PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — “The Chief” is the most successful production in the history of Pittsburgh Public Theater. It’s a one-man play about Pittsburgh Steelers founder and owner Art Rooney. Rob Zellers is its co-author alongside Gene Collier.
“He was very welcoming. Loved the idea, but was insistent that we tell the whole story,” Co-author of “The Chief” Rob Zellers said.
Zellers reflected on the relationship between Art Rooney and his son Dan Rooney, the Pittsburgh Steelers chairman who passed away Thursday at the age of 84.
“Had lots and lots of conversations with Mr. Rooney about his father. Interestingly, I think I learned so much about his dad by watching him and learning about his values and watching the way he interacted with players,” Zellers said.
Gary Pomerantz, the author of “Their Life’s Work”, remembers Dan Rooney for many things.
“Dan was the ultimate league man. The chief made the Steelers viable but Dan made them champions,” Author of “Their Life’s Work” Gary Pomerantz said.
“Their Life’s Work” is a book about the brotherhood of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1970’s. That was a time when the team won an unprecedented four Super Bowls in six years. Pomerantz said Dan didn’t need to speak often in order to be heard.
“What made Dan so compelling was he didn’t speak that often in league meetings but when he did speak, everyone listened. The room fell silent. They wanted to hear what Dan had to say,” Pomerantz said.
A public viewing for Dan Rooney will be held at Heinz Field on Monday from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at the PNC Champions Club. Rooney’s funeral mass follows on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Paul Cathedral in Oakland.