about the Jerome Bettis Bus Stops Here Foundation and its "Cyber Bus" program.
It's my charitable foundation. When I came to Pittsburgh the city gave me so much, and I wanted to give back. Its mission is to help underprivileged kids, to give them the same opportunities I had. We give out scholarships, offer mentorships and college prep classes, and the "Cyber Bus" program teaches computer literacy to kids who don't have access to computers.

Are you excited about your new gig as a commentator for NBC's Sunday Night Football in America?
Oh, yeah! We're covering the season's kickoff, and it's the Steelers vs. the Miami Dolphins, so I get to be there as [my former team] raises the championship banners.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? How about 20?
Still positively influencing young people and working on asthma education. Twenty years? More of the same.

As a former running back, who seems fierce out on the field this season?
Willie Parker of the Pittsburgh Steelers, definitely.

And how do the Steelers look this season? Think they'll go all the way again in 2007 without you?
No question about that. No question at all.

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