PDA

View Full Version : Rooney family, Steelers have special culture



MadSteel
05-10-2011, 08:13 PM
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_ ... al-culture (http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/27448/rooney-family-steelers-have-special-culture)

I can't fully explain it. But there is a different feeling I get around the Pittsburgh Steelers than with other teams.

Every week you get the sense the Steelers have supreme confidence they're going to win the next game. Every season you feel they think they'll win the division, or win the Super Bowl -- even if it doesn't always turn out to be the case.

Pittsburgh is the only NFL team I know which treats a 9-7 record like it's 0-16. Anything short of a Super Bowl is not good enough, which puts immense pressure on Pittsburgh. But the Steelers fearlessly embrace it.

It starts at the top with the Rooney family, who were voted the No. 1 ownership group in this week's ESPN.com Power Rankings. The Rooney family and the Steelers own more Super Bowl victories (six) than anyone and also hired the fewest head coaches (three) since 1969. That's a combination no other team can match.

A winning culture is not something that can fully be defined. It's something every team is chasing and trying to build, but few can do it successfully. Meanwhile, the Steelers have it down to a science.

The Steelers are a huge part of the identity of Pittsburgh, which is very much a blue-collar city. The players also have a sense of pride for the organization they're playing for. I cannot a recall instances of players being unhappy and wanting out of Pittsburgh. If anything, more veterans take less money to stay there and compete for a championship.

The Steelers have figured out how to stay consistent in a league which thrives on inconsistency. That is perhaps the biggest challenge for all 32 organizations.

I also like what the Baltimore Ravens are doing. Owner Steve Bisciotti, who is No. 6 in our Power Rankings, is helping build a winning culture similar to Pittsburgh's. But the Ravens simply don't have the history or the rings to match the Steelers.

It takes time.

ESPN.com's Ownership Power Rankings

1. Rooney family, Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Robert Kraft, New England Patriots

3. Packers board, Green Bay Packers

4. John Mara/Steve Tisch, New York Giants

5. Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles

6. Steve Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens

7. Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts

8. Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys

9. Arthur Blank, Atlanta Falcons

10. Woody Johnson, New York Jets

Walker's Ownership Power Rankings

1. Rooney family, Pittsburgh Steelers

2. Robert Kraft, New England Patriots

3. Packers board, Green Bay Packers

4. John Mara/Steve Tisch, New York Giants

5. Jeffrey Lurie, Philadelphia Eagles

6. Pat Bowlen, Denver Broncos

7. Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts

8. McCaskey family, Chicago Bears

9. Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys

10. Steve Bisciotti, Baltimore Ravens