View Full Version : great article on the life of dan rooney.

tony hipchest
07-10-2007, 05:38 PM

steelers.com has had a ton of great articles celebrating the steelers 75th anniversary of the steelers. this is a rather long one and tracks dan rooneys with the steelers throughout his life:

Since its inception in 1933, the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise has been under the watchful leadership of just two men. The first was team founder Art Rooney, who was a guiding light during the early years of the National Football League when teams struggled just to survive. His selfless dedication to the Steelers and the NFL for more than four decades earned him pro football's highest honor, election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

michael silver (or anyone else who wants to rank the owners) should read this before they decide to put the rooneys at #9. appearantly silver ranks the owners as "best" by building the biggest, best stadiums.

it should be noted that when the rooneys have the resources (stadium revenue) their teams have consistantly led or been at the top of the league in payroll. im not sure about that "cheap" stigma.

the 70's steelers were the highest paid in the league and since heinz field opened the steelers have been maxed to the cap.

In 1970, the Steelers moved into a new home, Three Rivers Stadium. Here Dan demonstrated his wide range of organizational skills as he drew up a complex of offices and team facilities that became a model for new stadiums throughout the league, not to mention the envy of every team owner. "It's enough to give our players an inferiority complex," said then-Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell.

Elevated to team president

In 1975, after 20 years of working in nearly every conceivable capacity, Dan Rooney was "officially" named president of the Steelers. "When I became president in 1975, not much changed," he claimed, still trying to deflect credit. Rather than accept the responsibility for the team's successes, Dan preferred to remind people of his father's accomplishments.

"From day one until this day," he told an interviewer in 1987, "my father set the tone on how the Steelers operate. He is a people person. He has always said that what the people think is important, and that we have to think that way. He very much felt that everyone was his equal and that they should be treated that way -- players, coaches, office staff, everybody. You must treat people with respect. Hopefully, some of that has rubbed off on me and I follow that."

At the same time Rooney was using his formidable skills to mold a model sports franchise, he also emerged as one of the most active figures in NFL operations. His league functions have included membership on the board of directors for the NFL Trust Fund, NFL Films, and the Scheduling Committee.

In 1973, he was appointed Chairman of the league's Expansion Committee that added Seattle and Tampa Bay to the NFL in 1976. He was named Chairman of the Negotiating Committee in 1976, and in 1982 he contributed to the negotiations for the Collective Bargaining Agreement for NFL owners and the Players Association. Recognized by both sides for his patience and reasonable voice of moderation, he again played a key role in the labor agreement reached in 1993 between the NFL owners and players.

"They put him in areas where they need a little leadership, and he seems to have the ability to get people to cooperate," New York Giants general manager George Young once said. "He has great credibility."

A humble family man who shies away from attention, Dan Rooney has not let success change him or influence his values. Although he may not be as publicly outgoing as his father, who passed away in 1988, Rooney remains one of Pittsburgh's most involved executives in civic affairs. He serves on the boards of the United Way of America, the American Diabetes Association, the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, Presbyterian University Hospital, Duquesne University, and The American Ireland Fund.

Dan Rooney's contributions to pro football, the Steelers, and the city of Pittsburgh are many. Although he is proud of his accomplishments he rarely sites them. Still, his false modesty has not prevented the civic and sports communities and in particular, the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Board of Selectors, from recognizing his innumerable achievements. With his election to the Hall of Fame, Dan Rooney joined not only his father, but also an elite fraternity of men who individually and collectively represent the best the sport has offered.

07-10-2007, 06:43 PM
Great read:thumbsup:. Thanks for the link.

The Duke
07-10-2007, 09:59 PM
Dan Rooney is a classy guy, not only does he have the best team in pro football but he is also a nice person.

07-11-2007, 07:31 AM
Great article!

Makes you realize just how much Dan has done not only for the Steelers but the league.