Now, before you reach for your natural Steeler hatred, hear me out. Art Rooney is the son of Dan Rooney, who used to run the Steelers (and currently serves as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland), and Dan Rooney once said this on the subject of an 18-game schedule:
"I would rather not have the money."
I promise you, that's not something that's being said a lot in the union vs. owners negotiating sessions.
Now, it's not important because it means that someone will be in the room pushing against an 18-game schedule, or for any other specific negotiating point.
It's important because now, someone will be in the room with a modicum of sensitivity towards players, fans, and other things that are not piles of cash. It's important because now, maybe there's one guy in the room who wouldn't trade his first-born child in exchange for the abolition of free agency.
At the very least, there's someone in there related to such a person. It's got me feeling optimistic about the day.
- Art Rooney