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Dan Rooney: My 75 Years With the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Nfl [Hardcover]

Dan Rooney , David F. Halaas , Andrew E. Masich
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 6 2007
In 2007, the Pittsburgh Steelers will turn seventy-five years old. So will Dan Rooney. In Dan Rooney, the owner talks about growing up on Pittsburgh’s North Side, competing with Johnny Unitas for top high school quarterback honors in western Pennsylvania, learning the ropes of big-time sports from his father and mentor, Art Rooney (“the Chief”), helping to shape the modern NFL into America’s all-consuming passion, and forging the Steelers into a Super Bowl-winning dynasty. He also speaks frankly about winning and losing, and discusses his relationships with family, coaches, players, owners, NFL commissioners, the media, and the fans-“Steeler Nation.” It’s all here: the difficult contract negotiations, controversial decisions, memorable teams, and many behind-the-scenes stories of the growth of America’s favorite game. A dedicated family man and proud native of Pittsburgh, this chairman of one of the most successful franchises ever reveals the dynamics that have made him such a respected owner in the NFL.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

The Rooneys are the Steelers in Pittsburgh, home of the championship team whose ferocious, far flung fans call themselves the Steelers Nation. Team manager Rooney, son of the Steelers's colorful founder Art "the Chief" Rooney, tells his life story, one inextricably tangled with the history of the National Football League: "Pro football was born on the muddy fields of Pittsburgh's North Side in 1892-just three blocks from where I was born 40 years later." Moreover, the Steelers themselves were born just a year after Rooney. Managing the team from the early days of television up through the present, Rooney has seen the "most critical issue facing the league" shift from "half-empty stadiums" to "labor relations." Tales of classic games and key figures are bolstered by interviews with legends like "Mean" Joe Greene and winning coach Chuck Noll, as well as current coach Mike Tomlin and others. Thanks to Rooney's own intimate, first-person accounts of legendary players, flamboyant personalities and never-ending politics, along with a concluding thumbnail history of each NFL franchise, this book is sure to score big points not just with the Steeler Nation but football fans nationwide.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Thank you, Dan Rooney, for giving us your best memories."--"Pro Football Weekly"

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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting retrospective of the NFL's early days Feb. 15 2010
Format:Hardcover
In this autobiography, Dan Rooney, the president of the Pittsburgh Steelers (and son of the founder), reflects on his 75 years in the National Football League. A lot of ground is covered and the stories about the "olden" days, the days of Earl "Greasy" Neal, Walt Kiesling, and Johnny "Blood" McNally are particularly vivid. There is a detailed passage dealing with the high school, college, and early pro career of Johnny Unitas, who was spurned by the Steelers in training camp but went on to become one of the best quarterbacks in the history of the game.

Perhaps due to the scope, however, there is not a lot of detail about any particular era after this. Even the Superbowl teams of the seventies get a bit of a short shrift (less than a third of the book is devoted to this great team). Most of the stories, though, are less about the history of the team and more about personal anecdotes dealing with particular players and coaches. While this is mainly what I am interested in as a reader, I found that Mr. Rooney was fairly reluctant to say anything negative or controversial about his dear acquaintances. The book might have been better if there had been some more frank discussion about, say, the contentious relationship between Chuck Noll and Terry Bradshaw, for instance.

The book ends with several bland interviews with people associated with the Steelers and then a brief analysis of each NFL franchise by Rooney, punctuated by his (once again non-controversial) opinion of the current owner.

Nonetheless, this is a thoroughly enjoyable read, written in an engaging style with a good natural flow. The account provides a certain unique insight into the early days of the NFL. If you are a hard core Steeler or NFL fan, you will enjoy this retrospective.

Read more at paulmcrae.ca.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great History of the early NFL Dec 14 2007
Format:Hardcover
Lots of nifty little tidbits about the early years in the NFL and it's interesting owners and players. Curley Lambeau, Paul Brown, Johnny Unitas and MORE. A great read from a classy gentleman.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars RICK "SHAQ" GOLDSTEIN SAYS: "AN INTIMATE PERSONAL LOOK BEHIND "THE STEEL CURTAIN"! Nov. 18 2007
By Rick Shaq Goldstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I want to preface this review with the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers are not my favorite professional football team, but when they're not playing my favorite team I do root for them to win. One of the main reasons is that I've always felt that the city of Pittsburgh and the people of Pittsburgh represent the heart and inner strength of "blue-collar" America. One of the reasons my life revolved around sports, is because at a young age my Father told me: "It doesn't matter what your Father does for a living, what type of clothes you wear, whether you have a diploma on the wall or not, and no matter what type of accent you speak with, that when you're on an athletic field, it's you against them, and if you're better you'll win!" I was an underdog and so was Pittsburgh, and neither one of us ever stopped striving to win.

This book is the autobiography of Dan Rooney, the son of the "The Chief", Art Rooney Sr. the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Dan, whose 75 years of life coincides with the historical growth of the National Football League (NFL) from a rough scrabble "seat of the pants" operation to becoming the most popular game in America, in addition to becoming a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

The beauty of the author's storytelling is that despite Dan being a Pittsburgh Steeler all his life, his story is told with total honesty and compassion for all sides (teams) involved. Dan came from an Irish Catholic family and when I read about his youth, I closed my eyes, and as I imagined a movie being made about his life, I could only imagine one actor in the history of the cinema that would be perfectly cast in the lead role... "Jimmy Cagney"! Dan takes us from his childhood which included him being at the knees of NFL legends such as Papa Bear Halas, Bert Bell and other NFL founders who now all reside as does Dan in the Hall Of Fame, all the way through to the Steelers' five Super Bowl Championships. What gives this story so much more emotional impact than most biographies, is the reader can't fail but notice how unflinchingly Dan admits his and his team's mistakes as easily and as openly as most biographers gloat about their successes. To me one of the most endearing traits of Dan's is how many times he agonizes on how the Steelers' didn't keep, in his own words; "THE GREATEST QUARTERBACK OF ALL-TIME JOHNNY UNITAS!" They drafted him but never gave "Johnny U" a chance, then cut him. And the rest is history!

In the first few pages of the book Dan says that on December 23, 1972 with 22 seconds left on the clock in a game between the Oakland Raiders and his beloved Steelers that "THE MOST INCREDIBLE PLAY HE EVER SAW" took place: "THE IMMACULATE RECEPTION!" Over 200 pages later he states: "I BELIEVE THE IMMACULATE RECEPTION IS THE SINGLE GREATEST PLAY IN NFL HISTORY!"

By the end of this book, the reader realizes that you've gotten to know a unique individual, that despite being in a most competitive business is known for his dignity and integrity. When I finished reading Dan's story, I realized I read much more than the sports biography I thought I was going to read. What this book really is, is an open love letter to Dan's family, to the people of Pittsburgh, the State Of Pennsylvania, the Steeler players and fans, and to all NFL fans in the world. If you want to learn the history of the NFL this is the book for you. Or if you're simply tired of reading about all the spoiled, pampered, criminal elements in sports today, and want to simply read about a good man, then you've hit the "mother-lode" with this book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you are a Steeler fan, this is a great book! Dec 17 2007
By Duke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are a Steeler fan, this is a great book. The history of the Pittsburgh Steelers is fascinating. There are great insights into players, coaches, current and former NFL commissioners, and other team owners. What is also clear is the quality of the ownership of the team. The Rooney family is a class act. Art Rooney ("The Chief") was quite the businessman. I had no idea how much he was involved in. The success of the Pittsburgh Steelers is a testament to "good guys win." I have a newfound admiration for the Rooney family and a new sense of pride as part of the "Steeler Nation."
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars behind the Steel Curtain Dec 27 2007
By Neil Glasser - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A nice retrospective on one of the most successful franchises in sports over the past 35 years. The Steelers were equally as inept in their first 40 years, and that is covered too. Insights into many key moments in Steeler history - founding the team, cutting Johhny U, hiring Noll, Cowher & Tomlin, drafting of the Hall of Famers that dominated the 70's, passing on Dan Marino, and more. No big surprises, but an interesting, worthwhile read, especially for NFL fans and particularly any member of Steeler Nation.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Rooney Dec 27 2007
By Linda P. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This is a beautifully-written book that would be of interest even to those who don't know or care very much about football. Dan Rooney is the last of an important era in American football, and the authors have done a meticulous and caring job of capturing a significant piece of sports history. Don't miss this one!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dan Rooney: my 75 yrs with the Pitsburg Steelers & NFL Jan. 25 2009
By Alice Gess - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my son-in-law as a Christmas present. He started reading it and could not put it down. He kept telling my daughter about little passages in the book. Some of which brought tears to his eyes. He called me, all the way from Qatar, to tell me Thank you for the book. It was the best present ever that he could of received. They are both stationed in Qatar with the Air Force and now my daughter is reading it and she is not even a football fan. They said it makes them feel almost like they are at home.
Alice Gess, Holyoke, MA
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