I’ve always admired Mr. Rooney and the life he’s lived. Mr. Rooney lives life and teaches life skills by example, not mere words. My broadcast partner and former teammate Tunch Ilkin related this story the other day.
On the Friday morning before the Super Bowl Tunch went for a walk or, as he calls it “Urban hiking.” It was around 7:00 am and the snow was flying in Fort Worth. The roads were bare of traffic save for an occassional car braving the “sanded,” not salted, snow covered streets.
As Tunch trudged along in downtown Fort Worth with the freezing temps and swirling snow, he runs into none other than Mr. and Mrs. Rooney.
Yes, walking on the snow and ice caked sidewalks wearing sneakers and a Steelers jacket was the United States Ambassador to Ireland and the Hall-of-Fame owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers accompanied by his wife. And they were just returning from a 6:00 am Mass service.
Not in a Limo, not even a cab. No pomp, no fanfare, no “entourage.” Just the essence of what it means to be a Pittsburgher and a Pittsburgh Steeler.
God, family, football.
Quiet humility and strength of character. Not drawing attention to himself. Not flaunting or flamboyant. Always setting a real-life example of personal conduct.
Just like his father, “The Chief.”
Somehow, I just don’t think you’d run into Jerry Jones like that in similar circumstances.