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View Full Version : Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....


Steelcitygal87
02-17-2009, 05:53 PM
I was just watching Around the Horn and Kevin Blackistone made some complimentary comments about coach Tomlin...so I did some searching through the archives and found this article.......

http://kevin-blackistone.fanhouse.com/2009/02/02/tomlin-proves-rooneys-truly-rule/

Posted Feb 2nd 2009 3:13 AM by Kevin Blackistone (author feed)
Filed Under: NFL, Super Bowl, Cardinals, Steelers


Mike TomlinTAMPA, Fla. – It wasn't only that Mike Tomlin and his troops had just won the ultimate football game Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium that led him to walk into a calamitous celebration at midfield with arms raised overhead in exultation. It was also, he said, that he'd proved the few people who saw something in him worth believing -- something worth dreaming about, something worth embracing -- right. They were the Rooneys, the family of visionaries who've owned the Pittsburgh Steelers forever and, just two years ago, plucked Tomlin from the pile of humanity that makes up head-coaching aspirants for the NFL.

Tomlin was just 34 then. He was a rookie coordinator running Minnesota's defense. There were six other teams then that joined the search for a new coach. The only club, the only front office, the only owners, however, who took notice of Tomlin were in Pittsburgh. Thus came Tomlin's reaction and first words in the glow of Sunday night.

"All I wanted to do," Tomlin said, "was prove them [the Rooneys] right."

He did that and more in steering the Steelers to a 27-23 come-from-behind victory over the upstart Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

The Rooneys' and Tomlin's success also proved how wrongheaded so much of the rest of the NFL has been for a long time and remains so.

After all, coming into this Super Bowl a lot was made of the Steelers as being the model franchise in the NFL, if not all of sports. Only the Rooneys owned them since the '30s. Only three men had coached them since 1969. They'd been to six Super Bowls coming into this season and won five. Only the Dallas Cowboys had made it to more Super Bowls and won as many.

But no matter the Steelers' success, they never became a model that most of the rest of NFL franchises attempted to replicate. Instead, the Steelers stood as proof that the league's reputation for being comprised mostly by owners, front offices and coaches who are only as creative as the most-recent formula for success is a misnomer.

Indeed, the Steelers have run their operation independently minded, open to radical thinking and blind to arbitrarily created prerequisites for as long as they've been around. They've run themselves as a meritocracy rather than as an oligarchy as so many of their competitors.

For example, the Steelers' patriarch, Art Rooney, hired a fellow named Lowell Perry in 1957 as an assistant coach. It wouldn't have been noticed except for the fact that Perry was black and the NFL had never before witnessed in its ranks a black coach of any rank. At the time, the league still hadn't even conquered segregation in its locker rooms, allowing an all-white team in Washington to participate.

In 1969, when teams were still more likely to turn to paternal or avuncular former NFL players with lots of NFL skins on the wall, Rooney handed the team to a 37-year-old named Chuck Noll, after he couldn't convince Joe Paterno to leave Penn State. Noll brought Rooney and Pittsburgh four Super Bowl trophies.


In 1992, the Rooney family in the hands of Art Rooney's son, Dan, turned the coaching reins over to a 34-year-old assistant named Bill Cowher rather than mimic the rest of the league that seemed to prefer retread head coaches. Cowher managed a pair of Super Bowl appearances and won one before stepping away a couple years ago.

His departure opened the door for Tomlin, although no one, not even Dan Rooney, realized it at the time. He employed two able assistants from which he thought he would pick Cowher's successor. But one departed -- Ken Whisenhunt who, ironically, led the Cardinals on Sunday night -- and the other, Russ Grimm, didn't measure up to an interview Rooney granted a young man he'd only heard rumor of in Minnesota, Tomlin.

Rooney and his lieutenants brought Tomlin in for a second round of interviews and they refused to allow his youth or skin color to blind them to his intellect and strong will. Tomlin was a triple threat in the phraseology of late blues-and-jazz songstress Nina Simone: young, gifted and black.

So, coincidentally, as Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith prepared to kick off as the first black head coaches to meet in a Super Bowl, Rooney announced the signing of Tomlin as his family's team's new coach. Tomlin's ascendency made him no less an underdog to win the NFL's biggest prize Sunday night than the Cardinals.

But at just 36 years old, Tomlin did just that, becoming the youngest coach to take the Vince Lombardi Trophy. No less significant, he also became the second black coach to win the Super Bowl, following Dungy, his original NFL mentor when Dungy headed up Tampa Bay.

Tomlin also cemented for some time the Steelers' reputation as the best NFL franchise, what with a record six Super Bowl titles now.

"I'm very blessed to be hired by the Rooney family," Tomlin said Sunday. "They [the Rooneys] took a chance on a 34-year-old coach with not a long resume. They took a lot of criticism for it, and I took it personally."

How ridiculous.

The NFL would be a lot better place with a lot more thinking like the Rooney's. So would our society, for that matter.:thumbsup:

:tt03:

AllD
02-17-2009, 07:43 PM
Tomlin has respect for the job much as some U.S. Presidents had respect for the Office.

Steelcitygal87
02-17-2009, 07:53 PM
Indeed, the Steelers have run their operation independently minded, open to radical thinking and blind to arbitrarily created prerequisites for as long as they've been around. They've run themselves as a meritocracy rather than as an oligarchy as so many of their competitors.

That is one of the many reasons why they have been so successful for such a long period of time.

SteelersMongol
02-17-2009, 08:49 PM
... Tomlin ... young, gifted and black ...

I like that statement. :thumbsup:

Stlrs4Life
02-17-2009, 08:55 PM
Excellent read.

KeiselPower99
02-17-2009, 09:11 PM
Im tired of hearing about the Rooney Rule and how Tomlin has shown it works. Dan has said that Tomlin earned the interview that Ron Rivera was the RR interview.

Godfather
02-17-2009, 09:22 PM
Im tired of hearing about the Rooney Rule and how Tomlin has shown it works. Dan has said that Tomlin earned the interview that Ron Rivera was the RR interview.

Yep...the best pro-Rooney Rule argument is Lovie Smith. He was a sham interview to comply with the rule so the Bears could hire Nick $aban. When $aban turned down the job, they went with Lovie because he gave an impressive interview.

Steelcitygal87
02-18-2009, 06:22 AM
I like that statement. :thumbsup:

Don't know if you knew this or not but.... Mike spoke at a banquet(over this past weekend) for Black All-American Football Athletes. That is what Mr. Blackistone was referring to when he made his comments about Tomlin at the end of Around The Horn. He said Mike wasn't under any obligation to speak, it did it on his own. He wanted to get the message across that no matter what the circumstances are or what obstacles you face in life; with perseverance, hard work and determination, you can get where you want to go and be successful when you get there! What a GREAT message for young people to hear. :tt03::drink:

stillers4me
02-18-2009, 06:44 AM
I don't recall anyone criticizing the Rooney's for hiring Tomlin. If anything, the praise for him has been overwhelming since day one.

Steelcitygal87
02-18-2009, 06:52 AM
I don't recall anyone criticizing the Rooney's for hiring Tomlin. If anything, the praise for him has been overwhelming since day one.

I think the criticism was mostly from people who felt that Whiz or Grimm should have been hired. A lot of fans(and a few players) were upset/shocked, and questioned the decision of the Rooneys because they felt staying in house and hiring one of those two men would have been a better way to go.

stillers4me
02-18-2009, 06:57 AM
I think the criticism was mostly from people who felt that Whiz or Grimm should have been hired. A lot of fans(and a few players) were upset/shocked, and questioned the decision of the Rooneys because they felt staying in house and hiring one of those two men would have been a better way to go.

I can only think of one who didn't believe in Tomlin, and he watched the Super Bowl this year from his couch in New York.

Steelcitygal87
02-18-2009, 07:01 AM
I can only think of one who didn't believe in Tomlin, and he watched the Super Bowl this year from his couch in New York.

Yeah, he did.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/wire?section=nfl&id=3036705&campaign=rsssrch&source=grimm


"Faneca was among the few players willing to say openly he wishes Grimm, the other finalist, had been hired instead of Tomlin."

If I remember correctly, Hines(at first) was disappointed and not too thrilled, that one of those two did not end up getting the job.

Morgan
02-18-2009, 08:22 AM
Yep...the best pro-Rooney Rule argument is Lovie Smith. He was a sham interview to comply with the rule so the Bears could hire Nick $aban. When $aban turned down the job, they went with Lovie because he gave an impressive interview.



I believe the point of this article is that the TRUE "Rooney Rule" is to hire men of character, and that the Rooney's "Truely rule" because they're true to their beliefs. It's a take off on the name of the affirmative action rule in place (which should be abolished now) and does not imply that Tomlin was a Rooney Rule interviewee, which, as has been stated, he was not.

scsteeler
02-18-2009, 10:55 AM
The Rooney Rule is something that is and should be significant in the fact that now a lot of coaches that may not have otherwise been given an opportunity to be interviewed were given the chance. Make no mistake the Rooney Rule does not guarantee a person a head coaching job in which I think a lot of people are thinking that is what benefiting from this Rule means.


Yes Lovie Smith did get a head coaching job after the bears first choice did not pan out but Lovie got the job because he was the best candidate next in line for the position. If I remember correctly Lovie did take the bears to the Superbowl.


I Think what should be credited to the Rooney's since they have been in owners is their ability to not pay attention to what outsiders say such as Fans, society, and do what they consider the best for the team. The Rooney's look at your abilities first and what you bring as a coach and everything else is a non-issue.

SteelyDon
02-18-2009, 11:09 AM
Then again, this is not to say had the Steelers hired either Whisenhunt or Grimm that either one of them would have also taken the Steelers to the Super Bowl given the talent on the team. I don't want to take anything away from Tomlin's achievement but you can't say that Whisenhunt or Grimm wouldn't have done the same thing. Race has nothing to do with his achievement - he is just another talented young Steeler head coach.

atlsteelers
02-18-2009, 11:37 AM
Then again, this is not to say had the Steelers hired either Whisenhunt or Grimm that either one of them would have also taken the Steelers to the Super Bowl given the talent on the team. I don't want to take anything away from Tomlin's achievement but you can't say that Whisenhunt or Grimm wouldn't have done the same thing. Race has nothing to do with his achievement - he is just another talented young Steeler head coach.

you are correct in many ways. the job whisenhunt did taking the cardinals to the superbowl could be a considered a greater acomplishment. taking that franchise to the superbowl after two seasons. who would have thought it possible? but i am glad we hired tomlin and i think he greatly improved as a coach from season 1 to season 2 and i look forward to the future with him as the head coach.

Godfather
02-18-2009, 11:47 AM
I don't recall anyone criticizing the Rooney's for hiring Tomlin. If anything, the praise for him has been overwhelming since day one.

I remember some of the assclown national pundits dissing the hire. It seemed like the fans embraced him immediately (although that was the view from 1000 miles away.)

Godfather
02-18-2009, 11:49 AM
Race has nothing to do with his achievement - he is just another talented young Steeler head coach.

Yep...we don't hear about Tomlin's race very often. The fact that he's the first black head coach of the Steelers is just a trivia question, and for most people a black NFL coach is just an NFL coach. Dungy has a lot to do with that :tt03:

SteelyDon
02-18-2009, 12:09 PM
I'm also old enough to remember back in the early seventies when Danny Murtaugh's starting lineup was baseball's first ever all black starting lineup. He didn't even know it at the time, neither did the broadcasters - it wasn't even in the newspapers for a couple days after it happened. It was a different time back then. Most people today still don't even know when or where it happened or could even name the starting nine. Without looking it up or googling it on wikipedia - could you even name half of them?

Steelcitygal87
02-18-2009, 01:07 PM
http://www.allprodad.com/nflspokesmen/bio.php?id_spoke=46


At a Glance

If you could sum up Mike Tomlin’s view of family, it would be “joyful lifting.” Not in a burdensome way, but the lifting up of his wife and children for them to be all God created them to be. Coach Tomlin’s family life started with lifting – weightlifting that is. He met his wife Kiya in the weight room at William & Mary College – she was a gymnast recovering from a shoulder injury and he was rehabbing a football injury. While they became friends for two years before dating, he knew early on that there was something special about her. She was beautiful inside and out. At her mother’s house on Christmas Eve in 1995, Mike surprised Kiya and proposed. Despite being caught totally off-guard, to Mike’s delight, she still said yes right away.

A few years later, Mike also experienced the joyful lifting of his first son Michael when he was born. Coach said, “When I lifted him the first time, he was so light, yet so heavy,” referring to the seriousness of his call as a father. The joy and responsibility he felt at Michael’s birth repeated it self again with the birth of his second son, Mason, and more recently, the birth of his first daughter Harlyn Quinn.

Mike also does heavy lifting regularly…with his cereal spoon. He said having breakfast with his children is a wonderful time for conversation. “I have found some of our best moments occur around our breakfast table. It’s in those times that I feel I am really getting to know my kids, what they like and what they are struggling with. It also gives me an opportunity to teach them things that are important for me to pass along like loving the Lord and how to make good decisions. And I want to make sure they always know how much I love them.”

Mike knows how important it is to have the security of Dad’s love. As a young boy, he never knew his biological father. But fortunately, Mike was joyfully lifted when his mother remarried and his new step father became the All Pro Dad in Mike’s life. “He is a wonderful man who coached my little league teams and eventually became my best friend.”

Mike has spent a lot of time joyfully lifting, but truth be told, he has been lifted further than he can imagine by the unconditional love of his family. And he wants fathers everywhere to know that a dad’s duty is delightful…and joyful.

STEEL-MAN
02-18-2009, 01:37 PM
Yep he's black!:tt02:

What makes Mike stand out? He is a coach much like Chuck Noll, the Rooney's seen that in him.

Mike has the "IT" factor, Chuck had the "IT" factor, so now we know it comes in black too! :tt02:

AllD
02-18-2009, 07:44 PM
Then again, this is not to say had the Steelers hired either Whisenhunt or Grimm that either one of them would have also taken the Steelers to the Super Bowl given the talent on the team. I don't want to take anything away from Tomlin's achievement but you can't say that Whisenhunt or Grimm wouldn't have done the same thing. Race has nothing to do with his achievement - he is just another talented young Steeler head coach.



Tomlin has more character than Whiz. It comes across during the interviews and how he carries himself. Tomlin is also hungrier and smarter. He takes nothing for granted and gives everything he has for the team. He might end up being the second best coach in Steeler history.

KeiselPower99
02-18-2009, 08:20 PM
http://www.allprodad.com/nflspokesmen/bio.php?id_spoke=46


At a Glance

If you could sum up Mike Tomlin’s view of family, it would be “joyful lifting.” Not in a burdensome way, but the lifting up of his wife and children for them to be all God created them to be. Coach Tomlin’s family life started with lifting – weightlifting that is. He met his wife Kiya in the weight room at William & Mary College – she was a gymnast recovering from a shoulder injury and he was rehabbing a football injury. While they became friends for two years before dating, he knew early on that there was something special about her. She was beautiful inside and out. At her mother’s house on Christmas Eve in 1995, Mike surprised Kiya and proposed. Despite being caught totally off-guard, to Mike’s delight, she still said yes right away.

A few years later, Mike also experienced the joyful lifting of his first son Michael when he was born. Coach said, “When I lifted him the first time, he was so light, yet so heavy,” referring to the seriousness of his call as a father. The joy and responsibility he felt at Michael’s birth repeated it self again with the birth of his second son, Mason, and more recently, the birth of his first daughter Harlyn Quinn.

Mike also does heavy lifting regularly…with his cereal spoon. He said having breakfast with his children is a wonderful time for conversation. “I have found some of our best moments occur around our breakfast table. It’s in those times that I feel I am really getting to know my kids, what they like and what they are struggling with. It also gives me an opportunity to teach them things that are important for me to pass along like loving the Lord and how to make good decisions. And I want to make sure they always know how much I love them.”

Mike knows how important it is to have the security of Dad’s love. As a young boy, he never knew his biological father. But fortunately, Mike was joyfully lifted when his mother remarried and his new step father became the All Pro Dad in Mike’s life. “He is a wonderful man who coached my little league teams and eventually became my best friend.”

Mike has spent a lot of time joyfully lifting, but truth be told, he has been lifted further than he can imagine by the unconditional love of his family. And he wants fathers everywhere to know that a dad’s duty is delightful…and joyful.

Thats a damn good article right there. He is a man who truley appricates the lil things in life.

Godfather
02-18-2009, 08:58 PM
I'm also old enough to remember back in the early seventies when Danny Murtaugh's starting lineup was baseball's first ever all black starting lineup. He didn't even know it at the time, neither did the broadcasters - it wasn't even in the newspapers for a couple days after it happened. It was a different time back then. Most people today still don't even know when or where it happened or could even name the starting nine. Without looking it up or googling it on wikipedia - could you even name half of them?

Based on it being in 1971 I'd guess Clemente, Sanguillen, Stargell, and Oliver were in the starting lineup and Dock Ellis was the pitcher :thumbsup:

There's actually a book about the 1971 Pirates called "The Classiest Team Baseball Ever Knew" I'm planning on getting.

Obviously that's a less noticeable milestone--you have to be paying attention to the whole lineup and there weren't long-standing prejudices like there were with black quarterbacks and coaches.

Preacher
02-18-2009, 11:54 PM
I gotta admit...

too me, it seems like Tomlin is the amalgamation of the best things of Noll and Cowher.

Steelcitygal87
02-19-2009, 07:28 AM
Thats a damn good article right there. He is a man who truley appricates the lil things in life.

Here is another article I just came across that I thought was very good!

http://www.opposingviews.com/articles/news-steeler-s-coach-mike-tomlin-on-faith-and-football

TAMPA, Fla. (BP)--Since becoming head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers two years ago, Mike Tomlin has talked often of his appreciation and respect for former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy, who first brought him into the NFL as an assistant coach.

Until this week's Super Bowl XLIII between the Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals, Tomlin had never had the international platform to follow his mentor Dungy and speak about his faith in Jesus Christ. But that's exactly what he did before hundreds of reporters in Tampa.

"First and foremost, I want people to know who I am and what the most important thing is in my life, my relationship with Jesus Christ," Tomlin said in response to a Baptist Press question about his personal faith.

"Football is what we do; faith is who we are all the time."

Tomlin, who attends Pittsburgh's Allegheny Center Alliance Church, was mentored by Dungy, who hired him as a defensive backs coach with Tampa Bay before Dungy moved on to Indianapolis.

When then-Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher retired, Tomlin was ready for the promotion, stemming from his time with Dungy, leading men onto the football field and leading men's hearts off the field.

"I want to lead with a servant's heart," Tomlin stated to media members who will be covering Sunday's Super Bowl.

"The biggest thing I learned from Tony Dungy was an unyielding belief in his message of faith," Tomlin recalled. "It was displayed all the time with him. He was extremely consistent and that's what I want to take to maximize my faith."

Tomlin's first expression of his faith during Super Bowl week came as no surprise to Steelers assistant coaches and players who have heard the same spiritual passion in private.

"It's a great blessing when a man of God is leading your team," defensive end Nick Eason said. "It's like a godly father in the household."

Tomlin said he is glad to share his faith in sport's brightest media spotlight, noting, "We embrace and appreciate this platform."

Amos Jones, the Steelers' assistant special teams coach, was baptized on the same day with his dad, Sam, at West End Baptist Church in Aliceville, Ala., where his mother still attends.

Having a Christian head coach has made a big difference to the team and has contributed to the Steelers' Super Bowl run, Jones said.

"I think his [Tomlin's] faith in the Lord is a blessing," the Jones said. "It's just a peace of mind knowing that he has everybody's best interest at heart.

"Mike and I share the same faith and it's amazing how many times something he might say to the team in the locker room could have a spiritual meaning."

Like most coaches, Jones has held plenty of jobs in his lengthy career in both college and NFL ranks, but he has always had the Lord as his one constant.

"I have always been blessed by the Lord. When I didn't have a job, He provided one. He gave me this job and allowed me to go to the Super Bowl. It's been a blessing," Jones said.

In the often hard-hitting world of the NFL, Jones said his wife Stacey has reminded him to see God's hand everywhere.

"She sits in the stands and can see the defensive backs praying together on the sideline. She sees Troy Polamalu, encouraging and praying with people."

Linebackers coach Keith Butler sat in the stands during Tuesday's media day silently watching the frenzied interaction between players and hoards of reporters.

"This isn't life-or-death pressure," Butler said of Super Bowl week. "It's not like life or death in eternity without God.

"Is this game important? Yes. Is it the most important thing? Not even close."