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On the Steelers; Home games belong in Pittsburgh, not Ireland

Here we go Steelers! Here we go….. To Ireland.

In what could only be viewed as a ‘what took so long’ announcement, Pittsburgh Steelers’ Chairman Emeritus Dan Rooney said yesterday that he would like the Steelers to play a regular season game in Ireland.

As most of you know, Mr. Rooney was named the ambassador to Ireland by President Barack Obama not long after Obama was elected to the oval officein 2008. The Rooney family has its’ roots in Ireland so this is about as shocking as the announcement that ‘Steely McBeam’ wasn’t popular.

Let this Steelers’ fan be very, very clear. I do not want my Steelers playing ANY regular season game in Ireland or England or Mexico or on freaking Mars. I have no doubts at all that this will also be one of OUR homes games in Pittsburgh that would be sacrificed and that is just flat-out wrong on every possible level.

Perhaps Mr. Rooney should read ‘The Ones Who Hit the Hardest: The Steelers, the Cowboys, the ’70s, and the Fight for America’s Soul’ which was an excellent book combining the rise of the 1970′s Steelers and Dallas Cowboys and paralleling it with the decline of the Steel Industry. By doing so, Mr. Rooney would be reminded of just what his organization means to the people of Pittsburgh.

These hard-working people get a total of eight regular season games a year to attend and taking one anywhere other than Heinz Field is a total slap in the face to these good people. At a time when teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins are putting large tarps over full sections of their stadiums to hide empty seats, why would we EVER consider doing this to the people of Pittsburgh is troubling.

You want to know what else is troubling? Has it occurred to any of you that the Rooneys continue to look more and more like NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s minions with each passing year of his leadership?

It was Mr. Rooney that stood up for and recommended Goodell for the job when Paul Tagliabue was retiring. Who has been the one team most-often cited for ‘illegal hits’ during Goodell’s tenure? The Steelers that’s who and we’ve heard nary a peep from the ownership regarding this obvious targeting of the team by Goodell. If you wondered why there’s your answer.

We know Goodell has serious plans of moving or establishing a team in Europe sooner rather than later so why not keep testing the market with a Steelers home game in Dublin right? Are the Dublin Steelers that far away?

This year’s European regular season game features the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams. Can you guess who isn’t losing a home game? My guess is Pats’ owner Bob Kraft pulled on the leash he keeps Goodell on and told him “no way do we give up a home game, but sure we’ll play in Europe.”

Think the Rooneys would do that? Nope. What Goodell wants from them, he gets. The Chief would have never tolerated this crap and Steelers fans, you shouldn’t either. Make your voices heard and demand regular season home games stay where they belong. A pre-season game? Sure, go ahead. Those are mostly useless anyway although I’m not crazy about that idea either. 

I understand the love and respect Mr. Rooney has for Ireland and I couldn’t be prouder to have the Rooney family as owners of my favorite team, but a regular season home game anywhere but Pittsburgh is just not right and we can certainly disagree with those we respect.

It’s time to do the right thing here Mr. Rooney and besides, I don’t know how good our Terrible Towels would look in green anyway.

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