Tag:NFL Owners
Posted on: March 25, 2009 5:30 am

Thanks for the Memories Mr. Rooney

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at this weeks NFL owners meeting.  Not because of the discussions on rule changes or discussion about the CBA.  Had I been there, I’m sure that I’d have witnessed a bittersweet moment.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette this morning, Dan Rooney,  current President and one of the owners of the Pittsburgh Steelers, stepped down from all committees and said goodbye to the NFL ownership.  Rooney, in anticipation for his upcoming appointment as Ambassador to Ireland, handed the reigns of the Steelers organization over to his son, Art Rooney, II. 

It’s the end of an era for the Steelers, and for the NFL.  Rooney had been “influential and involved in league matters for half a century” (1) .  The “Rooney Rule” opened the door for minorities to become head coaches within the NFL.  For the Steelers organization, Mr. Rooney carried on the tradition that was started by his father, Art Rooney, Sr, in such that made the players feel like family.  As a testament to that, when asked in an online chat session at NFL.com, on his induction to the Hall of Fame, former Steelers CB, Rod Woodson sited Dan Rooney as the primary reason that, if he had to choose a team to get inducted under, it would be the Steelers.  There has always been an air of mutual respect between players, coaches and ownership.

There’s no doubt that the tradition of the Steelers franchise will continue on with Art Rooney II, and I have no doubt that upon a trip to Ireland in the next few years, we’ll see black and gold being worn there.  Still, Mr. Rooney’s presence and influence in the NFL will be missed by players, coaches and fans alike. 

Personally, I’d like to thank Mr. Rooney for his dedication and would like to ask, should he find a four leaf clover or capture a leprechaun, to send him my way.  Thank you Mr. Rooney, go raibh mile maith agat (2).


1- "Dan Rooney Bids NFL Owners Fairwell" , Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post Gazettte, March 25, 2009

2- go rabh mile maith agat is gaelic for thank you,


Category: NFL
Posted on: August 27, 2008 6:29 am
Edited on: August 27, 2008 6:30 am

NFL Wants To Keep The Tradition

Let's play some word association.  If you were to say Steelers, then you cannot deny that what comes to mind is Rooney's.  If you say Rooneys, then what comes to mind is the Steelers.  No doubt the Pittsburgh Steelers go hand in hand with the long time ownership of the Rooney family, beginning with Art Rooney, Sr.  

It is not a secret that several of the Rooney brothers are looking to sell their shares of the Steelers, partially because of their ownership in gambling operations, partially because they feel it's time to sell their interest for estate reasons.  So, as the saga of who, in the end will be in control of the Steelers, fans of the Pittsburgh team watch and wait.  Currently there are two offers for the Steelers.  One by Dan Rooney and his son Art Rooney II, the other, by Stanley Druckenmiller.  Druckenmiller has already stated that, should he be allowed to buy the team, that he would keep Dan and Art II in their current role.  Nor is there a worry that the Steelers would suffer any significant changes since Druckenmiller is a long time Steelers fan and a member of the Pittsburgh community.  Now the question becomes, will the Steelers be synonymous with the Rooney's or will the tradition end with the sale to an outside source.

If the NFL has it's way, it will continue the tradition of Rooney control.  Yesterday, all the Rooney brothers met with NFL Commissioner, Rodger Goodell.  According to a Pittsburgh Post Gazette article, Goodell advised the brothers that the NFL would prefer to see Dan Rooney and his son in control of the team.  To make his point, three other owners of NFL teams were present for the meeting.  Sale of the Steelers would require the NFL's approval, and Goodell made it clear that the owners would prefer to see the Rooney's maintain control of the team. 

No doubt the NFL would prefer that the Rooney's remain an active member of their organization, given their dedication, not only to the Steelers but also to the league.  The Rooney's have been active leaders within the NFL and have not only endeared themselves to the players, the community, but also have the respect of the other owners within the league.  Now the question is, will the other four Rooney brothers heed the implied threat of a scuttled sale, and at least sell enough shares to Dan Rooney to maintain control, or will they take the chance of giving over control to an outside entity.

Now we watch and wait, to see if the tradition continues.
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