As if you didn’t know, late Pittsburgh Steelers president Dan Rooney was a beloved man. Not just by the players and fans of the Steelers, but in the city of Pittsburgh and beyond.
As someone who never met Mr. Rooney, or even came close, it is hard to describe the loss even fans felt after the beloved owner passed this offseason. You see who attended the funeral. It was a who’s who among athletes, front office staff, NFL owners and politicians alike. But recently, even as the team is in training camp, you hear more and more about how Mr. Rooney impacted their lives. No, not as a boss, but as a man who cared about those who worked for him.
Recently, while keeping an eye on Twitter lists, I noticed the tweet below regarding Ike Taylor’s relationship with Mr. Rooney. Check it out:
Just read the quote one more time, “It was one of a kind. I still call his phone.”
Now, if you follow the Steelers closely, and the majority of you who regularly come to the site do, you know how close Taylor and Rooney were. Taylor spoke about how he would walk into the Chairman’s office and after talking with Rooney, Mr. Rooney would leave and let him take a nap on his couch.
But there are more small tidbits of hints here and there of just what Rooney meant to the players. Just check out how Ben Roethlisberger’s gets choked up while talking about Rooney at the 4:45 minute of the video below, and just after cut off the interview respectfully stating, “That is a good place to stop, okay?”
Ben Roethlisberger discusses offensive expectations and the wide receiver corps. pic.twitter.com/4qEU4Xz3zH— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 2, 2017
As if you need more evidence, just look at this interview between Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin last year before the AFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Miami Dolphins. Just the section where they talk about Mr. Rooney (3:20) is worth the view.
We, as fans, mourn the loss of Dan Rooney in our own way, but for those who knew him, the mourning has to be almost ten-fold. Although saddening, the hope is the players and coaches can use his death as a ignition spark to win the Super Bowl in his honor this season.