Saturday, January 09, 2010

More things that make Pittsburgh Pittsburgh

I finally got around to seeing The Chief, which as everyone knows is centered around the late Art Rooney, Sr. I know a lot of folks go thinking it’s about football, but I don’t think you could get a more concentrated firehose of Pittsburgh history any other way.

I really was wondering, what other city would even conceive of even having a play nominally about the owner of one of their professional sports teams. What makes the play something more than the play are the connections it has with the audience. When I went, Ted Pappas mentioned that Art II was in the audience. Beyond that and what Ted didn’t mention publicly at all, but which I noticed, was that Art II was not the only progeny of a famous Steeler in attendance. Just another audience member sort of, but not really. I think Potter explained it best: ” We treat our celebrities like neighbors, and our neighbors like celebrities.”

Like all great art, it speaks to everyone differently. The play recounts how The Chief's early tenure in politics which centered around his work for State Senator Jimmy Coyne from Galway. Lot’s of Coynes from Galway in my family tree, and lots who came to Pittsburgh in the generation of the late Senator, yet I had never really heard of him. Midnight had me checking the known official family tree for any connection. I didn’t find it (yet). Whether I find a link or not I suspect when I’m 80, le cúnamh Dé, I will be recounting how my family helped Art Rooney along the way. If only it could get me moved up the waiting list for season tickets.


Anonymous Johnnyg said...

About an owner, can't think of any. But I can about a coach. The sadly now defunct Madison Repertory Theater produced a play about the Pope of Green Bay (Vince Lombardi) in the fall of 2007. An apparently much changed version will open on Broadway in the Fall of 2010.

That said, the story of Jack Kent Cooke--the owner of the Redskins prior to Dan Synder and the man moved the Lakers to LA and built the "Fabulous Forum"--would make for great material. He was beloved in DC. Like Pittsburgh, DC believes that it has a right to a playoff NFL team every year.

Sunday, January 10, 2010 8:45:00 AM  

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