With a story just slightly less ridiculous than the tale of the man who suffered a heart attack during the final moments of last Sunday’s Colts/Steelers playoff game, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette catches up with Jerome Bettis’ mom and dad.

Jerome Bettis ran into the line and lost the football; his mother ran to the ladies’ room.

Gladys and John Bettis sat in the RCA Dome Sunday staggered at what had happened with 80 seconds left and the Steelers clinging to a 3-point lead over the Indianapolis Colts. The dream ending to their son’s career, a Super Bowl game in their hometown of Detroit, was dissolving into a nightmare in Indianapolis before their very eyes.

After Bettis lost the ball from the Colts’ 2 and cornerback Nick Harper picked it up and Ben Roethlisberger made his season-saving tackle, Gladys Bettis could watch no more.

“She went to the bathroom,” John Bettis said yesterday. “She left entirely.”

She stayed inside the ladies room, praying, as the Colts advanced into Steelers territory.

“I couldn’t even look out there on the field, I was stunned, totally stunned,” John Bettis said. “I couldn’t believe it was going to end that way.”

“She only came out,” her husband said, “when she heard some Steelers fans cheer.”

She also had some advice for her son.

“My wife called Jerome that night and asked, ‘What are you going to give Ben for saving the game for you?’ He said, ‘Yeah, that was big.’ “