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Old 10-03-2007, 02:54 AM   #1
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Default Rooney : Why I didn't draft Marino

Looks like Dan's got a new book out soon - and he's got the answers to all the questions to ever wanted to ask!

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PITTSBURGH -- On the field, the Pittsburgh Steelers have long been known for a hard-nosed running game and stingy defense.

Off the field, some questions that have surrounded the team for years are being answered in a new book by team chairman Dan Rooney.

"My 75 Years With The Pittsburgh Steelers And The NFL" answers some of the great mysteries, like why the Steelers did not pick University of Pittsburgh quarterback Dan Marino in the 1983 draft.


Rooney writes that he was ready to draft Marino at the urging of a local sports writer, but "I made a mistake. Instead of telling our (front office) I thought it up myself, I told them it was (the writer's) idea. And that was the end of it."

Years later, in 2005, that earlier misstep influenced Rooney's draft-day strategy.

"I couldn't bear the thought of passing on another great quarterback prospect the way we had passed on Dan Marino in 1983, so I steered the conversation around to (Ben) Roethlisberger," Rooney writes in the book.

Rooney also reveals his reasons for shutting down the Steelerettes -- the team's attempt at cheerleaders.

"TV cameras liked them, but we take our football seriously in Pittsburgh. We just didn't need them," Rooney writes in the book.

And what about the team's helmets, which only have a logo on one side? It may be the greatest mystery of all for Pittsburgh fans.

In 1962, "I told equipment manager Jack Hart to put the logo on one side only, until we decided whether we'd stick with it," Rooney writes.

After finishing that season with nine wins and five losses -- which, at that point, was the Steelers' best record ever, Hart asked Rooney if he should put the logo on both sides of the helmets.

"No. We got here with the logo on the right side, so let's keep it that way," Rooney writes.

Rooney's book is scheduled to be released next month.

http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/...48/detail.html
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Old 10-03-2007, 06:34 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rooney : Why I didn't draft Marino

Well, he could have went the Bettis route "in order to sell books" and stated that Marino liked the nose candy while at PITT....
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Rooney : Why I didn't draft Marino

Another huge Draft Day slide for a blue-chip QB prospect. It'd be interesting to know why, along with the Steelers, 25 other teams also passed on Marino before Miami took him 27th (as the SB runner-up the year before) - the only team in the league that didn't have a chance to take him was Washington.
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rooney : Why I didn't draft Marino

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Another huge Draft Day slide for a blue-chip QB prospect. It'd be interesting to know why, along with the Steelers, 25 other teams also passed on Marino before Miami took him 27th (as the SB runner-up the year before) - the only team in the league that didn't have a chance to take him was Washington.
There were strong & credible rumors Marino got caught in a lot of snow drifts his senior year at Pitt. That was the year after Sherrill left and Fazio arrived - Pitt was preseason #1 but had zero discipline + fell apart in November.

FWIW not only a local sportswriter but Art Sr. wanted to draft Marino - something scared Dan & Noll away.
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rooney : Why I didn't draft Marino

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There were strong & credible rumors Marino got caught in a lot of snow drifts his senior year at Pitt. That was the year after Sherrill left and Fazio arrived - Pitt was preseason #1 but had zero discipline + fell apart in November.

FWIW not only a local sportswriter but Art Sr. wanted to draft Marino - something scared Dan & Noll away.
Yep, that's the way I've always understood it as well. The insult to injury is that the DT they did draft in the 1st that year (Rivera) never played a down in the NFL.
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Old 10-03-2007, 02:58 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rooney : Why I didn't draft Marino

I was at Pitt when Marino was there, and the rumors were pretty heavy. While I never actually sat along side Dan and partied, I sat and partied with some very credible people who DID sit with him and party.

I have absolutely no doubt that the rumors are true. That was what college students did then.


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Old 10-03-2007, 03:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rooney : Why I didn't draft Marino

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Yep, that's the way I've always understood it as well. The insult to injury is that the DT they did draft in the 1st that year (Rivera) never played a down in the NFL.
Rivera totaled his 280Z, went through the back window and has been in a wheel chair since. He came to my daughters grade school in South Carolina about a dozen years ago and gave the kids a talk about the consequences of making the wrong decisions in life.

I believe it was also the same year that Bradshaw had elbow surgery , against the advise of the team doctors.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:20 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rooney : Why I didn't draft Marino

And isn't it the same year that Cliff Stout broke his hand on the punching bag machine at some bar while the team plane was fogged in some where out west?
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rooney : Why I didn't draft Marino

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Yep, that's the way I've always understood it as well. The insult to injury is that the DT they did draft in the 1st that year (Rivera) never played a down in the NFL.
Senor Sack actually played well in several regular season games at NT that year before the career ending auto accident.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_457932.html

Just another example of how it went downhill after the early 80s on the Noll era.
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Old 10-03-2007, 03:22 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rooney : Why I didn't draft Marino

And isn't it the same year that after Miami drated Marino they cut their 3rd string QB, and we had to pick him up and he started a few games for us due to the injuries, can't recall his name?
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