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“I though, ‘Hey, if you can do a baseball game, you can have a football game,’” Mr. Rooney told Irish reporters who covered the festivities at the ambassador’s 62-acre Dublin residence known as Phoenix Park.
He recruited Peter McKenna, the director of Dublin’s Croke Park stadium, to turn the meadow in front of the residence into a football field with the word “Steelers” and the ambassador’s seal of office painted on the lawn.
Prime Minister Brian Cowen tossed the coin to begin the flag football game between the “Phoenix Park Pirates” and the “Dublin 8s,” so named because each side had only eight instead of the official 11 players. Mr. Rooney’s sons, Art Rooney II, the Steelers‘ president, and Daniel, the team’s college scout, flew to Ireland to coach the opposing sides, and a son and daughter of Irish President Mary McAleese played on either team.
Hundreds of guests ate hot dogs and ice cream, as the Dublin 8s beat the Pirates, 28-15.
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About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
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