Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Danny Boy

It's a big St. Patrick's Day in Pittsburgh. Because in Washington, President Obama named Dan Rooney to be U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. Rooney, owner of the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, is not only known as a statesman of the NFL, "Mr. Rooney was in Washington last night to be honored by the American Ireland Fund, the group he has nurtured as a force for peace in Northern Ireland. He was at the White House today, St. Patrick's Day, for a reception for Brian Cowen, the Irish Taoiseach, or prime minister." So even though he enthusiastically supported Barack Obama in the PA primary and the general election, it's not a purely political appointment. The Rooney family (that's him with his revered father, Art Rooney, who started the Steelers) is probably the foremost family in Pittsburgh, so this is I'm sure another occasion for pride in the city. Dan Rooney, like his father, is known as honorable, fair, considerate, and in his case, thoughtful. He is responsible for the NFL's "Rooney Rule" which mandates interviewing minority candidates for open coaching positions. The Rooneys didn't usually get involved in partisan politics, but Dan Rooney saw something in Barack Obama, and apparently that was mutual. "Dan Rooney is an unwavering supporter of Irish peace, culture, and education," President Obama said on Tuesday. Congratulations.
This also comes as the University of Pittsburgh sends its men's basketball team to the NCAA tournament as a Number 1 seed, and its women's basketball team as a Number 4 seed. Congrats to them as well, and this concludes the sports portion of our program for probably quite a while.

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