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mesaSteeler
05-24-2009, 12:49 PM
Bires: Rooney goes back to school
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/2009/05/23/sports/steelers/doc4a18c8d4dc856859405043.txt

By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Sunday, May 24, 2009 12:11 AM EDT
Random notes from the Steelers beat:

- At 76 years old, Dan Rooney went back to school.

For the past two weeks, the chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers has been in Washington, D.C., studying how to be our country’s next ambassador to Ireland.

Rooney has yet to publicly address his nomination. But on Thursday when the Steelers were honored at the White House for their victory in Super Bowl XLIII, President Barack Obama gushed over Rooney.

“Welcome back, Dan Rooney, and the entire Rooney family,” Obama said. “For nearly five decades, Dan has been a tremendous ambassador for pro football and for the city of Pittsburgh. And in the years to come, all Americans will be fortunate to have his service as our United States Ambassador to Ireland.

“On a personal note, I had occasion of meeting a lot of people during the course of my campaign for the presidency. I can tell you that I don't know anybody who is more of a gentleman, who is more loyal, who is more committed to excellence, than Mr. Rooney. He and his family have just been such extraordinary pillars for the city of Pittsburgh.”

Rooney has not yet officially been confirmed as ambassador by the U.S. Senate. But a White House spokeswoman said that it’s just a matter of time. Rooney’s wife Patricia said that she and her husband will be moving to Dublin sometime in July.

- Perhaps the oddest line James Harrison gave last week when explaining why he didn’t want to attend the White House ceremony was this: “It’s not a good neighborhood over there.”

Obviously, that’s not true. The White House, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, is the safest neighborhood in the country.

So that excuse by the star linebacker doesn’t wash.

Some in the media have also theorized that Harrison didn’t join his teammates for the ceremony due to a fear of flying. That is not true.

Harrison may not be fond of flying, but he’s never missed a flight for that reason during his career with the Steelers. He’s flown over the Pacific Ocean twice in the last 16 months for the NFL Pro Bowl.

He even said his respect for Dan Rooney is so strong that “I’d go to Ireland for Mr. Rooney.”

So if Harrison isn’t afraid of flying several hours over the Atlantic Ocean, he wouldn’t be afraid of a short flight to D.C. that lasted about an hour.

He didn’t go to the White House simply because he didn’t want to go.

- From the moment Mike Tomlin was hired as coach of the Steelers, he’s downplayed he race card.

He’s always shied away from making profound statements about the fact he’s the first African-American coach in Steelers history.

Tomlin took that approach again at the White House when asked how it felt to meet Obama, the U.S.’s first African-American president.

“Personally it was just an honor to meet the president regardless of race or ethnicity,” he said. “It was an awesome day. But I really didn’t ponder it like that. There’s been too much of that. That’s kind of an old song for us.”

- The Steelers’ front office has been tight-lipped about the date for the Super Bowl ring presentation. But word is that it will happen the second week of June at a private ceremony, probably at Heinz Field.

Word also is that the Steelers will report to training camp on July 30, a Thursday.

Their first preseason game is Aug. 13, a Thursday, against the Arizona Cardinals.

They open the regular season on Sept. 10, another Thursday, against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field.

Mike Bires can be reached online at mbires@timesonline.com.

stillers4me
05-24-2009, 12:59 PM
James Harrison wasn't making excuses. He was making jokes. He didn't want to go. Really.

tony hipchest
05-24-2009, 01:01 PM
“Personally it was just an honor to meet the president regardless of race or ethnicity,” he said. “It was an awesome day. But I really didn’t ponder it like that. There’s been too much of that. That’s kind of an old song for us.”


im still amazed how tomlin fields every question with the absolute utmost dignity.

im still waiting for him to say something wrong, out of line or have a slip up, just to prove he is human.

until then, i guess we will just have to deal with supercoach.

Crushzilla
05-24-2009, 01:42 PM
I would gladly lift up Dan Rooney for a keg stand :noidea:

LVSteelersfan
05-24-2009, 02:15 PM
Tomlin is a classy coach along the lines of Tony Dungy. He has great repore(don't know how to spell that word) with his players and always seems to say the right thing.The Rooneys picked the right man and I am sure he will be a winning coach for many years to come.

fansince'76
05-24-2009, 02:27 PM
- Perhaps the oddest line James Harrison gave last week when explaining why he didn’t want to attend the White House ceremony was this: “It’s not a good neighborhood over there.”

Obviously, that’s not true. The White House, located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, is the safest neighborhood in the country.

So that excuse by the star linebacker doesn’t wash.

Some in the media have also theorized that Harrison didn’t join his teammates for the ceremony due to a fear of flying. That is not true.

Harrison may not be fond of flying, but he’s never missed a flight for that reason during his career with the Steelers. He’s flown over the Pacific Ocean twice in the last 16 months for the NFL Pro Bowl.

He even said his respect for Dan Rooney is so strong that “I’d go to Ireland for Mr. Rooney.”

So if Harrison isn’t afraid of flying several hours over the Atlantic Ocean, he wouldn’t be afraid of a short flight to D.C. that lasted about an hour.

He didn’t go to the White House simply because he didn’t want to go.

Precisely. The visit's now over, so feel free to drop it already. :coffee:

fansince'76
05-24-2009, 02:30 PM
im still amazed how tomlin fields every question with the absolute utmost dignity.

im still waiting for him to say something wrong, out of line or have a slip up, just to prove he is human.

After the way Harrison's been raked over the coals for trying to make a joke that fell flat, I'm hoping that doesn't happen.

tony hipchest
05-25-2009, 01:33 AM
After the way Harrison's been raked over the coals for trying to make a joke that fell flat, I'm hoping that doesn't happen.its par for the course.

j. porter was raked over the coals for joking that he has a few things to tell bush.

im just hoping this thread doesnt turn into another obama bashing one. :hope:

rooney has a great coach, gm, and a son who is ready to take the reigns. im happy for him and his wife who get to embark on what must be the dream and mission of a lifetime.

i hate to lose him. i doubt art II D2 will ever live up to his dad, let alone his grandpap.

i have no doubt that tomlin can live up to his predacessors, and im sure dan recognizes this.

i know its alot , but the steelers owners are going to have to buckle down and give tomlin the contract cowher was denied.

paw-n-maul-u
05-25-2009, 01:59 AM
Tomlin, you are the man. bring us #7

paw-n-maul-u
05-25-2009, 02:02 AM
that was a great post tony. And you are right, they ARE going to have to give him that contract, but I feel he is going to earn every penny of it, if not above and beyond.