The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to be playing for their VIIth Super Bowl trophy in franchise history this Sunday, when they face the Arizona Cardinals in Tampa for Super Bowl XLIII. And now would seem like just as good a time as any to profit off of their former victories. You probably remember that three years ago the Steelers were winning their VIth Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit — the hometown of Jerome Bettis! — and the outcome of the game was rather suspicious.
Seahawks fans have claimed ever since that the Steelers didn’t win the game as much as the referees gave the game to them. At the time there was one Seattle fan who wrote a letter to then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, and the owners of each team, Paul Allen and Dan Rooney. The letter gave a detailed description as to how the fan thought that the game was fixed so that Pittsburgh would win, and though he never heard back from Tagliabue or Allen, Rooney did take the time to let him know he was a moron. Now he’s selling Rooney’s letter on eBay.
Within a week of the game, I had written a five-page letter to then NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue carefully detailing the many bad calls that had gone against the Seahawks for imaginary penalties, and the non-calls that had been ignored for the Steelers all game long in a transparent effort to prevent the Seahawks from winning the game. I also attached a number of newspaper articles and editorials that expressed outrage over the officiating to further bolster my case. I copied the letter to Seahawks owner Paul Allen and Steelers owner Dan Rooney.
Lo and behold just a couple weeks later I received a personal reply from Dan Rooney himself, which was copied to Commissioner Tagliabue, attempting to refute my concerns about the officiating. Mr. Rooney wrote, in part: “You are something special — you watch a TV broadcast of Super Bowl XL with all the interruptions, camera locations, replays, and now know more than anyone else in America on what was wrong with the officiating.” Wow! I guess I really got his attention and got under his skin! Mr. Rooney goes on to supplement the letter with a two-page 20-point explanation of why the Steelers “really” did outplay the Seahawks for the Lombardi Trophy.
For Steelers fans, this would be a great acquisition to show your beloved owner giving the business to an uppity Seahawks fan who was complaining about the Super Bowl XL officiating. For Seahawks fans, this would likewise be a great acquisition conclusively demonstrating the insecurity of the Steelers over their supposed “win.”
Here is a transcript of what the letter says, at least what we know it says. The pictures on eBay only show the cover page and not the 20 reasons why Rooney says the Steelers won the game.
22 February 2006
Dear Mr. [omitted]
You are something special — you watch a TV broadcast of Super Bowl XL, with all the interruptions, camera locations, replays and now know more than anyone else in America on what was wrong with the officiating. You review the plays from your own prejudice. Did you look at what was happening? I could go over the game and point out things that were just not perfect for the Steelers officiating, but why? The Seahawks held Casey Hampton, a great Pro Bowl player, on every play. But it’s over — let it go.
You say the best team didn’t win. The best team did win. They gave their all to gain the victory. The Steelers defense was outstanding from the kickoff to the final play. The offense made the plays to win. The only thing I will say — the Seahawks are a good football team — they kept it close — but the Steelers were the best.
I am pleased you are from [omitted], PA because I would be disappointed if you were from Washington. They are fine people. The Seahawks are a class team. I have much respect and high regard for Paul Allen and the Seahawk organization.
Attached are a list of 20 reasons the Steelers won.
Thank you for your interest,
/s/ Dan Rooney
cc: Commissioner Tagliabue
The bidding currently sits at $202.50 but if that’s too much money for you right now, don’t worry - you still have time to pool your resources together, as there’s still nine days and four hours to go in the auction from when this was published. I know times are tough right now, but I can think of no better way to spend your money.