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Dan Rooney says league isn’t singling out Steelers

Super Bowl XLV Getty Images

Despite the outcome of Super Bowl XL and the league office’s decision to allow the Rooneys to remain in clear violation of the NFL’s anti-gambling policies for months while the ownership situation was straightened out, many Steelers fans (and a few Steelers players) think that the powers-that-be are picking on the Pittsburgh team when it comes to hits on defenseless receivers.

Steelers chairman emeritus Dan Rooney disagrees.

‘I don’t think [the NFL is] calling it the ‘Steelers Rule;’ I think the press is,” Rooney said, per the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “It’s just one of those things where you have to play and just do what you have to do.”

That said, Dan Rooney doesn’t think expansion of the protections applied to pass-catches is necessary.  “I think there’s too many things involved to have that rule,” Rooney said while attending the unveiling of the team’s 2010 highlight video at Heinz Field.

That’s fine, but the rule changes passed unanimously last month.  Which means that the Steelers and every other team voted for the changes.

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28 Responses to “Dan Rooney says league isn’t singling out Steelers”
  1. fltharley says: Jun 4, 2011 8:57 AM

    im a browns fan and hate the steelers but i side with harrison and other steelers against the sissy rules roger goodell is shoving down peoples throat. it will for ever change the game of football and i do not want two hand touch football. AND LISTEN CAREFULLY ROGER GOODELL I DO NOT WANT A 18 GAME SCHEDULE. id like to know how it is that the owners locked out the players and does not allow any league buisness to be conducted but yet they get together and conduct buisness. is this just me or does this sound like a unfair labor practice ?

  2. mikebrownistheworstownerinprosports says: Jun 4, 2011 9:26 AM

    I would expect a browns fan to side with the steelers in this case. TJ Ward knocked a defenseless WR (Jordan Shipley) out cold last season… Shipley laid motionless on the field for several moments…very scary. I’m sorry, but there is no place for that stuff in the game. How quickly some of you forget Dave Duerson. Or maybe you didn’t care in the first place, as long as you can see your big (dirty) hits on espn right?

  3. vahawker says: Jun 4, 2011 9:52 AM

    ROGER GOODELL DOES NOT MAKE THE RULES!!! Why is that such a difficult concept for so many people?

  4. willycents says: Jun 4, 2011 10:53 AM

    I believe the emphasis on safety in the last year or so come from two different catalysts.
    1. the smaller one, concern for the players safety and the protection of the teams investments in them.
    2. The giant one, concern about litigation in the future concerning injuries. The league wants to avoid lawsuits stating “The NFL did not do enough to protect ME from injury.”

    I really believe the rules are being instituted for the same reason we are in the current labor mess….lawyers wanting to make a buck.

  5. dryzzt23 says: Jun 4, 2011 10:57 AM

    18 game schedule clarification

    They are NOT adding 2 more games! All they are doing is converting the last 2 preseason games to regular season games.

    Why is it that the sports media and idiot NFL fans cannot grasp this concept. For YEARS fans have complained about paying regular season prices for preseason games, now that Goodell & Co. plan to make 2 of the”exhibition” games count, you people are in an uproar about it?

    I am amazed how the sports media puts forth this misperseption of the 2 new games. ESPN must be ultra dense, either that or they have an agenda to drill down into fans by attempting to give misinformation and thus causing fans to side with the players.

    I am sure the Steve Czaban sees through all this and tells his listeners what the real deal is.

  6. fltharley says: Jun 4, 2011 10:59 AM

    the only reason goodell is changing the rules is he wants the players to be able to play 18 game schedule he does not care about player safety. and to complain about tj ward . how many of the same kind of hits has troy polamolu and harrison and hines ward given out with no complaints by the steeler fans , but let someone else do what they do and they complain

  7. dirtyharry1971 says: Jun 4, 2011 11:03 AM

    This is totally amazing, the steelers have been by far the dirtiest team in football going back to the beginning of their steroid era in the 70’s. And someone needs to shut up old man rooney there, he’s even more pathetic

  8. paulieorkid says: Jun 4, 2011 11:13 AM

    I strongly agree with willycents, particularly if “the smaller one” makes up 0.0001% and “the giant one” comprises 99.9999%.

    As for why the owners voted a unanimous 32-0, that was to further a show of owner/commish solidarity as we continue to plunge deeper into the labor strife.

    The owners are not going to crack — not at this point in time, … particularly over a rule change pitched as a Clara Bow-esque “concern for player safety.”

  9. vahawker says: Jun 4, 2011 11:39 AM

    dryzzt23 says: Jun 4, 2011 10:57 AM

    18 game schedule clarification

    They are NOT adding 2 more games! All they are doing is converting the last 2 preseason games to regular season games
    **********************************************

    There is tremendous difference between preseason games where starters play a series or two, or maybe a half of football, with vanilla offenses and defenses and nothing on the line and a regular season game where starters are playing full out(except Haynesworth, of course) and every win or lose could determine a playoff birth.

  10. vahawker says: Jun 4, 2011 11:41 AM

    Goodell doesn’t make the rules, Goodell doesn’t make the rules, Goodell doesn’t make the rules, Goodell doesn’t make the rules, Goodell doesn’t make the rules, Goodell doesn’t make the rules…….

  11. hobartbaker says: Jun 4, 2011 11:44 AM

    “Besides”, cackled the wee fellow, “You have any idea how sweet it is to be called a bully when you’ve never been more than 4’11” ?”.

  12. hobartbaker says: Jun 4, 2011 11:48 AM

    You’d have to be a legally blind leprechaun not to see what’s going on.

  13. souldogdave says: Jun 4, 2011 11:51 AM

    Pre- season games are much different, coached differently because they are EXHIBITION games, where they look at new draftees and free-agents.They do some tune-ups but it is much different when they count.So to say an 18 game season is the same because of two less exhibition games is misleading at best, and actually a stupid rationalization prompted by owner greed.

  14. paulieorkid says: Jun 4, 2011 12:04 PM

    Agree with vahawk, it is NOT a wash – as is pitched by Goodell.

    The two added regular season games are starkly different than the two pre-season games they’re to be subbed out for under the 18 game proposal.

    Moreover, the 2 pre-season games will be much more intense too – given the urgent need to glean enormous amounts of player personnel information in a very condensed set of opps.

    The practical effect is to almost convert a 16 game schedule into a 20 game schedule (not counting the playoffs). Not cool.

    Even worse for a Commish hyping his profound concern for player safety.

  15. stixzidinia says: Jun 4, 2011 12:06 PM

    That’s alright. The Steelers will continue playing football the way it was meant to be played. Fines or suspensions be damned. Let everyone else drink the Pansy flavored Kool Aid.

  16. fltharley says: Jun 4, 2011 12:12 PM

    im fine with getting rid of the two preseason games but i absolutely detest addding two regular season games , ask anyone in canadian football. ive listened to the players and all of them say they get burned out 3/4 thru the season. not only that but every year they talk about hitting the wall in the nfl with 16 games. i say leaves the damn rules alone and recind the ones inacted so far twice now the owners have met to change rules while there is a lockout on. im of the believe that the meetings where an unfair labor violation , tell me how the owners can conduct league buisness when players and coach’s are locked out ?????????

  17. myballsmyrules says: Jun 4, 2011 12:14 PM

    PFT said:

    Despite the outcome of Super Bowl XL and the league office’s decision to allow the Rooneys to remain in clear violation of the NFL’s anti-gambling policies for months while the ownership situation was straightened out, many Steelers fans (and a few Steelers players) think that the powers-that-be are picking on the Pittsburgh team when it comes to hits on defenseless receivers.

    **************************************

    Of course the league caters to the Steelers. Above examples clearly show that.
    Allowing a patchwork of owners and not ONE single person owns more than 30% still!!!!
    Yet the league wants to block Kroenke from owning the Rams unless he gets rid of a basketball team in another state thousands of miles away.

    Does anyone even realize who the largest stakeholder in the Steelers is?

    It’s PNC Bank, and they have controlling interest in the club cause all the other “owners” BORROWED the money to “adhere” to the ownership rules which are very flexible when pertaining to the Steelers

  18. t1mmy10 says: Jun 4, 2011 1:10 PM

    Whoa. “Despite the outcome of super bowl XL?” I hope you’re kidding, cause even Mike Pereria said the game was appropriately officiated not to mention the steelers flat out out played the seahawks. And I guess fining a player 100k for one game isn’t making an example out of him, meanwhile other players are fined for a fraction when they sucker punch a qb.

    Just go back to making homerific comments about the vikings.

  19. willycents says: Jun 4, 2011 1:10 PM

    I remember the 12 game schedule, the 14 game schedule, and now the 16 game schedule. Both times that the schedule of regular season games has been increased, I have heard the same story lines from the fans, howbeit that now with the web it is more available for all to hear.
    The fans and media, both previous times, have voiced opposition, too much football, overexposure will kill interest, blah blah blah.
    Both times the players have yelled, “OMG we’ll die, be injured more, our lives and careers will end. THE SKY WILL FALL”
    Amazingly, none of the above happened.
    For all you concerned about the players injuries and over-exertion by converting two pre-season games to regular games, about whatever myriad of reasons you have for not extending it: Suppose you “put your money where your mouth is;” start lobbying for a return to the twelve game schedule with no additional pre-season games. That will protect your players more than anything else: less opportunity for injury, extended careers, etc. That should also cure most of the reasons you all have for not extending it; ie, overexposure, cost of season tickets, etc.
    Personally, I like the 16/4 setup currently in use. However, just like the “lay down” games at the end of the season for the league leaders (which the league addressed), the pre-season games need to be addressed to make them more entertaining and competitive, raise the level of play, if you wish. I have no solution, but, one needs to be found.

  20. myballsmyrules says: Jun 4, 2011 1:21 PM

    Maybe they should rename the team the
    PNC BANK STEELERS.

    And why don’t they get some cheerleaders?

    Deb would make a fine cherrleader. I would much rather see her cheering on the field in an outfit and pompms , than cheering here! :-D

  21. Deb says: Jun 4, 2011 1:40 PM

    Yes, the league cut the Rooneys some slack while they engineered the restructuring of the team. Given what the family has meant to the league–and the fact that Dan was not personally involved in gambling ventures–I think that was appropriate. And since you’ve repeatedly suggested Dan ride in on his white steed and rescue the league from this impasse, I’ll assume you didn’t really want the league to strip him of Steelers ownership, now did you?

    As for SBXL, the officiating was horrible, but it went both ways. Calls went against the Steelers as well as for them. I’m confident in the win, so that doesn’t bother me. What does bother me is that the league has made no effort in the last five years to correct its officiating issues and they’ve only gotten worse. Rather than tossing in an irrelevant SBXL reference designed to generate comments, why not start lobbying for booth review?

    I agree that no one in the league is targeting the Steelers. I also agree with Dan that these rules were poorly considered, will lead to chaos on the field, and most important, won’t minimize head trauma. You may recall, however, that Dan has said he is not making the decisions. Art II is the one who voted with the league on this matter.

  22. Deb says: Jun 4, 2011 1:45 PM

    @vahawker …

    It’s true that Goodell represents the owners, but don’t underestimate the commissioner’s influence or ability to drive his own agenda. The owners say, “Congress is sniffing around and talking about holding hearings on head injuries. Make them go away.” Then Goodell decides how to accomplish that. He’s their hatchet man and they don’t really care how he gets it done. He comes back and says, “Vote for this,” and they do.

    His decisionmaking in this case is sloppy and flawed. These rules won’t solve the problem of traumatic head injuries, they’ll just create more chaos on the field. Yes, he is very much to blame for this and many more problems in the league … just as Pete Rozell is to be credited for laying the groundwork that turned the league into the sports powerhouse it is today.

  23. scott8nj says: Jun 4, 2011 3:41 PM

    I enjoyed your answer, vahawker. I don’t like the 18 game schedule either, but I do agree that paying full price for pre-season games is crap. So are PSL’s, $35 parking, 9$ beers, etc…. But, if charging $100 a beer made them the most money in the end, that’s what they would do. There’s no loyalty or gratitude to the fans, who have made this game what it is today.

  24. quizguy66 says: Jun 4, 2011 3:53 PM

    @paulieorkid a Clara Bow reference? I think you overestimate the audience here ;)

    Of course the league isn’t singling out the Steelers, it’s just the fact that this will have a bigger impact on the Steelers given their, um, style of play that just happens to have, um, how you say, a good dose of cheap shots.

    -QG

  25. halftermguv says: Jun 4, 2011 4:43 PM

    Again with SB XL? Recall how the myth got started. A well over the hill John Madden with the observation skills of Stevie Wonder blew the commentary during the broadcast. ESPN spent an hour the next day showing all the camera angles and an explanation of rules enforcement and cleared all the calls with the exception of Hasselbeck’s blocking foul.

    You seem to ignore how fed up Steelers fans are when this crap is recycled by a few idiots who refuse to believe the truth or is that the point of the post?

  26. Deb says: Jun 4, 2011 5:01 PM

    @myballsmyrules …

    Now it’s a cheeleader fantasy? How predictable. The Steelers don’t need that kind of folderol. Every member of Steeler Nation is a cheerleader. And we wave towels not pom-poms.

    You know, brownsfrown loves me for my mind :P

  27. myballsmyrules says: Jun 5, 2011 3:45 AM

    It’s all brady Bunch and Hunky Dory, but I still have not seen the biggest fake of all justify or deny why PNC Bank wns majority ownership of the Steelers?

    Why will the league make Stan Kroenke rid himself of ownership of a Denver basketbal team just so he can buy the St. Louis Rams, but will allow the Steelers to be controlled by a bank that holds the note AND intersest payments?

    I guess shady women and shady teams go hand in hand.

  28. Deb says: Jun 5, 2011 3:52 PM

    @myballsmyrules …

    Shady women? You were posting at 3:45 a.m.–and obviously into something mind-altering–while I was up this morning teaching a Bible class. Sounds like you’re the one on the shady side.

    The Steelers aren’t controlled by a bank. Dan Rooney holds the majority share, but two other Rooney family members also hold shares, and the rest of the team is held by minority owners. Dan took out a loan to buy out his brothers; he’s hardly the only NFL owner to take out a bank loan, and I doubt he’s the only owner currently paying interest on a bank loan. Kroenke had to sell his share in the Nuggets because of rules regarding ownership of multiple sports franchises. The two situations have nothing to do with each other.

    Hope you’re sleeping it off.

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