Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How could this happen?

The Rooneys are in danger of losing control of the Steelers, a team they have run since 1933.

This story from the Associated Press indicates the chairman of a Pittsburgh investment firm could get control by buying the shares of several Rooney family members. Dan Rooney and his son, Art Jr., had been trying to buy out their relatives to keep family control, according to the above mentioned story and another I read July 8.

Maybe I'm not thinking about this correctly, but I don't think the NFL would go for this. The Steelers are a model NFL franchise, and Dan Rooney is among the best and most-respected owners in all of pro sports. Aside from all of this is the Rooneys have owned the team for 75 years, which I don't think the other NFL owners would discount easily.

Family ownership has been cited by numerous people on numerous TV shows and in newspaper articles as one of the reasons for the Steelers' success (five Super Bowl wins, tied for the most all-time). The family also is revered in Pittsburgh and I suspect there are quite a few people angry at the potential change.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has its story up as well. It indicates Dan Rooney is apparently up against his brothers in this fight. Several of them went to the financier, who is a die-hard Steelers fan.

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