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Old 01-10-2012, 03:10 AM   #1
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Default Pittsburgh Steelers' Rooneys tip cap to Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow

Pittsburgh Steelers' Rooneys tip cap to Denver Broncos' Tim Tebow, who was a smash even in Sin City

ByBrian Biggane
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
9:51 p.m. Monday, Jan. 9, 2012

Pat Rooney Sr. had a reasonable explanation Monday for how Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos beat the Rooneys and their Pittsburgh Steelers: "His prayers worked better than our prayers."

Eleven months after the Rooney clan gathered in Dallas for Super Bowl XLV between Pittsburgh and Green Bay, hopes of another reunion at this year's game in Indianapolis were quashed when Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas for an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime for a 29-23 victory Sunday in an AFC playoff game.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, said his son Tommy was so upset he couldn't eat dinner Sunday night.

When he asked his father what he could say when his friends gave him a hard time at school, the father replied, "Tell them the better team won, and ask them who has the most Super Bowls." (That, of course, would be the Steelers with six; Denver has won two.)

The Rooney family, which has close ties to Palm Beach County, including ownership of the Palm Beach Kennel Club, owns 30 percent of the Steelers franchise, with Dan Rooney, who is also the U.S. ambassador to Ireland, serving as chairman and his son Art II as president.

The Palm Beach Rooneys were all over the map Sunday. Pat Rooney Sr., the CEO of PBKC, was in Pennsylvania for the wedding of the daughter of Art II.

Joe Rooney, vice president of the kennel club, was at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas for a conference and his anniversary.

Tom Rooney and state Rep. Pat Rooney Jr., R-West Palm Beach, watched at home with their families.

Joe Rooney said that while the Steelers typically have a strong following in every U.S. city, the Tebow Factor was very much on display in Las Vegas.

"Other than those who were specifically Steeler fans, everybody else was behind Tebow," he said. "That's one of the first times in my life I've seen where there was that buzz.

"Even people who weren't football fans were in the sports book and lounges and you kept hearing, 'Tebow's on.' We moved around and everywhere the game was on, there was great interest."

Tom Rooney said he agreed with Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's strategy on stopping Tebow.

"My thought was, 'All we have to do is stack the line, make him throw, and we'll win,' " Tom Rooney said. "We did that, he threw and he burned us. There goes that philosophy."

Pat Rooney Sr. said he figured the Steelers had the better team going into the game even with several starters out or slowed by injuries. But when more injuries hit, he became concerned.

"When we got down to one starting defensive lineman, and our safety (Ryan Clark) was out, I started to question whether we would win," he said. "(Ben) Roethlisberger played pretty well considering he was playing on one leg. ... Our running back (Isaac Redman) played tremendous. But Tebow had the best game I've seen him play and their defense was tremendous."

Trailing 20-3 at halftime, Pittsburgh came back to tie at 23 and force overtime. But as Pat Rooney pointed out, the Steelers were lucky to take it that far.

"We got three huge breaks: the lateral pass to Mike Wallace they whistled dead, the (Willis) McGahee fumble, and Champ Bailey's dropped interception. And we still had to pull a rabbit out of the hat to tie."

The Rooneys questioned whether their banged-up team could have beaten New England (Denver's opponent) this Saturday and realize that the team's aging defense will soon need revamping. And they agreed that the Tebow phenomenon is unlike anything they have seen.

"If he goes to the Super Bowl it would be some story," Joe Rooney said. "Not that the popularity of the game is waning or anything, but it would be one of the great stories in recent memory."
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:33 AM   #2
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Very nice find -- thanks for posting.

And very classy comments from Tom Rooney -- I like how he instructed his son to tell classmates that the better team one, but who has more Super Bowls?
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:48 AM   #3
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Lost me at the first sentence.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:26 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chris View Post
Lost me at the first sentence.
I gathered he was saying that the NFL is very popular and will have a large draw but that tebow going to the superbowl would be be a intriguing story line
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:35 AM   #5
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Great read. I really liked this line:

"My thought was, 'All we have to do is stack the line, make him throw, and we'll win,' " Tom Rooney said. "We did that, he threw and he burned us. There goes that philosophy."
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:55 AM   #6
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I love it.
This is the new phrase to be freshly coined...

"The Tebow's on"
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