If you haven’t seen the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ike Taylor interviewing owner Dan Rooney then you need to make it a priority in your day and I’m not being overly-dramatic here either. It isn’t because the interview skills of Taylor are going to give Jeremy Schaap or Bob Costas the feeling that their jobs are in jeopardy but for a much more important reason in my opinion.
If you aren’t aware of the relationship between Taylor and Mr. Rooney it has to be one of the more unique ones in pro football today. Taylor of course is the 33-year-old cornerback of the team who has held down that position for most of his 11 seasons in the Steel City. He comes from very humble roots having been born across the river from New Orleans, Louisiana.
Taylor would live in North Carolina with his mother before returning to Louisiana during middle school to live with his aunt and uncle. Following an excellent prep career, he attended Louisiana-Lafayette and was eventually drafted by the Steelers in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
Mr. Rooney of course has a much different story. The son of Art Rooney, who founded the Steelers in 1933, is an Irish-American native son of Pittsburgh who has always called the ‘Burgh home with the exception of his four-year stint as the United States Ambassador to Ireland. Despite the Rooney Family living quite modestly for owning an NFL franchise, Mr. Rooney clearly had greater life advantages than Ike Taylor could have ever dreamt for himself.
I don’t want to delve too much into the interview because you need to see it for yourself but let’s just say it is an interview that transcends ages, cultures and a generational gap as wide as the Grand Canyon. You’ve probably seen Taylor’s Twitter avatar in which he stands next to Mr. Rooney and each have their arms crossed in a very serious manner.
Taylor makes no bones about the fact that he views Mr. Rooney as a father-figure and the long-time owner is just fine with that and has great respect for Taylor as well. The video is not long and well worth your time. It makes you feel good to be a Steelers’ fan (as if you needed another reason) and is as much a sociological moment as it is a football one. I hope you enjoy its’ simplicity and candor as much as I did.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 4pm ET talking Steelers.