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PRO FOOTBALL / DAILY REPORT : RAIDERS : Ball-Bettis Matchup Will Be Friendly

November 11, 1994|STEVE SPRINGER

When Raider defensive lineman Jerry Ball confronts Ram running back Jerome Bettis on the field Sunday, there may be plenty of ferocity, but no animosity.

Bettis and Ball have met many times before in friendlier circumstances.

When Bettis, a Detroit native and star running back at Notre Dame, was considering leaving school after his junior year, he and his parents went to Ball, then a Detroit Lion, for advice on jumping early into pro football.

The fact that he went to Ball and others told Ball that Bettis had a good chance of succeeding.

"It all starts with the home and the parents," said Ball, who has maintained the friendship formed with the Bettis family. "They keep him level-headed. They went around and got the information they would need to make the proper decision. He has stability and a firm foundation."

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