|| Rooney & the HOF:|
Dapper Dan Definitely NOT Just a
Member of the "Lucky Sperm" Club
Submitted by McMillen & Wife|
I was listening to a radio talkshow (not sure what show... it was aired on Saturday around noon on the One-on-One Sports network) the day Dan Rooney was voted into the Hall of Fame in April of 2000. The announcers had just interviewed top-15 HoF finalist James Lofton, who, along with almost everyone else commenting on the topic that day, was expressing shock at Swann's snubbing by the voting panel.
Following their discussion with Lofton, one of the announcers said, "Yeah, how did Rooney get in over Swann? What's he ever done besides be a member of the "Lucky Sperm" Club?
The implication is obvious... Art Rooney Sr. is the one who made the Steelers great, while his son, Dan, was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and simply inherited his father's brainchild, right? Well, that's the thing with sports radio... they'll hurl insults at will with absolutely nothing to back up their attacks. Time to set the record straight.
Fact: It was Dan Rooney, not "the Chief," who hired Chuck Noll in 1969.
Fact: It was Dan Rooney, not "the Chief," who was the man in charge of the Steelers' day-to-day operations during the "Glory Days" of the 1970's. While Dan Rooney didn't "officially" become President of the club until the 1975 season (when Art Rooney Sr. stepped down to become Chairman of the Board), Dan was running the show long before that.
Fact: The Steelers were perennial losers until Dan Rooney took the reins. Art Rooney, Sr. was an icon. He was a great, honorable man who was instrumental in the creation and success of the National Football League, and I'm certainly not taking anything away from all that "the Chief" accomplished. I'm simply laying down a few facts that I'm sure many true Steeler fans may not be aware of.
In my mind, Dan Rooney DESERVES to be in the Hall of Fame as much as anyone, from Lambert on down the line. He's earned it. Under his guidance, the Steelers have remained one of the classiest, most successful teams in the history of the league. Yes, we're down right now, and could very well struggle for the foreseeable future. But I have confidence in Dan Rooney... he'll right this ship eventually. The man has an undeniable, unparalleled history of winning.
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