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When Art Rooney played a prank on George Halas

Pro Football Hall of Fame

When Art Rooney played a prank on George Halas

While most people tend to overlook the Pittsburgh Steelers in the era prior to the 1970s dynasty, this Steelers History Series will look back on some of the history of the franchise, ripe with some nuggets you may not know and hope you will enjoy.


Art Rooney was never one to pass up on a good joke

As the oldest sibling, Dan Rooney occasionally would travel with the team and his father, Art Rooney.  On one such trip, it was a preseason game vs. the Chicago Bears and their Founder/Owner, George Halas. Both teams were staying in the same hotel and Art Rooney heard commotion coming from the Bears’ meeting room.  He quickly seized the opportunity and whispered instructions to a 7-year-old Dan, who went to knock on the door as Art ducked out of sight.

George Halas opened the door, immediately recognized young Dan and said, Young Rooney, you’re in the wrong room.  Your daddy’s room is down the hall.”

Not even hesitating, young Dan replied Mr. Halas, I know where our room is.  My old man sent me here to tell you to take it easy on our team tonight.”

The entire room broke out laughing, including Halas himself.  They ended their meeting right then, and Pittsburgh ended up beating Chicago 10-9.  Halas went on to tell the press that, Young Rooney was the best offensive weapon Pittsburgh had.”



  1. How The Pittsburgh Steelers Came to Be – Art Rooney
  2. How a day at Saratoga saved the Pittsburgh Steelers
  3. When Art Rooney played a prank on George Halas
  4. NEXT: Byron “Whizzer” White and “Bullet” Bill Dudley:  The Steelers first Franchise Players
  5. The Pennsylvania Polka – When Art Rooney sold the Steelers
  6. When Art Rooney was offered the chance to buy the New York Yankees
  7. What might have been – Jock Sutherland
  8. Same Old Steelers – “Rogel up the Middle”
  9. Why the Steelers cut Johnny Unitas
  10. How Buddy Parker vs. Dan Rooney set up the Steelers Dynasty


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PMP; CSM; CSPO and host of the PMI-TB Agile Podcast. A lifelong Steelers fan, I had the chance of a lifetime when I was able to celebrate Super Bowl XLIII with the team. I love talking everything Steelers from the old days to the new and look forward to working with the team to grow this platform to be the premier Steelers site.

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