View Full Version : From a Browns columnist...A must read...good stuff.

01-15-2006, 07:29 PM
Written yesterday. He also correctly predicted a Steelers win.


Pittsburgh possesses blueprint for success
Continuity, putting winning product on field continue to work for Steelers
By Patrick McManamon

Imagine if your family ran a restaurant.
Dad's the chef and chief bottle washer in charge of most everything. Mom greets folks at the door. The kids grew up doing dishes and progressed into waiting tables and then management.
The restaurant is more neighborhood center than eatery.
You take care of people, so they like to come and spend time in the place.
The restaurant is nice, the food good and your family operates the place with no pretensions and treats everyone -- young, old, new customers, old standbys -- the same.
Think the business would be successful?
You bet it would.
And there's proof that kind of approach can work. It works in the local hardware store, the local pharmacy, the local coffee shop -- and it works in the National Football League.
The example: The Pittsburgh Steelers, who will line up Sunday in Indianapolis to face the Colts in a Divisional Playoff game.
Hate them if you will, but treat it like Kelly LeBrock on that old hair commercial -- don't hate them because they're good.
Hate them because you (unlike some of the Browns players) understand they're a rival.
Respect them, though. Respect them for the way they run things and the way they operate.
Respect them because the Rooney family runs their team like that restaurant.
They put on no airs, make fans welcome and remember that the team on the field is what is most important.
Much of what the Steelers do comes down to common sense and logic.
There was the time a few years ago when Three Rivers Stadium was still open, and Steelers fans lined up for playoff tickets on a cold day. Dan Rooney drove by and sent coffee and food to the folks in line.
Pretty basic stuff there, eh?
The Steelers don't try to reinvent the wheel. They don't try to develop new business models (these business ``models'' confuse me... are they sold in hobby shops?). They run an old-style family business in a new-style economic environment.
They know what they are and they don't try to be what they're not.
Consider that when Dan Rooney passed on the day-to-day running of the team to Art Rooney II, there was no news conference, no major announcement. Folks learned when the media guide came out.
That's called recognizing what's important.
For years, Rooney walked to games from his home near downtown Pittsburgh.
The Steelers have retained coach Bill Cowher for 14 years, the longest tenure in the league and an eternity in this day and age. They stuck with Cowher through a couple ``down'' seasons (if a 7-9 season can be called ``down''), and when push came to shove between Cowher and former General Manager Tom Donahoe, they made a fast choice and continued on.
The Steelers aren't always dominant. They have losing seasons. They miss on draft choices. But they have stability and direction, and they do not panic over one or two not-so-positive events.
That's called continuity.
How would it feel in Cleveland if the Browns had winning seasons in nine of the past 12 years, 10-win seasons the last two and playoff appearances in four of the past five years? Would anyone be complaining?
That's what has happened in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers have a style they like, and they bring in players to fit the style and they follow that style.
Everyone in the league knows the Steelers will play smack-you-in-the-facemask defense, and they will run the ball. The Steelers don't care; they go and do it.
Think about the trade for Jerome Bettis. It's a sham to call it a trade -- getting a future Hall of Fame back without giving up a first-round draft pick was a heist of major proportions.
Bettis now is a team leader and member of the Pittsburgh community.
Just like a lot of the old Steelers.
Joe Greene and Terry Bradshaw will readily admit that original Steelers owner Art Rooney created the kind of environment that allowed the team to thrive. The Rooney family has continued what Art Rooney started.
Make no mistake: The Rooneys are involved with their team. They play key roles in how things go.
But they walk the fine line between involvement and meddling. They shepherd the team without sticking their noses in everything.
They hire good people -- isn't the kind of person you hire a direct reflection on the kind of person you are? -- and let them do their jobs.
Pittsburgh pays attention to financial issues, but the Steelers also know where the revenues start: On the field with quality teams that fans are proud to cheer.
A few years ago when the Browns were coming back, a writer friend asked an old-time, crusty GM of another team if he had heard what the Browns were doing.
``What do you mean?'' the GM said.
``Valet parking for players at games, dry-cleaning service, special numbers to call if they have trouble, other amenities... stuff like that,'' the writer said.
``Harrumph,'' the crusty GM said. ``How's that gonna help them win?''
Seven years later, it hasn't.
And until the Browns get back to the top priority, they won't win.
The Rooneys recognize the top priority.
Maybe it's time Cleveland recognized that the best ``model'' for the Browns lies right down the turnpike.
Messages for Patrick McManamon can be left at pmcmanamon@thebeaconjournal.com

01-15-2006, 07:54 PM
Wow! Good article.

All the reasons listed here is why I am a Steelers fan. Of course I grew up around the burgh and all, yet overall culture created and maintained by the Roonies is why I stick with the Steelers through thick and thin.

I didn't get any coffee with my ticket... lol! That just rocks that this is what the Roonies do!

01-15-2006, 08:59 PM
That was a great read. What makes it even greater is the fact the author obviously is in the Cleveland area. We all know the history there.

01-15-2006, 09:42 PM
Awesome article! Another reason why the Steelers should be America's team....wait, I like being the underdog!!! :usa:

I love my Steelers!:sign01::sign01::sign01: