View Full Version : NYT - For the Rooneys, Patience Pays Off in Rings

Atlanta Dan
02-02-2011, 03:42 PM
We all have read the saga many times before but it is still a great story - excerpts and link below

For the Rooneys, Patience Pays Off in Rings

Art Rooney II was glancing up at the enormous video screen and at the plush seats, taking in Jerry Jones’s monument to revenue with a bemused smile. The Pittsburgh Steelers will probably never have a stadium quite like Cowboys Stadium, which will be host to the Super Bowl on Sunday. But this week Rooney, an owner and the president of the Steelers, had something that Jones, the owner and general manager of the Dallas Cowboys, wanted desperately: the opportunity to explain how his team kept returning to the Super Bowl every few years, with the consistency of a metronome. ...

More than by any player or coach, the Steelers are identified by the way they have done business for 40 years. They build through the draft, take care of their players, maintain financial discipline, eschew flashy hires and treat people well....

Ernie Accorsi tells a story about Colbert, whom he calls the best general manager nobody knows about. Since Accorsi retired as the Giants’ general manager, he has consulted with other teams looking to rebuild. One team was looking for a general manager. Accorsi called Colbert, who has been with the Steelers since 2000, a run that has included appearances in five conference championship games and three Super Bowls.

“I didn’t even tell him the money,” Accorsi said. “I said this is a good job. He said: ‘I could never do that to the Rooneys. I don’t care what they would pay.’ Where you going to find that?” ...

Two weeks ago, when Dan Rooney, now the United States ambassador to Ireland, returned to Pittsburgh for the American Football Conference championship game, he spoke briefly to a handful of reporters about the N.F.L.’s labor strife. During that conversation he offered a bombshell of a quotation that summed up the Steelers’ ability to take the long view of success.

“I’d rather not have the money,” Rooney said about the proposed 18-game regular season

That comment snapped a few heads around the league, particularly among owners who would very much rather have the money:chuckle:. But Rooney wonders why it is necessary to change something — 16 games for 32 teams — that has worked successfully for years. It is a mind-set the Steelers have leaned on in the past — do not make sea change decisions in haste — when fans agitated for Cowher to be fired, or wondered why the Steelers were hiring Tomlin instead of someone they had heard of.

But it also resonated deeply in the Steelers’ locker room. There, stories about the Rooneys’ unusual affinity for the people who work for them are limitless. They shake the hands of each player after games, win or lose. They offer advice to new players on where to send their children to school. They take the men and women who work in the cafeteria at the team’s training facility to the Super Bowl...

But the Steelers will most likely be back to the Super Bowl even after Roethlisberger is gone into retirement and perhaps even before the Steelers have to fire a head coach. They have not done that since 1968, and Art Rooney II pondered whether he would live long enough to be the one to do it.

“I hope not,” he said.


02-02-2011, 04:04 PM
And that is why they are consistent winners. Always in the playoffs and fighting for a shot.

02-02-2011, 04:40 PM
great story, almost brings a tear to my eye

GMU Steeler
02-02-2011, 04:43 PM
Yeah the thing I love and admire about our organization is that we don't panic at all like many teams would. I live in the DC area and I can't tell you how blessed we are to have the Rooneys as our owner compared to some jerk like Dan Snyder who has done everything possible to alienate the fans here. I have a fond memory when I first started watching football with my grandfather who told me the Rooneys treated their players right. For some reason that stuck with me and I've always liked the Steelers more than the Redskins. Didn't hurt matters that my family is from the Pittsburgh area originally of course but the Rooneys and Kevin Colbert are excellent at what they do.