Sunday, July 13, 2008

Discord in the Family

I don't know what rock I have been living under the past week but I somehow missed the news that there is discord among the Rooney family, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I only heard the bad news yesterday while eating lunch at the Mount Paul Retreat Center in Oak Ridge, NJ, during St. Paul the Apostle Church's parish picnic there. It came up when, in conversation, one of the Paulist Fathers heard I was from the Pittsburgh area.

Robert Dvorchak has the story in today's Post-Gazette. His lead:

When a tight-knit Catholic clan like the Rooneys generates headlines related to the family business, which happens to be the highest profile venture in town and one of the most storied franchises in sports, an Irish sense of humor helps to keep things in perspective.

"My brother ordered me not to say anything," said Art Rooney Jr. as news cycles churned out story after story last week about internal issues and brother Dan's role in restructuring the Steelers' ownership. "So what do you want to know?"

It was his way of saying that none of the five strong-willed sons of a street-savvy NFL pioneer had to be reminded of the line in "The Godfather" about never going against the family in public, but that anything less than a fair resolution would be unacceptable, for the sake of their children and their children's children.

This is sad news for Western Pennsylvania's economic future and sports scene. A long-time source of stability is no longer stable.

An aside: It wasn't until I started working in Yonkers last year that I learned the Rooney Family owned the racetrack and slots parlor here.

The chart above is from the Post-Gazette.

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