Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 1 year ago

Jim Rooney

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joining the Huddle is Jim Rooney, son of former Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney. Rooney discusses his novel, A Different Way to Win, and his dad's legacy. Gus and Rooney also talk about NFL topics such as the Rooney rule and the two debate who they feel is the rudest fan base in the country. Find out all of this and more when you join Gus and Jim Rooney in the huddle! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Welcome everyone to huddle up with Gus,where we talk to our guests, about how sports shake their life. I'm your hostGus Forott fifteen year, NFL quarterback and I'm joined by mylongtime friend and cohout Dave Hager. You can now find us, under the big topwith the sports circus and ring master Sou. Look for us on MTV amp, tvcom, heloone owelome. Another episode, ofutO Eyouho fifteen year at Bou, quarterback inm, usually joined bymycohost day, but Dave is not with me today. So I'll be running this episodeSolo, I'm pretty excited about that. Today's guest, Jim Roony, you probably definitely know the lastname, but Jim has been around. Obviously one ofthe Roonis part of the steelers family for a long time wrote an incrediblebook called a different way to win about his father and the stories in itare incredible. We're going to get a little bit to of those in later, buttoday's guest, Jim Roony, thanks for joiing US Jim, and glad to have you onhuddle up with Gus Gos. It's great to see you great to be here, love to see aPittsburgh kid from the football world doing well so great to be part of theproject we're doing. Okay, I need a little bit of a haircut but other thanthat o. You know once once, once I can go, get a haircut I'l feel a lot better. I'M LUCKY YEAH YOU'RE! Lucky you gotlittle razor. You can you can do that work, so you know an how we always start theshow. We want to find out a little bit about you and your childhood and thatfirst memory that you have and probably can guess what it is, but the firstmemor you have of why you fell in love with sports. Well, you know Gus. I was born into it.There's not lot much. I could say I've had this, this fantastic life becauseof this industry and it's been a a blessing. I guess the story, though Tthat I remember most, that that is the sort of introduction is you know my family would always go tak to thesegames and come back. You know five hours later and be mighting, so sothere's nine of us, I'm the eighth of nine and mean my sister Joan wouldwould be baby sat because wewere too young go the games, and so there wasthis gamearound Christmas time and they all came back and everyone was cryingand cheering, and my brother Dan who's about five years older than me pickedme up and hug me. My mother grabbed me and Ug me, and that was the day of theIMACTAT reception. So I was five or six years old didn't go, but but you knowthree hours later. The way they came into the house was about as happy asI'd ever seen. You know my family H. I couldn't even imagine that I mean thatthat's a great memory, so you being one of nine, you had almost awhole. You had a team right there, so I couldn't imagine what it was like foryou guys. If you were bored you know dad would just send you outside go say:Go play ball on the street or do something like that. What did you guysdo when you were when you were young, when you were growing up? What was yourgame of choice? Well, so we played football every single day and we had wehad so so there was nine of us four boys and my younger sister and two ofmy sisters were probably better than than all of us. Had We've been you know,thirty years later they would have, they would have been the star athletesand Wehad a family whose uncle actually was Pete flarry. The mayor, their namewas Smith and theyre, their billy conn. The great boxer was their ancle. Theywere all great athletes. A couple months of STAANFORD and a couple otherplaces played football. So there was, there was five of them, nine of us, and-and you know we play football every single day. I remember one day myfather comes home, so you'r thinking the good side of the story, but we'reoutside playing with this football, and I got it out of his closet and so we'replaying, and he goes where d you get that ball and it's an NFL ball and I shouid you know I got out of thecloset, he gave it to me and he was so...

...upset. Well e. It was the game ballfrom super bowl thirteen and he just meant to get a painted, and he neveryou know just didn't get around o because he had a million things goingon. So we scraped that ball off a little bit played football in thestreet. Did he still get it painted? He did get it paid and Y. We never touchedit again. After that I could ave man mean for me growing up. I grew up inFort City and Fort Cliffe. We wereon our bikes go, get all the kids in aneighborhood. We had a Ballfield, we went to and we had a basketball court.We played everything I mean as long as you have a place to play. Did you guysplay Wulfaball at all? We played wit football. We played, you know baseball yeah, it was you know it was such agood time because you playe three sports and you know I was. I wasn'tvery good at them. I mean I had friends who played basketball and wrestling inthe winter. You know in addition to football and baseball, so you know thatwas such a great time that you just you just played and I think and again I'mmy athletic ability is limited, but we were better and I think, a lot of wayswe may not have been conditioned and we may not have known the strategy thesame way, but you had to play all three sports. You know you learn, moves andbasketball that would help you not get tackled and football. You learned eyecoordination hitting the ball and baseball. You know that helped youcatch a football and and look the world is the world, I'm glad that that we'rerat, but I do think, there's something missing where we don't have the thethree sport world anymore. No, I totally agree, and I think the otherthing too is missing. Is You know when you went out with all those people andyou played in the streets? You had a like. You had to be the the referee,the coach. You know there were no parents around. There were no otherpeople telling you how to pick teams and all that and you figure thosethings out on your own, and I thought that's such a valuable lesson that ourkids today kind of Miss. Well absolutely my my brother Dan, whoI've mentioned before he's a Scolt for the tils lives down in North Carolinahe's actually the guy that found Willie Parker we're talking about scoutingpeople, but Dan beat the crap out of me. So many times I dropped the ball. You Idon't know if you guys did this, but you had you'd have one series and ifyou had three receptions you guy have Tah Yep. So if I dropped a ball on thatthird reception man, it was. It was the worst thing in the world because mybrother beat the grap out of me for that. So that's that's! Pretty goodyeah, that's resally way, yeah, that's usually outwey, but you know. I thinkthat kids don't learn those types of things.You know it just respect when you're the younger one, you got to respect theolder one and the older one has to take care of the younger ones too, eventhough they may be tough on you, but nobody's Goin to be a bully to my kitof my team right and that's kind of how it went. I think we missed some of thattoday and, and I just enjoyed sports my whole life the same way you did. Wegrew up in town, they had a lot of kids and and we just went out and we playedand we had a lot of fun and yeah. Sometimes you got in Abroa, but youknow the thing about it was you just left it go and you went right back andstarted playing again. We'd get in fights, you know to go, go home forlunch, hi, the kids that fought. You know after lunch, they'd be on the sameteam and you know you were you were ready to go. I mean you, never, youknow my best friends. I fought with more than anyone else. Theter foughtwith in my life. You know and they're my best friends today. You know right,so your family has a little bit of boxing. History did did any of you oryour brother and SI sister emey ever do any boxing. So that's a great questionGossi. I remember I was going to join this boxing club and it's really atouching thing. Actually, every time I tell the story kind of Tarap, and Iunderstand it now, even more so and so e'mjoying. This boxing club and matherthought this would be good. Athletically I've diabetes. So you knoweverything about. It was sort of good and my grandfather stepped inYounowarroony, the chief he said he's not boxing, and my mother said. Thatwould be good for him. He said I boxed, so these kids would never have to, andyou know I has you know I still it still gets me like. The sacrifice thatboxers make is like no author, and you know that and and his willingness toreally own that that was his life, that...

...he did, that you know for the nextgenerations of his family and- and you know, that's the American dream e.These folks, that are, you know a hundred years ago now took onresponsibilities and sacrifices and ways that you know are just are just amazing andlook IV benefited. My family is benefited, but my grandfather whostarted the team and really started us in the sports industry. You know itwasn't easy, it wasn't always fun, it was, you know, wasn't romantic andthat's part of the path yeah. I know I completely get it. Did your grandfatherever talk about who his favorite boxer was? Well, you know his favorite boxer wasbilly con. You know the Pittsburgh kid right. W was his promoter with okay,you know but, but he had you know. You know the one thing that that isn'ttalked about in the history of Art Roony as much as my grandfatherpromoted. The first fight between two African Americans for an openheavyweight championship at Forbes field in one thousand nine hundred andfifty two, I believe, Jersey, Joe Walcotton Esra Charles it was when JoeLewis retired. I O T, was the promoter of the fight to you. No Win The cha theheavyweight championship after that, so he actually did a lot in boxing inthose early days and then you know kind of it went to Vegas and sort of BeyonPittsburgh, but ut. You know Pittsburgh was a great fight town. I got to thinkthere had to be some great boxes up in Armstrong County, and I bet he. Youknow he helped promote them or SOE IMEAN. He was heavily involved throughthe tens in boxin yeah, there's some great little boxing clubs around thePittsburgh area. I mean I've been to a few recently where there's those boxingclubs are still going and you can go see a match for charity and differentthings like that and they're kind of fun. My wife always gets nervous. She aswhen anybody get hurt, but I said the you know most of them are. You know ifthey're younger, they're wearing the headsets and everything, but you knowboxing it's kind of a markable story about your grandfather. How he was sointo boxing seems like sometimes when you get in grain and boxing it's hardto pull yourself away and then how he switched and said: okay, I'm going toget into football when it wasn't. Even I mean there were a lot of stripes andhardships back then, with football wel, you know it's Fin. I've been speakingTa to students throughout this I've talked to about ten different sportsindustry sports business students. You know in these schools across thecountry that the sports management program throughout this sort of covidexperience and you know and all of them I said, look my grandfather. You knowwe own this business tyle! That's you know. Unbelievably, you know valuable whatever they call it. Youknow, but my grandfather got into it because it was during the depression.He would have preferred to buy a baseball team, but he could neverafford to do that. He got in the steelers because it cost nothing to getin. You know got lucky and I've been telling these kids like look, thinkabout the sports industry. Think about what's going on with with things that,like you and I are doing these online things, is there a way you can create anew type of engagement with the fans? Is there something you can invent? Isthere? Is there something you can get into now? Well, while you knowtherthere's some tough times around parts of the industry, because you know thisis going to be a great opportunity, ten fifteen years from now- and that'scertainly the path my grandfather took, but but so, but boxing fed him until the mids. Imean it really was my father who took the steelis business and made itsuccessful. My grandfather's success in business really was much more boxingthan it ever really wasn't football yeah. I just interviewed Steve Lot. Hewas, I don't know if you know who Steve is,but he has the boxing hall of Fame Yeah Online and he was assistant managerwith Tyson, and he has seventy five years of boxing footage that heactually owns, and we had a great conversation about boxing and man. Hisknowledge of it was incredible. D goes whole way back into the TS and es andhow it started and and how our country fell in love with it and- and he wastalking about. I think it was when who was it fighting over inIreland? Was it Ireland they were...

...fighting? I can't remember who it was, but hesaid the president called him and said your country is, is betting on? You mayhave been Joe Lewis, I'm not sure who was fighting at that time. Right Tadyou, you know. The President calls you and says: Hey your country is behindyou. We want you to win like you got to win that round. Right, you're, fightingsomebody from Europe and it's like okay, this is a big match and boxing is justsuch ingrained inoour history. I think it was just incredible that now it's all flit like boxing was bigger.Football wasn't as big and it's all just kind of taken, a different turn,and it's amazing that the long game that your family had to look at thatand see that, as this is something that we think is going to work well, yeah,my father, I think Dan Rony did a lot for the business of the whole sportsindustry, but particularly it relates to the NFL. When you look at the Laboragreements, you know he was the first owner way ahead on labor. Mygrandfather, art actually is the guy who made the proposal in a League meeting that therebe a players union in one thousand, nine hundred and fifty seven and thenmy father, you know was the chief negotiator, and you know he was thefirst one that understood free agencies going to come. We have to find a way tocreate competitive balance and keep the game interesting for our fans, but youcan't not let the players have some degree of movement, and you know he was.He was talking about that in the mids and you know you didn't get threeagency until ninety three, but it was that approach to business that myfather always looked at. Look: Let's grow this pie as large as we can andthat's going to happen best if we're all willing to share whether it was therevenue sharing between the teams or free agency with the with the players,and you know, look a the NFL as gone through the roof and there werecertainly a lot of people involved. But I always feel that you know that thatsort of steady hand, my father, would be as tough as you could be in certainnegotiations. But he always looked at the big picture and- and you know andunderstood that you have to treat people well and if you did that you know, I contribute that to so much of thereason the NFL has become what it's become right: You're listening toHuddloe up with guss GUS FROT and we're here with Jim Rooney, and you can catchus on Radiocom or wherever you listen, your favorite podcast and on amp TV AA,MP, DOT TV. So J, let's go back, you know, I think your family, I meaneverybody in your family, all went to the same high school, an Mi correct. Weactually didn't. We all went to different high school. Really. Ithought you guys Weong North Catholic kind of the detion before us did so my dad andhis brothers. They all went to north and then my mother wanted. You wantedus to go to some other school, so art and I oer WHO's. The present my brotherart went to a school called Gilmore Academy, which is a holy crossbrother.School noterdame actually owned this school, it's in Ohio back in the dayand my son actually went there and then my brothers, Dan and John went to wentto other schools. All my sisters had to go to the all girls Catholic schoolnear our house, and you know my brothers and I were were going to theseother places, but so so, but north I is an important part of our family, andyou know they've done a great thing right now, they've even moved furthernorth yeah. You should be a lot closer for you guys. But what was it like foryou? When you went to Gilmore, I mean it's. Your way from home was like aboarding school. Almost it did yeah. As I said, art and I lived in Dorms, and Iguess ten did as well, and you know so so my mother felt that inanymity wouldbe a good thing for us in high school that that the idea of everyone, stortof knowing the rudy story is, is great and we're very grateful for the life wehaven't Hitsburg gut during that time. For this critical time she thought thatthat would happen. Well, she sends a school that is basically in Clevelandand er knows the roonies, but they hate...

...us Tay. You know you poutd have sent usin the middle of Indiana or something, but you know so so we put up with a lot of abuse for manymany years going to Brown's games, and I was there going o Raht raght beforeyou started the NFL when, when burning was sort of tearing up the leage yeah,the browns had some good teams late es early S, as did they were beating thesteels all the time when I was in high school, so did you play sports in highschool three sports, an yeah I played I played. You know I played varityfootball, you I'm about five foot eight, but I playe defensive back. You know Igot a letter when I was a when I was a sophomore and- and I played catcher,but I just didn't- have the arm after JV. I Love Baseball. I just didn't.Have the arm to you know gun that ball down to second? Well enough, so theybasically said you you can you can play second base or get out of here, and youknow, I think it play one more year at second base. But it's you know. I just wasn't good enough right. Youknow it's a tough sport. I mean you got to have all the talent and you got tobuild that cake and if you're missing something little I mean for me,baseball was a mental game. For me, you know where I had an arm to be able tothrow the ball but mentally pitching where everybody thought I would. Youknow, be six five sanding on the mount and throw a ninety milen hour fastballbut Mentalle to do it for six or seven intings. I just wasn't there yet as akid I just didn't like it. You know and that's why baseball I mean. Luckily Icould. I could hit okay but other than that. So did you ever have that problemwhere I'm playing against you know you're playning, against schools up inCleveland, I'm sure- and they said all those are the rudy boys ere going to goafter Hem. Oh yeah th that happened in footballall the time. You know I think it you know I was. I was defensive back and arunning back and you know I had people jumping on the pile taking shots. Youknow all the time and- and you know I was a little bit like Deon Sanders. Iwore my war number twenty one and I was always talking craft to these kidsabout you know the steelers won all these super bowls. You know like I was always in. I wasthat little Gud that had too big a mouth and I paid for it more often thanI should have yeah, but you know what I think, that's kind of fun. I thinkthat's kind of what you had to do. You know if I was in your shoes, I probablywould have done the same thing like you got to stick up for yourself,especially when you're not at your home you're away and it's you and yourbrothers and you got to kind of say all right, we're going to go out and dothis thing and we're going to stick up for where we're from, and I thinkthat's that pride that comes out in you. I had this huge steeler stadium, Co.You know those coats that go down to your ankles o yeah. So you know it'salways cold. Ind Cleveland. You played some games up there, so every I getabout ten seats, you know was awesome. We go down to to municipal stadium, youknow, get a row and I take all my all my teammates to the game and they'realways like Don'e. You have to wear the jacket and every time an people startthrowing beer, and these guys are all browns fans and they end up haping tobe in fights in the stadium, because I'm wearing the steeler, Jack andthey're just like okay, you just leave it in the car today and I'm like you,I'm like I'm, not back and down. You know an they're like yeah, but we allhave to fight for hat right yeah. They got to stick up for you, you know n.When I would go play in Philadelphia. You know I would. I would always kindof when I get tickets for friends and family. I say look, I know you guyswant to wear. I was with the redskins play for the Vikings we went there. Isaid now you want to wear our colors and my Jersey and all that, but maybeshoe just wear like a kind of bland coat over top of it. You know becausethose eagles fans are kind of nuts. I'm sure that similar story that you hadthere and I'm sure you know you know I've been a lot of games here inPittsburgh to an the seeters fans, are a little bit like that, but they're notas bad as other places. I've been yeah Cleveland's top FOM BaltmorestomPhilly's the works. I went to a flyers game. You know playoff game against thepens. Once and same thing I mean weere.

We were adult, but there was abouteight of us in this row and I'm like man, I'm sitting on the end of thisroad. This. This is not it's not a comfortable feeling in Philadelphia.You Know Start Your Day, sunny side up at the Westen, Bonaventure Hotel andSueets, and enjoy breakfast for two on us, no matter how you plan to spendyour trip to Los Angeles start every day with a hearty meal to kick startyour morning enjoy breakfast for two on US each day. You stay for reservations,be sure that premo code S for B appears in the Promo codebox when making youronline reservation at Mariottcom backsl, LAX, bw or call one eight hundred Tue,O Eight hnine t ured D. Ninety, and as for Promotional Code, SFOR B, H, yeah,so Dante call pepper. If you remember him a quarterback, we were togetherinto Vikings. We go play in a playoff game in Philly and the teams evenwarning us, like you know, if your familys coming, you know that I know th,they want Tus they're, proud of you. They want to wear your stuff and anddon't we, you know I cemember Dantes mom, saying no, I'm wearing I'msupporting my son wearing all this stuff and- and I forget how many beersshe had thrown on her like they had a escort, so many people out of hersection it was it got really ugly, I mean Philadelphia is that's why theyhad a jail in the prisoner or in the stadium. I GUESS! Well, you know thatthat franchise is the franchise. My grandfather started. So in one thousandnine hundred and forty eight, we switched that there was. You knowsome big thing after the war and financing. So the guy bought the steelrfrom my grandfather and he was going to move himto Boston and my grandfatherwas going ta partner with Bird Bell, Righ Philadelphia and he decided hewanted to go to Philadelphia and my dad convinced Berk Bell to come toPittsburgh. We never missed the season, but but there was actually a time whenthere might not have been football in Pittsburgh. We would have been involvedin Philadelphia, so so the franchise that is the steelers actually is theoriginal egles and they the egoes, are the original steelers. Not Too manypeople know that that no no, that makes the rovelry go way back then, okay,right so after high school, you graduate from Gilmore what was yournext step? F R for you, so I was. I was one of those kids. You know another guythat you know inspired Tor that lifetime you and I had in those late s.You know I'll, never forget this game. It was the Friday after Thanksgiving one thousandnine hundred and eighty five or six, I'm watching Boston College in thislittle quarterback throw this pass, and so so I end up going to BC. Love BC hada great time up in Boston. Never you H, v, never never picked up a footballthere couldn't get couldn't get near that team, but it was, it was a greatplace to be and actually became, became buddies for a while with, I think, aguy you were teamates with in, were you ovea teammates with Romanowskyyeah, so yeah o Romo and I were buddies for for a little bit. He was, I thinkhe was a year ahead of me and you K O. We just became friends because of youknow different things, but hat yeah, I love Drummo Yeah Yeah Romo was great.People really had issues with them, but I never did we always kind of sat byeach other on the planes. When I played F, we played together on the broncosright bill. Alays had this big suitcase with them right and El has all kind ofpills and creams and- and I remember wha, were I can't remember who we wereplaying, but I I got my elbow was just killing me because I got hit and I saidRomo, you got anything for me and he gave me this this cream out of an oldoil oil, velet Jarn, he said look this plant was picked under a full moon withno clouds in the sky. We made into a cream it's kind of healt, your elvowand I'm like yeah, okay. I hope I don't have to drug test next week. You know and likethere's the the drugset, but you know people that aren't in Locke rooms and Lik. I was a ballboyETCEA, you ere a player, but don't realize there's always one or two thosesuperstitious guys and they got the craziest stuff in the world going onthere, and it's always so funny, like I...

...remember, being a ballboy with thosecarts where wed be picking up all the socks and jocks. And you know Sydney Thornton was the famousguy, but we had two or three of those guys younow and like if you wheel, passthem at a certain time. They get upset at you. If you put the thing on theright side, rather a left theyw're going to have a bad practice. Yeah alike, I didn't even go near an it was you know, ane superstitious guys just Inever had like. For me, it was too much energy to do all that stuff, like youknow, like I've, seen guys like lay out their whole uniform on the ground infront of their locker before the game, so they can see how it's going to lookwhen it's on their body and I'm like what, like I'm worried about like okay.If I see a cover, two defense, you know and then all of a sudden they rotatethem. I got to go this way on my read. You know I wasn't worried about whathow my socks looked right, right, exact one super stit, one t lastsuperstitious story going back to my grandfather's time in the boxing, soyou o we always he would always take a priest with them whenever he wentanywhere nd take two or three friends. Usually some cops were with them. Youknow they always went to box. They always had horse race, Horse Mats, ahorse racing and boxing, and so you know a boxer does the sign of the crossbefore he gets in the ring and and one of his buddies. Who, I think was a copsaid to the priest. Hey, do you think that'll help and the prieft said onlyif he can fight now he thought that was the best answer. Rih Superstition, youbetter, be you wil, be able to do the thing, let alone you know, just thesuperstitios. Well, you know what I was reading your book and someof. You weretelling some of those stories about boxing about your grandfather and whoused to go to th e the matches and I'm like. Well, I wonder if those same peoplewould go to the matches today. You know a I, you know, I wonder if it's filledwith priests and Catholics and everybody. No, you know I'm thinking,no, not in Vegas, I don't think they're all in Vegas watching boxing matchesanymore, but you know just to tells you ow the world's changed well, and I alsothink it was such a great immigrant story, and so maybe the immigrants oftoday who come from other countries have that experience mean boxing is theI think it's the altimate, tough guy experience, and if you have nothing andyou're willing to fight for it, I don't think there's a better way to do it andthat's what my grandfather's generation, you know we're doing as Irish, and Ithink you know so I wonder if that's that's how it isbecause that was that was their day, and that was how they stepped into. Youknow. Sports and politics were how the Irish, the Italians, you know so manyfolks, that's how we got into you know sort of normal society, O r. Youfinally got accepted right exactly, and I think that you know it's amazing thatyou know when reading your book and thinking about everything that yourfamily has done and come through. There's been a lot of similar peoplethat have come through Pittsburgh. My family's Family Ignrance, my dad wasone od fifteen right and you know, and they did things just to survive andmake money, and they were all in the military and do those types of thingsand and the Vision that your da he love your grandfather, love sports and youknow not just boxing but everything, and then he said this wis. What I wantto do, even though it probably was tough times for him, trying to find themoney to buy team and then do all those things, but he knew that someday thatwas going to be valuable for his family and what a family you guys have built.So after College Yo go to BC, I think you graduated what was it incommunications, political, science and communications right right? So why did you pick those two? Well, I pick political signs because mygrandfather said you know you should get in politics, you're good withtalking with people. You know he always. He always had good relationships withpeople in politics, and it was the only one I've ever seen in my life,including my father, who ended up doing okay in that world. Yo no namedambasador, but my grandfather was the only one who ever knew that had nopolitical enemies. I mean everyone on every side of the Oul. Just just likemy grandfather, he could deal with them.

He could get deals done for hisbusiness, but stay out of their business and- and just just wasfantastic at doing that, so so e. He thought that the communications I just Yoa now I don't know why I didthat. I guess it just you know I felt like there was. I think it was one ofthese things where I started, got five classes in and was like. Okay, if Itake three more I'll get the double major right, no, that's great! So whenyou get out of college, you know what were theplans like? I mean your familyis, so Ingraine Inishan, your dad is nowrunning the steelers and what were your plans and he have some conversationswith you about your next step in life. Wi, MEA my father and I had had greatconversations really. I mean it's why I wrote the book and felt like I had apoint of view that was different. You know, starting in college. You KnowIwas talking to on the phone every night and then when I got home we talkevery night. I don't know that we ever said: Hey here's a plan. Let's, let'sgo forward with this. It was always talking about you know. This is goingon in Ireland. Commissioner Taglaboo's doing this Thi this young Guy Roger Getdellas. Doing that. You know a lot about coach Knoll and how Coachn Oljust had you know we always said like look coach, knol w was my father's bestpartner and he said you know everyone's wrong in life. I'm not going to tellhe's not, but but he said that man has the most integrity I've ever seen in mylife, so so just learning from these people, Pete Roseal, just the greatestvisionary of all time understood where the NFL was going. I actually went toChile in South America for the first two years after college and work withchildren with diabetes. I've had diabetes now for forty five years andand my father was a big big supporter of doing something like that. He said:Look you know everywants to get on a career path and that's a great thing.You are fortunate, you know, and and really I was sort ofconcerned whether it was the right thing to do or not, and he said thatwould be just a tremendous experience. So I lived in Chile working W th withchildren with diabetes in a Third World country which is really interestingbecause you know diabetes doesn't sort of discriminate, so we had kids thathad nothing and would have to sharpen their needles on a rock and we had kidswho had more money. You know because there's money in the third world's alittle different, if you have it, you have all of it and theythey have powerthat you can't even think of here. So just these really interesting dynamics,W th with people, and then you know helping them helping them dealwith this. This disease, in a way that you know was, was humbling because weare look, there's certainly many manypeople in America that struggle- and I you know we try to do everything we canto be of support. But the Third World is, you know it's just hard to imaginehaving a chronic illness in a place like that, it's really UNIMAGIN Wan acertain way. I mean people get medicines, thsthere's twenty differenttypes of insulin. These guys would get one bottle for three months and have tomake it last where you know I have ten bottles in my fridge now for the next ofour months, so just very humbling experience. My father really encouragedin supported me doing that. No, that that's wonderful, we're joined by Jim Rooney, ootwriterof a different way, a great book about his father Dan Rooney. That he wrotewith his brother art, I mean what a better conversation for me as aPittsburger to have I'm so excited about this. You can listen to thispodcast on RADIOCOM and find us on MTV. So Jim, you know one of the biggestthings I think out of that book, and one of the things that your family wasabout was inclusion and diversity and how important it was and how that cameto be the Rooni rule. Did you guys have many conversations about those types ofthings and my father- and I spoke often about all of these issues related tosort of integration. Youkno buill non,...

...who was the great steeler Scout, wasone of the first africanamerican scout from the NFL. It's funny in the book. I researchedthis and sort of on Earth a lot of the data that demonstrates house successfuland effective bill was, and you know the NFL hadn't captured this Dayto, notnot in the quantifiable way that we did, which is surprising, but but when youlook at the players from these historically black colleges, you knowthis is before there was integration, so they weren't going to Alabama theyweren't going to Texas, you know other, you know. Penn state and the northernschools in the Western schools had integrated in the S and S so you'regetting to the s where some of these other schools hadn't- and you know nowjo didn- go to a traditional hbcu but Joe Green would be recruited by Texas.Today, yeah go green played in North Texas state, so many of the these guysmelt blond. I mean you know, and so so mal comes from his experience. He hadnever had a white, teammate or coach in his life before he came to thePittsburgh steelers and and talking to Mell, about that experience, and you know I've gotten to know mal prettywell and and the way he shared about my father and just how he said you know I had whatever view I had of sort ofwhite people and your father just always treated me with with so muchdignity and respect the said. We got this really bad contract negotiation.Seventy four, seventy five! We get the deal done and I'm thinking well, that'sthe L de ever have with this guy, and he says I happen to open the themelboulnt youth home in Georgia. You know his work with with risk is he saidthe first person to come visit the home on the on the opening day was yourfather. He says I didn't even not not, they didn't invite him, but you know hejust never had an expectation right and so the way he described that story, I'mnot really doing it justice, but but just demonstrated that you know thiswas something my father really didn't. Just talk about, I didn't just talkabout from strategic standpoint, but he had made this commitment. So then, whenyou get to the coaching situation, you know you know. Fifteen years later my father helpd put the rule into in ain a practice, and I ends up getting named after him. But what he really didwas the next fifteen years is every time there was opening. You know hewould talk to coach, his genel managers owners, and certainly he didn't youknow only advocate for minorities, but he really made sure that they had had agood understanding of what candidates were available, because one of thethings that folks ad as well I'm not familiar wias available. So you justspent this tremendous amount of time, familiarizing himself with thesecandidates and being able to speak on teir behalf sor, they would getinterviews, they would get opportunities in UC. You know not onlywis the rule named after him and we can talk about the challenges today thatare there and they're there. But but during his lifetime you had a threehundred percent increase in the head coaches in terms of head coaching hirens, youhad an increase of forty percent. Now total it's completely switchworth.Forty percent of the coaches on the defensive side of the ball areAfricanamerica an the NFL, you hat a twenty percent increase in on fieldofficials and and so it wasn't just sort of the policy. It was this workthat my father committed his life to to make sure that you know people were implementing thisand carrying out as Tony gunjy calls it the spirit of the Groomi Goll yeah- andI think you know when I was reading your book. I think the spirit almostgoes back. thereas a there 's a a place in there. That was a priestthat used to talk to your grandfather that Bali, he father Glasgow, talk tomy death and and he was he became our parish priest and he invited my fatherto go to Selmy Alabama and my father didn't go on this March back in the S,and I talk about that as being a catalyst, you know. Sometimes you don'tdo something right and I really sort of changes your mind and my father sort ofsays that that moment sort of made him realize. Oh what I could do most forthis. This issue of you know they...

...called it integration back then, iswith my team. You know: Can I make a real commitment and he always wantedMarig. He didn't want guys who weren't good enough, but can we make commitment?You know to really integrating and giving folks and opportunity andChucknol and bill non were just such an important part. They believed in thosesame things with him, and then you get the story of Joe Gillumman and againtalking a mal talking to John Stall or talking to Donny about the about the nHen, Chuck Name Joe Gilliam is the first starter. First quarterback startAfrican American to start ing, FL Rason, you know Joe wasn't that successful,but but what it meant to the rest of the players was, if I'm the best at myposition, you know I'm going to get a chance to start here and and it youknow, they conveyed the sense of trust. As beingso meaningful and so deep yeah, I think that's an amazing thing that that yourfamily took on your Dad, took on created a rule change, and you knowthere probably has to be some politics in it, because therare probably someowners that don't want to hear about that right. They want to do what theywant to do. They don't want to go, buy what other teams are doing right so forhim to be not only a great owner, a great leader for yourorganization, but then to also be a great leader for the whole NFL man. Youmust be really proud. I am, and you know the routing Bo is now gone beyond.Amazon uses it Goldman Sach, so it's kind of cool to see that legacy gobeyond football, and you know that to me really indicates it's it's even moreimportant. So now, when you do your keynote peeches and you go out and talk,is this a part of it when you're talking to companies or do you try tointegrate it? If they want you to talk about something else, because it isimportant, you know, with immigration, we're all immigrants in one way oranother, and you know some companies, you know see it one way and othercompanye see it another way. Do you feel like that's a little bit of yourresponsibility? When you make those talks, I absolutely now you know I tryto pay attention. If I think there's going no be a lot of resistance, youknow I talk about it more in relationship to change and havingdifferent opinions and about you know in the marketplace you're going to havedifferent opinions, you can have different points of view and if youwant to be able to serve the market, you w you better, have some mindset.That is not just a singular mindset. So so I talk about it from that same point.Other folks have me come in and talk about diversity per se, which I'm notan expert, and I try to always bring an expert with me. If that's what theywant me to do, but but I, but when I'm talking to the corporate world you knowtalk about my father's work and hiring. I talked about his work and changingculture, and I talked about his work and negotiating those were sort ofthree of the main core confidences he has, and you know the hiring is a is areally easy story to tell you know we hire three coaches in you know. In fifty years I don't knowyou were on a couple teams hat struggled, you might had three coachesin one season. You know, I know that yeah I mean that happens right. I meanit. Look at the browns now you know they go through coaches every year.It's like what there's got to be some consistency, and I think that what youknow in your book when you talk about the long game, that's part of it rightis the consistency we're going to have ups and downs, but we got to have good,credible people that are running our team so that those ups and downs aregoing to come. But it's always going to be the same that we can handle and dealwith. Well, maybe you can give a perspective on this, but I talk abouthim walking down the aisle of the of the plane after we lost, and I saw himdo that a hundred times and and we would I would talk to sombody look. Ijust want people to know you don't lose your cool. You know you're going tohave bad days. Things are going to happen. It doesn't mean whe're notcommitted to a championship, but you can't be freaking out when things don'tgo your way, because then you're not going to be prepared for the next thing.I don't know how you as a player would see that, but he felt that was reallyimportant.

Valet stay and play on your next getaway to Los Angeles. The Western boneventure, hotel and sweits offerseffoliss access to all the city of angels has to offer whether you'rehoping to catch a concert or sporting event. Our hotels just moments awayfrom all the action and accessible to Hollywood, beaches, museums and themeparks. The package includes a guest room and valet parking for reservations,use PROMOCODE PF in the codebox when making your online reservation or callone two und three: six, two four one thousand and ASF for Promo Code, PS, F.Well, when your boss, as you know, when your boss comes in and says, look it'sokay! Let's just start tomorrow, let's have a better day tomorrow, let's learnfrom it and let's get better right, that's a big difference than nobodyspeaking to you and you're in your own head flying back on a plane, becauseyou had a tough game and three interceptions two of them, maybe your'sfault. Maybe one got tipped and then then you go home and you talked yourwife about it and you just lament about it over two or three days and thennobody talks to you. Your coach doesn't call you. They don't want to speak toyou because you lost this game that they didn't want to lose and and thenit's like, it really gets your head. But when you would have somebody likethat, come down that isle, an you would see him coming and you know he wascoming from a good place. Your mood, your attitude changes, and Ithink that's why he was such a great leader for for the steelers for so longyeah thanks and I he felt it workd, and you know it's always good- to hear playersreaction to it because he was you k o. He tried to care for everyone, but hereally cared for the players. He really understood the sacrifices you folksmake. You know that that your careers are going to be short, that you'reputting yourself ontheline physically, that look, there's, there's bad guys inevery locker room. There always are, but the majority of guys are reallygood people and they do good things that don't get half the recognitionthat that you know some of the other stuff gets, and it was just reallyimportant to him that that he saw that they had their back. The other thingthat he I rarely talked o Thi, something rarely heard him talk aboutWinn. He talked about being great about being excellent and he said winning Ollcalm if you're committed to being great and IU thought that was sort of aninteresting philososy. Well, I think it goes back to what a pitch pittsburgeris right. It's about being authettic! It's about hard work, it's about beinglike everybody else, and that's what Pittsburgh really is and- and I thinkyour dad really did a good job, though, because when u, when you hear about him,walking home after games through the crowds and like you know, I am just oneof you. You know I might be the Ownler, but I'm one of you and that's whatpittsburgers and that's what I feel is is like: Hey, I'm Gong Na go out andcut my grass and I'm going to do the things that everybody else does,because that's what my dad did and that's that's kind of what how we wereall made and built. You know out of He Steel Town and my dad was a Miale guyand and it's just something about the Auten authenticity of Your Dad- that Ithink that the player fell in love with that the people respected them, andthat's why you know they could definitely talk to both sides of theIsle Yeah Yeah. He was, he was you he'sreally good at doing that, and you know he never tried to be something he wasyou know and he wasn't a lowd guy, so he didn't try to be loud. You know heunderstood that coach. You always think about. You know you talked about thesetalks. I give you know. Coach Nol was the quietest. Guy I've ever known insuccess, Bill Cower is, is boisterous and Yo. You want him to be your leader,coach Tomlan is matter of fact. All three of them are completely different,but they're all effective because they're themselves right. So let me askyou a question about your family, so there there they're eight brothers andsisters and you, and so you had all these great role modelsright. Your grandfather, your father, and so when you guys di you ever catchany of your brothers sisters. If...

...somebody want ID you get out of line,do you call them up and say: Hey, you know, remember what dad would have saidor whatever you know. Do you guys find yourself doing that sometimes well,they would all say I'm the one that that does that the most you know we talk. I don't know that wedo that. We talk a lot about it about you know, look we have. We have we'vehad human experiences, everyone else. We've lost three of our sisters. H Eave, passed away from different diseases, you one from cancer, one fromLupis, I'm sorry and yeah thanks. But you know what I mean. So it's we'venever sort of gotten on each other's back, but were constantly in contact.It's funny younow. Now that we text each other. We have a text chain and weon game days and we tell arthis. You know we have two different textchainsand one is all supportive because our you know he has he's a job to do. Hedoesn't need to hear US complaining about a guy dropping a pass so right,oe ere, you know all the support in the world and then there's a couple otherones every once in a while. You're, like you know, like every other fanlike you know, why couldn't he catch that bol right right, ORT's like I justbought him a new judge, machine, exactyea hat. You know, I mean you know this Gosson. I hopethat we have been. As you know, you know certainly connected t thiscommunity, as my grandfather and father were, but there is a big responsibility.My brother has I mean it is. It is the job and I don't say this. I hope peopledon't hear this is Aragain. It's the job everyone in town wants. So wereally try to respect that. His life is, you know, there's a lot of scrutinythere. Everyone sort of everyone thinks they can do is Chob. You know you knowit's like a quarterback. You know it's. It's very easy for me to tell you. Youshould have read that coverage different than you did, but no one'shitting me when I'm telling you that right, right, right and and in a I meannot that he has that physical risk, but but but that's that's sort of part its.So so the way we gather together, I think, is much more hey, look, there's,there's enough sort of pressure and I lik we're very fortunate.I'm not I'm not. I don't Want Tho Soda Complain, but but you know there'senough stuff going on that. We try to really be supportive, particularly ofof our yeah. Well, art has a big legacy to up hold right. I mean that's got tobe a lot of pressure in itself. Yeah, you know, and so I think he's doing awonderful job. I think this steeler's organization is is doing quite well.You know one of the things that I really wanted to ask you was youknow you wrote this book, you interviewed a lot of people. I read allthe list of people at the end of the book that you got to talk to what is your favorite part of the book? I mean affry part was was wonderful ofitself. You know Paul Tagleaboo, who spent really the most time with my dadin the t business side having him share. Those moments was really cool. The guys who whad come from those thoseAhbcou experience. I mean just a different life, you know until they'retwenty one and then they come to Pittsburgh and become part of thismagnificent team and time there was a there's, a guy in Irelandnamed John Yume who's, considered e Mark Luther King of the peace processand his wife, you know had me on the phone for two hours and she was cryingEres. Another guy who was is a terrorist. I mean this guy was inprison for terrorism got out. My father was a guy who really worked with himabout. You know trying to trying to sort of become a role model for thekids in this Irish community, where they were all killing each other, andhe talks about you known this guy's. A big, strong, tough guy wher, has killedpeople and he's in tears telling me about how my father helped change hislife. So there werse some pretty pretty special moments there and it waswonderful and then Tony Dungy. You know the Rooney rule side talking to Tonyabout that. You Paul who had a Lotdo...

...with the rooning role, it pauls or thebusiness side Antony was sort of Tha how the coaching side transformed, andso it was nice it was. It was really cool to see Paul and Bill Cower at theSuper Bowl and both of them told me at separatetimes that my father was their role model andthese two guys just got in the hall of fame and Yo to hear that from from twodifferent people like that, you know again, I don't want to be. Imean it's not me. I have to de with it, but but you know it was just a blessingo. have that experience right I mean what an experience I mean, what a you know: Thers Been Tons of peoplethat have written books about your family. You know, I'm sure that youknow you have all of them on your shelf yeah.You know what I mean, and now you got the right one about your family. It'seither like there's a couple ways it can go, but I think what you how youwrote a different way to win was beautiful and I think it tells thestory about your family really really well, and you know thanks for sharingthat with us gus, thanks for having me and just love, seeing you do so well, Irouted for you, I rooted for Hell like yet and I'll,never forget when you head butter, the wall sure you're, probably sick of that, butyou were doing so damn good that game. Well, you know, you know what it goesback to what we talked about earlier right. I had a lot going on with myhead coach, who wasn't completely there, like you know what I mean it wasn't acommunication like there wasn't that what you talked about with your walkingback that aisle there was never that with him, and that was trying to figureout what he wanted and we were on different pages all the time, and sothere was a lot of turmoil between us. was having a good game and just was soexcited to score, touchdown ran in and it's not like hey, I'm goingto jump offthat wall and hit my head. You know, but it happened, and you know one ofthe things that I've learned from growing up in Pittsburgh was you know,there's going to be stuff that happens to you in your life and you can eitherlet it bring you down or you can just get back up on a horse an and keepgoing and and to me that's what being a Pittsburgh Eris all about like I hadone of the worst things happend to me in front of eighty million peoplewatching it on TV and still played another. You know eleven years afterthat, so things can happen in your life that that you know whether it'ssomething like that that's very embarrassing and hard to deal with orit's a death or we all have those issues. That's why this pandemic to meis not anything that we as Americans and pittsburgers can't deal with. Youknow it's just hey it's going to be here. Let's get, let's do the best. Wecan, let's get it over with, and let's move on, you know is Darrel Greenalways said to me: You know the most important playis the next play, yeah I'll say, based on what you just said.My father always said. The worst thing you can do in a business is confusesomeone right, and so you know you're talking about those coaches confusingyou. He said you know that just is it's the worst thing you can do in abusiness o yeah. That's why I work with Dr Gary Russel out of Connecticut. Nowhe has a company called winning profile and he doufiles you and he lets youknow who you are so then people around you understand who you are and how todeal with. You always said when I got into a huddle with ten other guys.Sometimes you had to yell at one. Sometimes you just had a pat in theback. Sometimes you couldn't even look at one right. You just had to let himgo, but everybody was different until you got to know those other guys, youwouldn't really get them to play there best until you knew them, and I feltlike that's always been the case with me. You got to get to know me to bringthe best out in me. So hey thanks for joining us on huddle up with Gus. Youcan find us on RADIOCOM whereever, you listen to your favorite APP or yourpodcast, and also on MTV one last thing: What we do we call it the no huddle Jim.We have a little fun with this and it's just a couple, quick questionsand you can fire them off I'll fire...

...them back and it's a lot of fun at's.The end of the show here so first question is: What is your biggest petpeeve? What Is My biggest pet pee whencomputers don't work like Skape? I hear you all right allright now. This is a tough one right. This is a tough one, but you only coundpick four. It coul be coaches players, whoever what is your Mount Rushmore ofsteelers? Oh I'm going to sound arrogant here, but Iknow tes pretty well: Art, Rudie, Danweny, Chucknoan, Jokren, love itperfect. I Lo. I love the forward by Joe too, that was great and a that waswonderful. Okay, if you had a pick a favorite football player, that was anon stealer who would it be Jim Brown, Jim Brown? Well, you were inCleveland for a long time. So I guess that's you know. Fou D went to schoolover in New York. It might have been somebody else all right now. If youcould go back in time and give a young Jim Rooney some advice. What would thatadvice be? Well, you know I married a woman Wewere,both pretty young and, like you, we had kids right away and you know I at the time I didn't know if it wasthe bet right thing to do and was the best thing I've ever done in my life.So it'd say: Don't doubt yourself on that decision. Certainly yeah that doescome in me. You go back and think about when you were younger. What could Ihave done differently and when my wife and I walk all the time we say we can'tchange anything. That's happened to us like they's, just move on okay. This is a good one. I want tohear this from yew. Okay, if you could be commissioner, at the NFL for a day,what' one rule change, you would make athere's a lot more than one hagive meyour top. I would say this, you know: Well theykind of fixed it, but it's the Jesse James Catch thing. You know the guy istwo feet in possession. It's a Cath we've all known that our whole livesand we sort of started to ruin that h with that. So so that and this crazyinterference, then you know you know that drives me nots t at thatthey were reviewing interv interference. Last Er. If I, if I had control of a team, Iwould say, run the ball right. Runabo, give me rocky and Franco backan undeball right. Okay, what is your favorite sports movie gosh made in trouble because t iyshould say a football one, there's a lot of football ones. I enjoy but butfiel o dreams is my favorite football. It yeah yeah, that's a great that's agreat sports movie! Okay! This is a tough one and I don't thinkit'll ever happen, but will the steelers ever leave letrobe first training camp? Well, you know. We all hope that it never does. I doworry about just sort of where the whole business is going. Are you goingto get to the point where they just do like two weeks of training camp andthen is it? Is it worth it to just not be in the facility? I worry about thatbecause we should we. It should never happen, but I worry that football is going to driveus there. You Know Oh yeah yeah, because a lot of teams I mean I've. Iplayed I came in in ninety four and we were all training camp right. We wentto with the Redskins, we went to Carlysle yeah and you know it was justa great experience being with the guys for four weeks, but then now a lot ofteams, as we went said, we're just going to have it our facility right.Why spend the money for college and moving all of our equipment and weightroom and everything else, and when we have it all right here and we can justpractice our facility, but I think it took away from the fans because youcouldn't just let the fans in the vacility and see the guys and be a partof it. So I agree with you: It's kind of taken a little bit away and I thinkthe ceater would probably be the last...

...ones t to not go somewhere. I agree. Okay, now, obviously you've written abook. We probably love to read books. Okay, are you going to pick a paperbackAr Hardback or digital? Well, I would probably what I do mostis audio. You know listen to the book, while I'm walking the dog, that's a good one. So that's that'sactually ow! I get through most of the books that I want to read, but I wouldpick a hard back if it's a you know j, because it's you know a sort of abetter version of the book and everything now are you still a paperguy? You still get the paper or Youai, I don't. I get ever everythingeverything Digyou Don, see my wife. We still get papers here because she hasto have the physical paper open it up and read it all. So I think we're theone of the only ones on the block we got to introduce your wife or my mother,Shshe's been going out in Covid at eighty eight years old to buy the paper,we're going crazy, telling her she can, but she needs the to New York Timesevery morning. She wants to read it and we're like we'll just get it deliveredand she's like well, it's a day late. If I get it delivered and I you know,but she loves the Newspager Yeah, some people do all right. Last one is destraight.Pittsburgh Fan, not steelers. Okay, give me your favorite penguin and yourfavorite pirate Mario, is my favorite penguin. Withouta doubt, my favorite pirate, you know, Love Willi Stargel, but youknow I love mattlock. Back in the day to mat yeah, he was great bill. MadluckI've been trying to get him on the show I in box him and he's like well o haveto check with my PR person. I'm like you got a PR person he's doing allright, then yeah he's doing okay, but hey jim thanks for joining us in ahuddle. It was great I'll. Let you know when the episode eirs and you know,thank you so much again for joining us on huddle up with Gus, absolutely gus.Thank you and everyone don't forget, go find a different way to win and- andyou know you can listen to it- you can read it on your iphone or you know onyour computer or you can just buy the hardback cover. So Jim thanks again,thanks gos take care, you take it off Yep. Thank you, naxt to get o talk toyou, yeah! No, it was sometime when his is all over. Maybe we go. Have adrinkor go golf and you golf I'm a horrible Golfer, but that's all right,O ion run. You ever play. Dimon run yeah yeah, I'm a member at the fildclub. Okay, I live on the Sixteenh, Coa diamond run and you just watch youdon't you don't go out that much not too much I'Mon, I'm on diamond run.Every day I got a giant dog and I'm always walking around what kind of dogyou have Bernie's mountain dog: Oh ye S, er great, I have a French mass toffTurner, huge yeah, yeah yeah. This is second one. We got one for the kids andwe like it so much, there's no kids, but w. We got a puppy. Two years ago mywife and I oh yeah, that's great ththey're, a lot of fun. They're greatdogs, great dogs, Billy Garreniwas, always had you know. If you know billyfrom the penguins, our kids went to school together and we would walk ourburners togain. Yeah he's always had burner, yeah, definitely Yep Billy C.You heard from up in Minnesota Yeah. I interviewed Hem two weeks ago: Oh goodyeah. He he was in his apartment in Minnesota up and the sky. You knoweverything's closed down for them. So it's been kind of strange there. Youare an new GM and you're running his team and then everything just he saysit was kind of strage yeah, but it's the same way for everyone, sohe's not alone in it hey. We want to thank you for joying uptoday on Hotdo up with Guss, where we talked to a wide range of the guestsabout how sports shape tfo life. As always, I'm joined by my great friendand cohouse day PAG, and we want you to...

...be able to follow us on all of oursocial media at Hotto, Wav, wit gus, and we really appreciate you and thankyou for your time and listening to our codceunt.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (144)