Tag Archives: Dan Rooney

Five Smoldering Questions on the Pittsburgh Steelers: Week 1

via Steelers.com

By Hombre de Acero

Well, fellow citizens of Steelers Nation, the 2017 season is almost here. By the time the Pittsburgh Steelers kick off against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, 232 days will have passed since their (latest) defeat at the hands of the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship.

In that time, Ben Roethlisberger has mused about retirement, Antonio Brown has become the NFL’s highest paid wide receiver, redoubtable understudies who helped return this team to the playoffs, namely Cody Wallace and DeAngelo Williams, have seemingly begun their “Life’s Work,” and of course the Pittsburgh Steelers have lost Dan Rooney.

A lot has been done, and even more has been said, but before Pittsburgh can kickoff against Cleveland this corner of Steelers Nation still first resolve these 5 Smoldering Questions on the 2017 Steelers.

Read more

Knowing What We Don’t Know, Part Three: Mike Tomlin and NFL Head Coaching

coach T and DR

Peter Diana photo, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

By Ivan Cole

Part 1 of the series can be found here; Part 2 here.

The revolutionary hiring of Mike Tomlin

One need not be a moral troglodyte or harbor malicious intent to experience a moment of pause when considering whether to make a groundbreaking hire. While it is too often true that the assertion of nonacceptance by others serves as an alibi for one’s own bigotry or lack of moral courage, that does not mean that opposition and resistance is nonexistent.

This brings us back to incrementalism and nonlinearity.

Good intentions badly handled can do more harm than good. This is why Jackie Robinson was so heavily vetted before he was selected to break the color line in major league baseball. Read more

5 Smoldering Questions on the Dan Rooney and the 2017 Draft

1934 team

From lovable losers to Super Bowl champions

The 2017 off season has been an eventful one as Steelers Nation said good bye to Dan Rooney while welcoming the 2017 NFL Draft class. And while the “real” off season will begin soon (you know, the dead period where it gets hard to find, much less make, news articles), there’s still plenty of material here for us to wrestle with these 5 Smoldering Questions on Dan Rooney and the Draft. Read more

Fifth Quarter Report: 2016 Pittsburgh Steelers, Part One


by Ivan Cole

Steelers Nation

In August 2015, I spent a delightful day indulging in a Pittsburgh sports feast with Rebecca. We spent the afternoon attending Steelers training camp in Latrobe, and then the evening taking in a Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park.

One of many things that struck me that day was the difference in mood at the respective venues.

Read more

“Chuck Noll, His Life’s Work:” Michael MacCambridge unlocks the riddle of Chuck Noll


via 250 Words

by Homer J.

If someone asks what you want for Christmas, might I suggest you tell them, Michael MacCambridge’s “Chuck Noll, His Life’s Work.” It is, hands down, the most literate and most enlightening sports biography I’ve ever read. 

The finest man we never knew

Chuck Noll was the best coach, and perhaps the finest man that we never knew. Had Churchill ever met Noll, he might have described him as a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. But, as Churchill would then speculate, perhaps that was a key.

Read more

5 Smoldering Questions, Season Opening Edition

via totalsteelers.com

via totalsteelers.com

by Hombre de Acero

1. Since the new CBA went into effect in 2011, It seems like every September is littered with complaints about sloppy, undisciplined play. The next step is to then cite the practice and contact length and duration limitations imposed by the CBA. 

Which makes sense, except….

… these very same complainers are the ones who howl the loudest about how the preseason is a wretched institution, end-to-end, that ought to be curtailed if not abolished entirely.

Can these two complaints be reconciled or are they inherently contradictorily?

2. Question number two comes with full disclosure. I grew up as a Pittsburgh expat in the DC area and I instinctively learned to actively root against the Redskins during the height of the first Joe Gibbs era. (And for the record, neither of my parents particularly cares/cared about football or sports loyalties in general.)

So now with my confirmation bias firmly on the table:  Given the yesterday’s personality contrast between Art Rooney Sr. and both George Preston Marshall and Jack Kent Cooke and today’s contrast between Dan and Art Rooney II and Daniel Snyder, and given the large number of Pittsburgh expats living in the greater DC Area, is there a latent natural rivalry that the NFL’s divisional and conference structure obscures?

3. It says here that the Steelers decision to trade for Justin Gilbert was a wise move. However, the cynic in me can’t help but observe that the last three players Kevin Colbert acquired via a trade were Felix Jones, Levi Brown and Brandon Boykin….

So, does Justin Gilbert sustain or break the trend?

4. What under-the-radar player’s development are you most anticipating in the coming season?

5. As Bill Cowher’s pre-Ben Roethlisberger Steeler teams so painfully illustrated, the gap separating contenders from pretenders is exponentially smaller than the one standing between contenders and champions. In 2015, the Pittsburgh Steelers reestablished themselves as contenders.

What must happen for the 2016 Steelers to cross that gap?   

You know the drill. Don’t forget to show your work, and be sure and use a No. 2 pencil…

Training Camp for Fans Part Eight: What is the Steeler Way?


Dan Rooney, Bill Nunn, Art Rooney II, Aubrey Bruce  (Photo Thomas Sabol, The New Pittsburgh Courier)

by Ivan Cole

Pittsburgh was the Silicon Valley of the Industrial Age.

That was the assessment of Howard Fineman, Global Editorial Director of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group, and former Senior Editor of Newsweek. I have never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Fineman, but we have at least three things in common: We both had newspaper routes selling the now defunct Pittsburgh Press, attended and graduated from the same high school, and wrote articles for the inaugural edition of another defunct publication the Steelers Annual.

Fineman made the Silicon Valley reference in his Steelers Annual piece. Over the years I have found myself constantly comparing this to another statement that disguises extraordinary complexity behind a façade of deceptive simplicity. Speaking thirty years ago at the National Press Club in Washington DC, writer James Baldwin was asked what needed to be done to effectively address race relations. His response: America needed to grow up.

Read more

Training Camp for Fans Part 6: The Emergence of Steeler Nation

1934 Pittsburgh [Football] Pirates Team Photo

by Ivan Cole

As noted in his previous post, this series is a continuation of Ivan’s “Training Camp for Fans” series which ran last August. Those links can be accessed below. Back to Ivan…

  1. B. C. (Before Chuck)

You could also, if you choose, refer to this period as B.M.J. (Before Mean Joe) or B.D.R. (Before Dan Rooney). This represents a clear demarcation between the approximate first half of the Steelers’ franchise existence, which was characterized by a losing culture, and the soaring success of the more recent past.

Those like myself who claim this period as our initiation into the Nation share the characteristic of being well grounded—in part, because if you have any memory at all of this period, you are pretty old (hate admitting that). But also because you had to withstand the trials of being immersed within a losing culture. Because of that, and the fact that the NFL and sports generally did not have the reach or popularity that they enjoy today, a fan in this era (no term as fanciful as “Steeler Nation” existed at that time)  was almost certainly indigenous.

Read more

Is the Rooney Rule Ripe for Dismissal?

via The Guardian

Elpalito kindly called my attention to an article published at Baltimore Beatdown, the Ravens’ SB Nation site. Titled Rooney Rule needs to go away for good, you can pretty much guess the author’s stance. But why? Surely it is a good thing that something is in place to assure all worthy candidates are interviewed for a job, whether they fit the usual “profile” or not.

The reason the author brings it up at this time is, I assume, because of Roger Goodell’s stated intention of extending the rule to cover women candidates for front office jobs. But I’ll let the author (Wola Odeniran) speak for himself. Read more

Mike Tomlin’s Top Five Thanksgiving List

via footballnation.com

I suppose it is rather presumptuous of me to tell Mike Tomlin what he should be thankful for. My excuse is, in looking at what Mike Tomlin has to be thankful for, Steeler Nation will also have an opportunity to examine their blessings in this oh-so-challenging season. Some of them will be hard blessings, some of them may seem like small things, and some of them are foundational.

And isn’t this like the blessings we enjoy in our lives? Many, even sometimes the greatest ones, are only truly discovered in retrospect, and may not seem like blessings at all in the moment. Some are small and barely noticed until we reflect back and realize that if it weren’t for that “small” thing some much bigger things would never have happened. And some of them prove themselves to be the aspects of our lives which made all the other blessings possible.

Here’s my list. Please feel free to add to it in the comments, if you aren’t too busy sleeping on the couch. Read more

« Older Entries