July 9, 2008

Are You Sure We Can't Interest You In The Pirates, Mr. Druckenmiller?

"I have spent my entire life devoted to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the National Football League...I will do everything possible to work out a solution to ensure my father's legacy of keeping the Steelers in the Rooney family and in Pittsburgh for at least another 75 years."
- Dan Rooney
Ok, so I guess new ownership in Pittsburgh has just slightly more than a snowball's chance in hell.

I mean, seeing as how a man worth $3.5 billion (and ranked 91st out of the 400 richest people in America) wants to purchase a majority stake in the team, I imagine it's virtually inevitable. After all, cash trumps in America, does it not?

When I wrote yesterday's post (on Monday evening), all I knew was that three (at least I thought it was three) of the five Rooney's were interested in selling their shares. The name Stanley Druckenmiller was out there. But at least this blogger didn't actually think the aforementioned Rooneys would be so greedy as to reject an offer from their own brothers in favor of some random billionaire.

Since then, obviously a lot has come to light. It now appears that the sale of a controlling interest in the Steelers will likely be made in the next few days. To Stanley Druckenmiller, who, let the record show, plans to "include Dan and Art Rooney II in his ownership group." God, what a magnanimous fellow. You mean he'd be so gracious as to retain two of the most influential men in the proud Steelers history? The architects of a team that has won five Super Bowls in the last 35 years. Gee, isn't that swell.

Well, you know what? That isn't good enough for me.

I don't care if it was Druckenmiller's dream to someday own the Steelers. I'd like to own the Steelers too. Who wouldn't? But in my opinion, a real Steeler fan understands the significance of the Rooneys' ownership. This team has belonged to this family for its entire existence, and unlike most of today's owners, the Rooneys (Dan and Art II that is) seem to care just as much about winning championships as they do about making money.

A billionaire investor? I just don't know.

Of course, even if the Greedys four Rooneys sell their collective 64% to Druckenmiller, 24 of the leagues 32 owners would still have to approve the sale. But does anyone honestly think there are enough moral crusaders among the league's owners to stop the depressing affirmation that money is more important than family and tradition? I have my doubts.

So I think I've made my stance perfectly clear. But what about you guys? Am I over reacting? Is it too idealistic to believe in tradition these days? How do you think it will affect the team's future if Druckenmiller is installed as majority owner? And above all else - What would The Chief think of all this?

LATE ADDITION: We may not know what The Chief would think about all this, but we now know what THIS Chief thinks. Band together Steeler Nation. T[ogether] E[veryone] A[chieves] M[ore].

Pittsburgh's Rooneys Quietly Shop Steelers [Wall Street Journal]
Rooney Trying to Sell The Steelers? [PSAMP]
Questions, answers regarding Steelers' ownership situation [ESPN]
Serenity Now! [Blog 'n Gold]
‘The Rooney way’ is best path to NFL success [Sporting News]
Why Now For Steelers Sale? [KDKA]
Financier Makes Bid For Steelers [Associated Press]
'Low key' billionaire eyes up Steelers [Trib]


domski43 said...

First Druckenmiller is going to change the name of the Steelers, then he is going to move the team to Los Angeles, and make Steely McBeam head coach.

These are all rumors of course..

Doesnt the NFL have a policy against its owners being involved in gambling? Well, the Rooney bros own a few racetracks, which would take them out of contention to become an official owner of an NFL franchise. Unless they want to give up these money making gambling ventures and place their money solely into the Steelers (which I dont see happening)....i could be wrong of course, but this is my understanding...am I wrong!?!

domski43 said...

Steelers fans are not known to have knee-jerk reaction though...

p.s. fire bruce arians and mike tomlin while we are @ it!!

tobiathan said...

I'm saddened but not really surprised. In a world that values money above all else the Steelers organization has been an island of familial sanity and human values to me and many fans, i'm sure. It can be somewhat expected that certain persons in the Rooney family might consider their already enormous wealth insufficient. I know $35 million really doesn't buy much anymore, does it?

I'm verclempt- i don't even know how to express my dissatisfaction with this entire issue. How can the Rooney's(the greedy ones) not just quietly transfer their holdings in the Steelers to those who want to retain the team? Are they somehow afraid The Chief or Art II would desert them, or let them go broke? I doubt that would happen, personally. But apparently the "fam" doesn't doubt it.

I'll never understand how anyone with so much wealth could be so "needy" as to destroy almost a century of tradition for a "Few Dollars More". What, exactly, is the difference between $35 million and 40? Not much, beyond mathmetics.

This is ridiculous. Are the other family members going broke? Are they up to their asses in debt or on the verge of having to live like the rest of us? God forbid...

Why not just sell their shares for a percentage of profits over a certain span of time and call it even? It's not like most of those people have ever DONE anything for the Steelers anyway. Fuckers.

This makes me sick. I thought that the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Rooney familiy were everything right about pro sports. Now i see that isn't true.

I feel bad for Art II and Dan. They've done a lot for the city and for fans over the years. It's disgusting that their own family would turn into money-hungry greedy shits. I bet the original Chief is rolling over in his grave about this.

IMHO the Pittsburgh Steeler franchise needs to remain a Rooney business until there isn't a Rooney who wants it. Period. Anything else is shameful.