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Here is a Bus built Ford tough

Steelers' star running back says he's like an F-150

Brett Clanton / The Detroit News

Picture:http://cmsimg.detnews.com/apps/pbcs...0&Ref=V2&Profile=1148&MaxW=1000&Q=100&title=1

Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Jerome Bettis earned the nickname "The Bus" because of his tendency to simply roll over opposing linemen.

But in comparing himself to other running backs, the Super Bowl-bound Detroit native has his own handle for his playing style: "Those guys are Ferraris; I'm an F-150," he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

But the football player's affinity for Ford trucks might be no more spontaneous than the choreography behind an end zone touchdown dance. In fact, the tango of football and automotive marketing, always a rather salacious lambada, if you will, seems hard at work here. To wit: a Ford press release notes that Bettis has been friends with the owner of McCrackin Ford in Pittsburgh since 1998, when Bettis was hired to be a spokesman for the dealership.

"Like a Ford F-150, "I go 100,000 before you start changing the oil."

Or, in this case, getting greased.

Hard to stomach

The news coming out of Ford Motor Co. would make anyone blanch - the Dearborn automaker was preparing to cut as many as 30,000 jobs and shutter 14 plants. But Ford public relations staffers suspected another culprit as they worked on the restructuring announcement and prepared for auto shows late Friday, Jan. 20.

A half-dozen or more became, to put it delicately, indisposed after sampling pizza and salad delivered by a stand-by, Buddy's Pizza on Michigan Avenue. Pale and wan, several struggled over the weekend to put the finishing touches on the documents due to be released first thing Monday. Health department inspectors toured the facilities at Buddy's, which believes the source of all the unhappiness was a bad batch of lettuce.

Managers were profuse in their apologies to Ford customers. "If they weren't satisfied with their experience, we'd have refunded their money," said manager Dave Laduke. Biz Insider was relieved to learn that all are on the mend and now wishes the rest of the company a speedy recovery.

Tick, tick, tick . . .

General Motors Corp.'s embattled Chairman Rick Wagoner has answered a lot of tough questions from reporters in recent months. And he's held his own. But few news organizations are better at making executives squirm than "60 Minutes."

The investigative news program is preparing a story about GM, which is expected to air in mid-February and is likely to shine a bright light on the automaker's financial troubles. GM, which lost $8.6 billion in 2005, blocked off its display at the Detroit Auto Show for a private walk-through with Wagoner and reporter Steve Croft. GM officials say the sure-footed CEO did well in the interview, but they say their fingers will remain crossed until the show runs.
 
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