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Old 02-17-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
Steelcitygal87
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Default Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....

I was just watching Around the Horn and Kevin Blackistone made some complimentary comments about coach Tomlin...so I did some searching through the archives and found this article.......

http://kevin-blackistone.fanhouse.co...ys-truly-rule/

Posted Feb 2nd 2009 3:13 AM by Kevin Blackistone (author feed)
Filed Under: NFL, Super Bowl, Cardinals, Steelers


Mike TomlinTAMPA, Fla. It wasn't only that Mike Tomlin and his troops had just won the ultimate football game Sunday night at Raymond James Stadium that led him to walk into a calamitous celebration at midfield with arms raised overhead in exultation. It was also, he said, that he'd proved the few people who saw something in him worth believing -- something worth dreaming about, something worth embracing -- right. They were the Rooneys, the family of visionaries who've owned the Pittsburgh Steelers forever and, just two years ago, plucked Tomlin from the pile of humanity that makes up head-coaching aspirants for the NFL.

Tomlin was just 34 then. He was a rookie coordinator running Minnesota's defense. There were six other teams then that joined the search for a new coach. The only club, the only front office, the only owners, however, who took notice of Tomlin were in Pittsburgh. Thus came Tomlin's reaction and first words in the glow of Sunday night.

"All I wanted to do," Tomlin said, "was prove them [the Rooneys] right."

He did that and more in steering the Steelers to a 27-23 come-from-behind victory over the upstart Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

The Rooneys' and Tomlin's success also proved how wrongheaded so much of the rest of the NFL has been for a long time and remains so.

After all, coming into this Super Bowl a lot was made of the Steelers as being the model franchise in the NFL, if not all of sports. Only the Rooneys owned them since the '30s. Only three men had coached them since 1969. They'd been to six Super Bowls coming into this season and won five. Only the Dallas Cowboys had made it to more Super Bowls and won as many.

But no matter the Steelers' success, they never became a model that most of the rest of NFL franchises attempted to replicate. Instead, the Steelers stood as proof that the league's reputation for being comprised mostly by owners, front offices and coaches who are only as creative as the most-recent formula for success is a misnomer.

Indeed, the Steelers have run their operation independently minded, open to radical thinking and blind to arbitrarily created prerequisites for as long as they've been around. They've run themselves as a meritocracy rather than as an oligarchy as so many of their competitors.

For example, the Steelers' patriarch, Art Rooney, hired a fellow named Lowell Perry in 1957 as an assistant coach. It wouldn't have been noticed except for the fact that Perry was black and the NFL had never before witnessed in its ranks a black coach of any rank. At the time, the league still hadn't even conquered segregation in its locker rooms, allowing an all-white team in Washington to participate.

In 1969, when teams were still more likely to turn to paternal or avuncular former NFL players with lots of NFL skins on the wall, Rooney handed the team to a 37-year-old named Chuck Noll, after he couldn't convince Joe Paterno to leave Penn State. Noll brought Rooney and Pittsburgh four Super Bowl trophies.


In 1992, the Rooney family in the hands of Art Rooney's son, Dan, turned the coaching reins over to a 34-year-old assistant named Bill Cowher rather than mimic the rest of the league that seemed to prefer retread head coaches. Cowher managed a pair of Super Bowl appearances and won one before stepping away a couple years ago.

His departure opened the door for Tomlin, although no one, not even Dan Rooney, realized it at the time. He employed two able assistants from which he thought he would pick Cowher's successor. But one departed -- Ken Whisenhunt who, ironically, led the Cardinals on Sunday night -- and the other, Russ Grimm, didn't measure up to an interview Rooney granted a young man he'd only heard rumor of in Minnesota, Tomlin.

Rooney and his lieutenants brought Tomlin in for a second round of interviews and they refused to allow his youth or skin color to blind them to his intellect and strong will. Tomlin was a triple threat in the phraseology of late blues-and-jazz songstress Nina Simone: young, gifted and black.

So, coincidentally, as Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith prepared to kick off as the first black head coaches to meet in a Super Bowl, Rooney announced the signing of Tomlin as his family's team's new coach. Tomlin's ascendency made him no less an underdog to win the NFL's biggest prize Sunday night than the Cardinals.

But at just 36 years old, Tomlin did just that, becoming the youngest coach to take the Vince Lombardi Trophy. No less significant, he also became the second black coach to win the Super Bowl, following Dungy, his original NFL mentor when Dungy headed up Tampa Bay.

Tomlin also cemented for some time the Steelers' reputation as the best NFL franchise, what with a record six Super Bowl titles now.

"I'm very blessed to be hired by the Rooney family," Tomlin said Sunday. "They [the Rooneys] took a chance on a 34-year-old coach with not a long resume. They took a lot of criticism for it, and I took it personally."

How ridiculous.

The NFL would be a lot better place with a lot more thinking like the Rooney's. So would our society, for that matter.

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Old 02-17-2009, 06:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....

Tomlin has respect for the job much as some U.S. Presidents had respect for the Office.
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....

Indeed, the Steelers have run their operation independently minded, open to radical thinking and blind to arbitrarily created prerequisites for as long as they've been around. They've run themselves as a meritocracy rather than as an oligarchy as so many of their competitors.

That is one of the many reasons why they have been so successful for such a long period of time.
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....

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Originally Posted by Steelcitygal87 View Post
... Tomlin ... young, gifted and black ...
I like that statement.
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....

Excellent read.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....

Im tired of hearing about the Rooney Rule and how Tomlin has shown it works. Dan has said that Tomlin earned the interview that Ron Rivera was the RR interview.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....

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Originally Posted by KeiselPower99 View Post
Im tired of hearing about the Rooney Rule and how Tomlin has shown it works. Dan has said that Tomlin earned the interview that Ron Rivera was the RR interview.
Yep...the best pro-Rooney Rule argument is Lovie Smith. He was a sham interview to comply with the rule so the Bears could hire Nick $aban. When $aban turned down the job, they went with Lovie because he gave an impressive interview.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....

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Originally Posted by SteelersMongol View Post
I like that statement.
Don't know if you knew this or not but.... Mike spoke at a banquet(over this past weekend) for Black All-American Football Athletes. That is what Mr. Blackistone was referring to when he made his comments about Tomlin at the end of Around The Horn. He said Mike wasn't under any obligation to speak, it did it on his own. He wanted to get the message across that no matter what the circumstances are or what obstacles you face in life; with perseverance, hard work and determination, you can get where you want to go and be successful when you get there! What a GREAT message for young people to hear.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....

I don't recall anyone criticizing the Rooney's for hiring Tomlin. If anything, the praise for him has been overwhelming since day one.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: Mike Tomlin Proves Rooneys Truly Rule....

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Originally Posted by stillers4me View Post
I don't recall anyone criticizing the Rooney's for hiring Tomlin. If anything, the praise for him has been overwhelming since day one.
I think the criticism was mostly from people who felt that Whiz or Grimm should have been hired. A lot of fans(and a few players) were upset/shocked, and questioned the decision of the Rooneys because they felt staying in house and hiring one of those two men would have been a better way to go.
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