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mesaSteeler
12-25-2010, 09:35 AM
(I'll post this here since SCMom is Pens fan. - mesa)
http://penguins.nhl.com/club/news.htm?id=547290

Steelers Exec's Love for Pens is Four Decades Deep
Friday, 12.24.2010 / 5:44 PM / 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic
NHL.com
PITTSBURGH -- Kevin Colbert is hemming and hawing, and it has nothing to do with the state of the football team he has constructed in the Steel City.

Colbert has been the Pittsburgh Steelers Director of Football Operations for 11 seasons, but a Pittsburgh Penguins' season ticket holder for almost four times as long. He'll be at Heinz Field for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day, but he has to decide if he wants to sit in his luxury box or out in the cold with the people, his fellow Penguins' fanatics.

"I'll probably get as much as the experience as I can, and by saying that I am covering myself in case it's real cold," Colbert joked to NHL.com. "I'll probably end up in a box at some point, although the day before I'm going to be able to drop by the alumni game and see what that is like. We have the other rink that is going to be up by Christmas Eve outside of the stadium that we'll get some time to skate out here. I just think the whole experience is going to be awesome."

Colbert grew up on Pittsburgh's north side. He attended North Catholic High School before staying in town to go to Robert Morris University.

He's been attending Penguins' games since 1968, well before he became a two-time Super Bowl champion (2005 and 2008). He grew up idolizing Jean Pronovost, and is also of the belief that if Michel Briere wasn't tragically killed in 1970 at the age of 21 years old, "he might have been one of the greatest of all time."

Colbert currently gravitates toward Sidney Crosby because, well, as someone who not only works in professional sports but appreciates professionalism coming from the world's greatest athletes, "you have to respect him."

"I grew up playing a little hockey as well so hockey has always been a second love," he added. "I'm just a big fan."

And, he's a huge fan of the Winter Classic, has been since the Penguins' played in the first one four seasons ago.

Colbert said he can't remember another time when his city was this jacked up, this excited for a sporting event. Pittsburgh has hosted AFC Championship games and the World Series, but the hype for those builds for only days, not months.

The city has hosted two Major League Baseball All-Star Games, but that's an exhibition so Colbert doesn't believe it compares.

"No, this is something that has had a great buildup," he said. "That's why it's so great."

Colbert is proud to be one of the many links that connects the Penguins and Steelers, franchises that have a relationship bordering on marriage, something he called very unique in the sporting business.

He's close friends with Penguins GM Ray Shero, and vividly remembers the first time the two met.

"We sat together at a banquet," Colbert said. "That was the first time I met Ray in person and we talked about me being a Penguin fan and he actually grew up in Steeler fan even though he was in Philadelphia. That was during the Steelers' dynasty in the '70s. Joe Greene was at that same banquet and it was a thrill for Ray to meet Joe Greene."

It's just as much of a thrill for Colbert to host his second-favorite team playing his second-favorite sport in his favorite venue.

"If you're from this area you take a lot of pride in being from Pittsburgh, being from Western Pennsylvania," he said. "I think you find out universally in sports and outside of sports any time something good happens in the Pittsburgh area you're very proud and happy to be a part of it; so, obviously, this is a huge worldwide event. I don't know how many viewers it'll get to but it'll get to different countries and to have them broadcasting from your city and specifically from the Pittsburgh Steelers home field is exciting.

"If I wasn't associated with the Steelers I would probably still be attending the game as a fan, but it has extra meaning because it really is a unique experience for our region. We really can't wait to see the end result."

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

Author: Dan Rosen | NHL.com Senior Writer

steeltheone
12-25-2010, 03:56 PM
Thats great! I didnt know Colbert was a Pittsburgh guy thru and thru ...COOL

ETL
12-25-2010, 06:20 PM
I hope his Pittsburgh blood will prevent him from being lured by Cowher to join him in New York next year.

4xSBChamps
12-25-2010, 06:41 PM
I hope his Pittsburgh blood will prevent him from being lured by Cowher to join him in New York next year.

I believe that I just heard something along the lines of Jerry Jones saying 'no Super Bowl-winning coach has gone from his team to another and won a Super Bowl', while discussing if Jason Garrett would be back in '11 ~ will that lead to speculation that he is trying to lure Cowher?

ETL
12-25-2010, 09:45 PM
I believe that I just heard something along the lines of Jerry Jones saying 'no Super Bowl-winning coach has gone from his team to another and won a Super Bowl', while discussing if Jason Garrett would be back in '11 ~ will that lead to speculation that he is trying to lure Cowher?

If Cowher goes to Dallas, there is no way Jerry Jones will fire himself as GM to be replaced by Colbert

mesaSteeler
12-25-2010, 11:34 PM
Pens-Steelers connection is classic Pittsburgh
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_715420.html#
By Rob Rossi
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, December 26, 2010

ClassicSpeak with Art Rooney II

An exclusive interview with Steelers president Art Rooney II, whose franchise has opened the gates at Heinz Field to the Winter Classic:

Q: Was there hesitation to alter your team's schedule to accommodate the Winter Classic?

A: We just weren't sure we could do it. In the end we just felt like it was going to be something special for the city and obviously for the Penguins to be in it as the home team. It's something they wanted to do, and for us to have it at Heinz Field is maybe a once-in-a-long-time situation. We just thought we had to go for it because of that. It was, "Let's do it now, let's not wait." This could be the most exciting event we've had in this city for a long, long time.

Q: The Steelers usually take a bus to Cleveland the night before playing there, which they will do the day of the Classic. Will you be on that bus?

A: I can't speak for my dad (Dan Rooney), but I can say I'm staying back for the Classic. I'll probably have to drive to Cleveland by myself later that night. I'm not going to miss the hockey game, that's for sure. Hopefully some Penguins fans will follow me up to Cleveland for our game.

Q: What do you expect the Classic atmosphere to be like?

A: I do think you'll see people with Terrible Towels in the stands. There will be something unmistakable about that. Get the word out for people to bring the Terrible Towels. Yeah, I think people outside the city will see something on TV that is unique in terms of the relationship between two franchises.

Q: Is it true your dad tried to sell Sidney Crosby on playing quarterback?

A: A few years ago my dad convinced Sidney to accept the Ireland Fund award. They got into that conversation. ... I don't think (being a QB) was tempting to Sid, but I think he and my dad enjoyed talking about it. It's funny because I was sitting with (Steelers QB) Ben Roethlisberger on the bus after the Baltimore game, and he was laughing at this text from Mario (Lemieux). He turned to me and said, "Well, Mario said now I look like a hockey player." We all started laughing. Our QB looks like a hockey player, and the Penguins' best player could be a QB. It's perfect.

Classic connection

There is a classic hometown connection between the Steelers and Penguins, the region's last two champions and its tag team that brought the Winter Classic to Heinz Field.

"My mother is from the North Side," Penguins CEO/president David Morehouse said. "It's something I talk about with Mr. Rooney, Dan. See, he still considers me being from the North Side because my mother was from Chateau Street.

"So I can relate to what Art was saying about bringing this game 'home.' "

Steelers president Art Rooney II had described the North Side, so closely tied to his famous family, as "a great place for the weeklong party." His Steelers and the Penguins plan to throw exactly that leading up to the Classic on New Year's Day.

If the next week feels like a block party thrown, it's likely because Morehouse, a self-described "crazy Steelers fan" from Beechview, sought to connect with the NFL's flagship franchise upon returning to Pittsburgh in 2006 as a Penguins consultant.

"I recognized how good of a job they've done -- treating their fans great, winning championships, their branding," Morehouse said. "They're a living, breathing model of what we aspire to do at the Penguins. We've always wanted to emulate the Steelers because we've always respected them."

Art Rooney II described the relationship as "always good" and that working with the Penguins on the Classic helped him realize "they do a lot of things right." He credited Morehouse with expanding communication between the franchises.

The executives aren't the only ones that talk to one another.

Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert is a longtime Penguins season-ticket holder. A few years back he invited general manager Ray Shero to training camp, and now they exchange philosophies on player evaluation, scouting and drafting.

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma has Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's information in his BlackBerry. One of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's texting buddies is Mario Lemieux.

Left wing Matt Cooke loves attending Steelers games. He is hoping to score playoff tickets if one is played at Heinz Field, just like he did for the AFC title game two years ago.

Maybe he can barter with Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton, a regular at Penguins playoff games the last few springs.

"There is a lot of energy between the players on both teams, and that's what I like," Rooney said. "When Pittsburgh people see that, it brings an atmosphere to the city that you just don't see that often."

Rarely seen is the cooperation between two pro sports teams to bring an event like the Classic to a city.

Without the Steelers' willingness to ask the NFL for a scheduling favor, the Winter Classic would have bypassed Pittsburgh, Morehouse said. Working with the Penguins, Rooney said, has sparked discussion about pursuing other attractions.

Wondered Morehouse: "I used to think we could never host a Super Bowl, but now they are playing one in New York -- a cold-weathered place. Maybe the Classic can help us get that."

"I'd like to think if we put our resources together again there is a lot more we can bring to our city," Rooney said. "The Steelers and Penguins make a pretty tough team to beat."

Rob Rossi can be reached at rrossi@tribweb.com or 412-380-5635.

steeltheone
12-26-2010, 07:41 AM
If Cowher goes to Dallas, there is no way Jerry Jones will fire himself as GM to be replaced by Colbert

Cowher will want complete...COMPLETE control..!!!!

4xSBChamps
12-26-2010, 08:31 AM
Wondered Morehouse: "I used to think we could never host a Super Bowl, but now they are playing one in New York -- a cold-weathered place. Maybe the Classic can help us get that."

"... I want what dat dude is smokin', cause it must be some good-chit!!!"

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y272/Glensgages/funny%20pictures/CheechandChong.jpg

"... yeah... Rogita will NEVER let dat-happen, mang!!!"

SteelCityMom
12-26-2010, 09:41 AM
Thanks Mesa...both great articles. I knew Colbert was from Pittsburgh, but never knew he was a lifelong Pens fan too. Makes him that much more awesome in my book! :thumbsup:

I know there's a bit of controversy over the hype of the Winter Classic and how some think it's bad for the sport (to be playing a regulation game outdoors), but I still love it, and they're better with lots of snow! Should be a great game.

MasterOfPuppets
12-26-2010, 10:12 AM
i guess the pirates are like the loser brother that nobody talks about .....:noidea:

SteelCityMom
12-26-2010, 11:32 AM
i guess the pirates are like the loser brother that nobody talks about .....:noidea:

Yeah, well that's not any kind of breaking new or anything. The only time they get talked about is to reiterate the fact that the ownership is doing everything possible to keep the team a joke.