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fordfixer
01-20-2009, 02:47 AM
Rooneys key behind Steelers
ERIC KNOPSNYDER
The Tribune-Democrat

http://www.tribune-democrat.com/sports/ ... 01427.html (http://www.tribune-democrat.com/sports/local_story_020001427.html)

There are plenty of congratulations to go around for the Steelers’ seventh AFC championship.

The defense, which ranks among the greatest in franchise – if not NFL – history, deserves much of the credit.

The play of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who continually found ways to win with a patchwork offensive line and a running game that had a penchant for disappearing in big games, gets special merit.

And coach Mike Tomlin, who has the Steelers one win away from a record sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy, has been instrumental in the team’s success. He is one of the best young coaches in the game, and was smart enough to realize that he had one of the most experienced coaches in the game as defensive coordinator in Dick LeBeau.

But this Steelers Super Bowl team, like the others, is a testament to the wisdom of the Rooney family.

In what was a very trying season, one that saw the family's normally private affairs aired in a very public manner, the Rooneys proved once again why they are the best owners in all of American sports.

Rather than allowing the sale of the team – which was mandated by the NFL because the Steelers didn’t have one primary owner – distract from the season, Chairman Dan Rooney and President Art Rooney II kept plugging away behind the scenes.

They worked out a deal with Dan’s brothers to keep the team safely in family hands.

That’s a wonderful thing for Steelers’ fans, who can thank the Rooneys for the success of the Steelers over the past 35 years.

A large part of it is because the Rooneys have been such great judges of talent in that time. The Steelers have hired three coaches since 1969: Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin.

Noll won four Super Bowls. Cower won one and lost another. Tomlin can win his first on Feb. 1 in Tampa.

Sunday’s 23-14 victory over Baltimore was the franchise’s 14th conference championship game since 1972, the most of any NFL team in that time period.

In the past 36 years the Steelers have had as many Super Bowl appearances (seven) as losing seasons.

The Rooneys deserve much of the credit for that, not only because of excellent coaching hires, but also the patience to suffer through a down year here or there.

Think Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder would have let a Cowher hang around after three losing seasons in six years? Dan Rooney did, and his reward was a 15-1 season in 2004 and a Super Bowl championship the next.

Throughout the years, the players have changed – from Terry Bradshaw to Neil O’Donnell to Ben Roethlisberger – but the one constant has been the Rooney family.

Fortunately for Steelers fans, it looks like it will remain that way for years to come.

California-Steel
01-20-2009, 04:37 AM
:Clap For the Rooneys.

proudpittsburgher
01-20-2009, 09:49 AM
yea, a double- :tt2 for the Rooneys. I was actually pleasantly surprised when I listened to Colin Cowherd yesterday, praising the Rooneys. Saying they were the anti-cowboys in a way, and how they have made the Steelers the model franchise in pro football, and possibly pro sports. It still amazes me how some on this board, and a lot on the trib board, wanted the Rooneys out in lieu of an owner with money. It's worked out real well with Daniel Snyder and Jerry Jones. :roll: