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Adios Bill, an at

Most of you know that I grew up in Pittsburgh in the 70's and 80's. Now, while I haven't lived in the Burgh since 1986 or so, you can take the boy out of Pittsburgh, but not the Pittsburgh out of the boy - or, more specifically, the Pittsburgh Steeler fan out of the boy. That's why when I see this story about Coach Cowher leaving dem Stillers, I get a bit sad...

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He was the perfect coach for the city of Pittsburgh: fiery, resilient, tough, passionate, dedicated, honest and, unlike other coaches that have these same qualities (cough, bill parcells, cough - excuse me), eminently likable. The only thing I can't figure out is why his teams always seemed to play scared in big games (1994 San Diego, 1995 Indy (even though we won), Denver in 1997/ 1998, the Jets in 04, New England in 04 and even last years Super Bowl, etc. etc.) But whatever. He was great for the city and the team. Gonna suck to see him coaching elsewhere in 2 years.

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Comments (1)

Dave Franklin:

So true. During our lifetime, we have only known 2 Steeler head coaches (sure there was a third between 67-69, but who cares). Just 2 in nearly 40 years! Heck, 90+ have been hired and fired around the NFL during Cowher's 15 year tenure alone. I think it goes to the way the organization has been run since 1933. The Rooneys - principally Art (the Chief) and now Dan - are true salt of the Earth folk. Art was a street fighter and a gambler. While the story about him buying the team with winnings from the horse track is an urban legend, it is true that he did punch out his first 2 head coaches just moments before firing them. And why? Well, as a a well known amateur boxer, the naive ex-football player coaches would always argue that football players were tougher than boxers. Of course, never the one to back down from a challenge, the Chief flattened them both. One in his kitchen on the North Side, the other on a train back from a game in Baltimore. Now the team's management style has changed somewhat since then, but I think the principles are still the same: respect, hard work and no fear. In fact, Mr. Rooney said it best when he told his son during a heated negotiation with the NFL over one of the first TV rights contracts, "Always be respectful and kind, but never let your kindness be confused with weakness."

Yes, Bill will be missed. However, I'm confident that if they use the same criteria for hiring the next one as they've use for the last two, the Steelers will be just fine.

To the Defense!

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 6, 2007 1:11 PM.

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