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Thread: Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Dan Rooney

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    Default Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Dan Rooney

    Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Dan Rooney

    Monday, July 18, 2011
    By Patricia Sheridan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    He is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with his father, Art Rooney, and has two Super Bowl trophies under his belt as president and now chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers. What Dan Rooney has that his father never did is the title of ambassador. The 79-year-old was named U.S. ambassador to Ireland in 2009 by President Barack Obama, of whom he is a big supporter. Known for his negotiating abilities, he is credited with "The Rooney Rule," which requires NFL teams to interview at least one minority candidate when hiring head coaches or general managers. He and his wife, Pat, have nine children and nearly twice as many grandchildren.

    Have you learned anything new about your Irish roots since you've been in Ireland?

    I've learned so much about everything since I've been here in Ireland. I did learn much about where we were from, the Rooneys, and my mother was a McNulty and where her people were from. My wife, of course, her mother and father emigrated from here [Ireland], so she has many cousins and aunts and uncles that remained here.

    You must be seeing a lot more of those relatives.

    Really, to be honest with you, my schedule is such that it's not easy to get around. If you are here on vacation you actually can go places, but here [as ambassador] you've got to go where your next assignment is.

    As a young boy growing up on the North Side, did you always know you would be part of the Steelers organization?

    I always thought I would be involved with the Steelers. I was about 8 when the thing came up that the Steelers were merging with the Eagles [during World War II]. I got quite concerned. I asked my mother, "What's going on?" My father had just called and she said, "You better talk to Danny. He's concerned about the team." He assured me we were still in the business. When I graduated from college, they had racetracks in the East, my family. He said, "Do you want to go and run one of these racetracks?" I said, "No. I'm in the football business. I want to stay with the football team." That's where I remained.

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    Default Re: Patricia Sheridan's Breakfast With ... Dan Rooney

    Interesting read. He seems to be really enjoying his role as an ambassador although his heart is with the team. I think the lockout may not have lasted as long if he would have been involved. Art definitely doesn't have the league wide respect that Dan has.
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