Who is this guy, you may ask? He’s Thomas C. Foley, the most recent U.S. Ambassador to Ireland. He vacated his position in January, and the guy in line to succeed him is someone we all know…Steelers owner Dan Rooney. Via PFT:
“Irish-American businessman and owner of the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers football team Dan Rooney is expected to be named as US ambassador to Ireland within weeks.
Rooney (76) will succeed Thomas C Foley, who recently returned home to the US. Rooney is a co-founder of the Ireland Fund charity with Sir Anthony O’Reilly. When asked by US media recently about whether he would be interested in the job, he said: “I have the credentials, there’s no doubt about that.”
The Rooney family roots are in Newry, Co Down, and he is a frequent visitor to Ireland. He was an early supporter and campaigner for Barack Obama and presented the president with the game ball following the AFC championship game in January.
Democratic Congressman Mike Doyle has said he believes Rooney would be a great choice of US envoy to Ireland. “I can’t think of a finer ambassador for the United States to Ireland than Dan Rooney. Between the work they’ve done with the Ireland Institute and Rooney’s involvement with work in peace and reconciliation…” Doyle said.
Rooney, an avid flyer, has been credited with widely contributing to peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. He received an honorary Commander of the British Empire by the Queen for his role in the Northern peace process. He also created the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 1976, an annual award for Irish writers under 40 years old.”
That’s all well and good, but I’m more concerned with social status. Has anyone ever had the nerve to insult Dan Rooney? The entire family is always lauded as one of the cornerstone ownership groups in the NFL, and regularly use forward thinking to create a successful product. Plus, Dan Rooney is just an all-around cool guy.
Heck, Goodell has been trying to market the NFL as a global entity, so it’s only right for a team owner to take a presidentially-appointed position with a foreign country. I mean, Now that the Steelers are Super Bowl cahmps, I’m sure we’ll see Pittsburgh playing like 2-3 “home games” a year at Croke Park or something.
I have no Irish roots and limited Irish knowledge, so if I just insulted a Northern Irishman or anything, I’m sorry.