A Blast from the Past: Questions We Were Debating Back in the Day
A couple of months ago Hombre de Acero sent me what he intended to be his “5 Smoldering Questions” for the week. Instead he sent the master file of all of the Smoldering/Burning Questions he has posited since he began doing this back in 2011.
As I looked at some of the questions, it occurred to me it would be fun to revisit some of them through the lens of all that has happened since then and ponder whether our answers would have been any different.
When I asked Hombre about this he was initially skeptical, as he has always attempted to keep the questions very topical. But although many of the questions may be of limited interest now, I suspect we’ll find a lot of “what goes round, comes round” as we check them out.
So with Hombre’s blessing, I’m premiering the series on Stuff We Used to Care About, And Maybe Still Do. After all, what else are we going to talk about for the next six months, other than free agency and the draft? And some of them may involve those things, for the record…
This question is from September 28th, 2011, the first week in which Hombre took over from maryrose, who had been posing the questions during the previous season. Might as well debut the series by beginning from the beginning.
The questions that week ranged from the decision not to bring back Flozell Adams or Max Starks to whether you think Mike Tomlin should “encourage Sean Kugler (the then-O-line coach) to begin cut blocking against opposing defensive lines the way opponents are cut blocking Aaron Smith, Ziggy Hood, and Casey Hampton.”*
But the one it seemed would be most fun to think about was this:
5. Quick: You stumble into an elevator and to your shock and surprise you find yourself one-on-one with Dan Rooney. You have the undivided attention of the The Chairman Emeritus of the Pittsburgh Steelers for 90 seconds. What is the ONE question you’d ask?
I still think it is a great question. It was posed before Art II made it clear at the end of the 2011 season that he was going to take a more active (or more obviously active) role in the daily affairs of the organization. So I was interested to see what some of the commenters said at that time. I found the original article, and one of the comments which caught my eye was this one. Perhaps you can guess who made it:
My question for Dan Rooney wouldn’t take nearly 90 seconds:
“I need a guest conductor. Is Troy available?”
Okay, maybe not. Perhaps:
“Thank you for the way that you and your family run the Steelers, and the way you engage the community. It makes me proud to be a fan, whether we’re winning or losing.”
But here are some others which I found of interest:
TVsCHACHI: “Slàinte Ambassador Rooney, how’s the craic?”
stillergoriller had two questions:
“Can I make you dinner?
Can I have a job?”
Cold Old Steeler Fan:
I would say, “Good morning (or evening or whatever seems appropriate), how are you?”, because it seems the right place to start. Anything else is a bonus.
Hombre de Acero
“Choosing between the cutting of John Unitas and the failure to draft Dan Marino, what do you consider as the biggest mistake?”
Billy52 [in response to Hombre’s answer]:
“That is a great question for Dan Rooney, and I’d LOVE to know his answer to that one. Objectively speaking, I’d suppose it would have to be Marino, as it took the franchise longer to live down the mistake.
On the flip side, at least they got Riveria in ’83 who probably would have been a keeper had it not been for the accident.”
So let’s run the experiment again. If you could ask Dan Rooney any one question (and, to echo one of the commenters, he had to answer truthfully : ) what would it be?
I can tell you mine would be different, since I’m retiring from conducting the Camerata soon and won’t need any guest conductors. Instead, I would ask him whether, in retrospect, he regrets accepting the ambassadorship and turning the daily operations over to Art II. Does he wish he was still involved in the day-to-day running of the team?
I’m guessing his answer would be no.
About that cut-blocking thing—whatever happened with that? I’m assuming we just replaced Hamp and Smith with guys young enough to get out of the way, but is this in fact correct? I haven’t heard anything about that for ages, other than Pouncey being taken out by David DeCastro early in the 2013 season when he managed to cut his own guy instead of the Titans defender he was going after…