PITTSBURGH -- Former running back Jerome Bettis is no doubt one of the most popular Pittsburgh Steelers ever.
Since retiring from the Black-and-Gold, "the Bus" opened a restaurant on the North Shore, took a national television sports gig and wrote a book.
But within those pages lie some controversial comments about the Steelers, a former quarterback and Steelers fans.
The book is a candid look at how Bettis believes the Steelers and the fans treated him.
He also has some interesting things to say about how some of his former teammates were treated, specifically quarterback Kordell Stewart.
The book is titled "The Bus: My Life In and Out of a Helmet," and one of the most startling revelations deals with a non-football event in Bettis' life: a chance to do the ABC show "Dancing With the Stars."
"Before they asked Emmitt (Smith) to be on that show, they asked me," Bettis said in the book. "My agent, Lamont Smith, kept telling me the show is watched by 38 million people, but that was my point: I didn't want 38 million people watching me dance."
On the field, Bettis felt Steelers coaches and management underestimated him during certain points in his career.
About a 2005 loss in Jacksonville, where former head coach Bill Cowher said he forgot to put Bettis in the game on a crucial short-yardage situation, Bettis wrote, "Never in the 10 seasons I played for coach Cowher had I felt betrayed like this."
In 2004, Bettis was a short-yardage back, scoring touchdowns mostly set up by former running back Duce Staley. After scoring two touchdowns at Heinz Field against the Cincinnati Bengals, Bettis said the fans' reaction hurt.
"After I scored my second touchdown of the game, I started hearing boos," Bettis wrote. "It took a few moments, but then I realized Steelers fans at my home stadium were booing me for scoring a touchdown. I was so angry that you could have grilled a hamburger on my forehead."
Bettis said he disagreed with Cowher on a number of occasions, but insists he never held a grudge. In fact, he said if he ever bought an NFL team, Cowher would be one of his first hires.
He does, however, believe Cowher ruined Stewart's career and that the Steelers did not give the quarterback a chance to succeed.
He points to 2002 when coaches pulled Stewart after three games in favor of Tommy Maddox, who had been out of the league for years and hadn't started an NFL game since 1992.
Bettis said Stewart was set up for failure.
"I think they pulled Kordell partly because they didn't want to pay him a big salary and signing bonus," Bettis wrote. "It was cheaper for them if he didn't have success. If he recovered and had a huge year, then the public sentiment would be, 'Hey, you've got to resign him for whatever it costs.' I'm telling you, it was a monetary decision. The Steelers had no interest in paying Kordell his market value."
But at the time, in October 2002, Bettis was quoted in a Post-Gazette story saying, "It's one of those things, a coach has got to make a decision in the best interest of this football team. You have to do what you have to do."