PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The Steelers celebrated the life of Dan Rooney on Sunday afternoon.
Heinz Field was dotted with Steelers greats and with the initials DMR – Daniel M. Rooney. Steelers legend Mel Blount helped raise a flag with those initials.
Ben Roethlisberger walked out with one of those flags. He knelt down for a moment, then took the field.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) September 19, 2017
“I had tears in my eyes. I had to try to snap out of it and get ready to go. But the whole day was very emotional and afterwards, we gave the game ball to Mr. Rooney, to Art. And Art said he would give it to his mother, it was just, it was special,” Roethlisberger said.
“He would do what was in the best interest of the league, rather than necessarily his selfish self-interest,” Roger Goodell said.
Dan Rooney was the man who told Goodell he was going to be the next NFL commissioner.
“When that day came, it was special to hear that from him because I had so much admiration for him,” Goodell said.
Commissioner Goodell says he never had a better advisor than Dan Rooney.
“I like to say he was the one who probably prepared me for being the commissioner better than anybody. He always gave me insight into the history of the league, how things happen, why things happen,” he said. “And he had that sensibility about the league and that interest and, frankly, that influence.”
For the first-ever Steelers game in Pittsburgh without Dan Rooney, it was a chance for fans to say thank you.