PITTSBURGH - JANUARY 28: Owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers Dan Rooney waves to the fans during the Super Bowl XLV Pep Rally on January 28 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
ESPN's Jamison Hensley included in his Wake-up Call column a bit about Steelers owner Dan Rooney's continued conversations about the Steelers playing a game in Ireland. Rooney currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador there, which would logically give off the impression the Steelers could be involved in a regular season game overseas.
That logic doesn't escape Hensley, but what colors the Steelers would play in that game seems to.
The most recent information came from an interesting piece on Rooney and the possibility of a game in Dublin from BBC News Northern Ireland reporter Haydn Parry.
I've never been in favor of moving regular-season games from fans here in the United States, especially the ones who pack their home stadiums. I understand that the owners want to market the game internationally. That generates more revenue. I just dislike the fact that one of the eight games at Heinz Field in a given season could get displaced because of Ireland.
I agree with the notion of not eliminating home games from teams with large followings, which is exactly why the Steelers won't be giving up one of their home games. Rooney has said before the lease at Heinz Field says they will play eight home games there each regular season.
They can play in Ireland, there's little to no chance the Steelers will be doing it in their black jerseys. If Rooney is doing the heavy lifting as far as getting Dublin's Croke Stadium into the international games' rotation in the NFL, it seems only fitting the league would honor his request to have his team play as the visitors.
We speculated on some possible opponents for a future overseas game earlier this year. Seems like there are enough cities who won't routinely sell their stadiums out, so the sense in Pittsburgh fighting their lease to waste a home game doesn't add up.