Pro Football Talk – Steelers chairman and Ambassador Dan Rooney is being laid to rest on Tuesday in Pittsburgh. One of the men who helped carry the casket was former Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor.
Via multiple reports, Taylor joined seven of Mr. Rooney’s grandsons as the pallbearers.
Taylor had a close relationship with Mr. Rooney. The former Steeler explained the connection two years ago, during a visit to PFT Live.
“It was a mutual bond,” Taylor said. “I can’t even put into words, I can’t even explain. It was just something that just happened. Poppa Rooney took a liking to me. . . . For me, man, that was easy. For a guy of his stature to have a liking towards me. He’s seen plenty of football players come through that organization. Plenty. And still will see plenty of guys come through the organization. And for him just to have that bond and relationship with me, man, it felt like family. The Rooney family feels like family to me.”
It’s clear that the Rooney family feels the same way about Ike. Of all the players and coaches who came through the organization during Mr. Rooney’s tenure, Ike Taylor was the only one selected by the family to assist in the solemn and sacred process or carrying Mr. Rooney to his final resting place.
It’s pretty wild to think about the list of former players and coaches that have come through the Steelers’ organization over the past 50+ years then realize that Ike Taylor, of all people, was Dan Rooney’s absolute favorite person. It’s one of the ultimate signs of respect to be someone’s paul bearer. So for someone that impacted so many lives like Dan Rooney, Ike Taylor must’ve meant a whole lot to him. I can’t imagine there were too many dry eyes that witnessed that sight above today.
And I must say, their relationship looked pretty damn awesome.
R.I.P. Mr. Rooney.