The Pittsburgh Steelers had front-office representation in Dublin this weekend supporting American football initiatives and gathering intel on the Irish market now that it has marketing rights for Ireland and Northern Ireland as part of the NFL’s push to expand its audience internationally. The team has joined forces with the powerful Gaelic Athletic Association with an eye toward a regular-season game at Croke Park in the future, though no promises have been made.
Daniel Rooney, the team’s director of business development and strategy, visited an amateur American football game featuring an Irish team during a visit to Donnybrook Stadium on Friday night. He did a coin toss and crowned a kicking champion.
The Steelers played the Chicago Bears in a preseason game at Croke Park in 1997. Ireland has never hosted a regular-season game, however. No. 13 Notre Dame defeated Navy, 42-3, on Saturday at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Two regional colleges have previously played in Ireland. Pitt beat Rutgers 46-29 at Lansdowne Road in 1989 and Penn State defeated UCF 26-24 at Croke Park in 2014.
🏈 Pittsburgh was ranked as the “Best City for NFL Football,” according to Real Estate Witch, a blog dedicated to commentary on real estate. The Green Bay, Wisconsin (Packers) and Dallas, Texas (Cowboys) came in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
“Pittsburgh’s winning culture is stronger than steel. The city has claimed six Super Bowls, tied with Boston’s New England Patriots for the most championships of any city,” Matt Brannon of Real Estate Witch wrote. The City of Bridges has had incredible success in the regular season as well, winning 661 games in its history — 36% more than the average NFL city (488). In fact, the team hasn’t had a losing season since coach Mike Tomlin took over in 2007.
“Pittsburgh’s status as the best pro football city is also based on its longevity, with the Steelers having been around for 90 years — 55% longer than the average NFL team’s tenure today (58 years). Plus, an independent analysis by Emory University professor Mike Lewis recently ranked Pittsburgh’s fan base as fifth best in the NFL, in part due to an impressive social media presence.”
🏈 San Francisco 49ers strong safety Talanoa Hufanga has been out a few days with Baker cyst, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. A Baker cyst is fluid-filled growth behind the knee. Hufanga’s health status will be something to watch for, as the Steelers face San Francisco in the season opener on Sept. 10 at Acrisure Stadium.
Hufanga was a Pro Bowler and All-Pro and All-NFL selection at safety last season, alongside Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.
🏈 Rich Eisen is expecting great things from Kenny Pickett this season.
“Kenny Pickett, this guy all he’s done in the preseason is lead touchdown drives. That’s it. Five drives in the preseason, everyone one of them ended in a touchdown,” Eisen said. “Kenny Pickett, what if this guy takes the leap? What if the Steelers have solved the quarterback issue that we all knew was going to be coming when Big Ben was chiming in when (Tom) Brady and Peyton Manning were not?”
🏈 The Steelers’ last top-5 pick was Terry Bradshaw in 1970 at No. 1 overall out of Louisiana Tech. It’s the longest steak in the NFL without having a top-5 pick. The next-longest streak is the New England Patriots, who took Willie McGinest with the No. 4 overall pick in 1994.
🎂 Happy Birthday to former Steelers inside linebacker Donta Jones, born on August 27, 1972 in Washington D.C. Jones started nine games for the Steelers from 1995-98.
🎥 Diontae Johnson and George Pickens went to the Pittsburgh Central Catholic-Woodland Hills game on Friday night.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Who are the most underrated Penguins of all time?
Pittsburgh Baseball Now: Pirates No. 1 overall pick Paul Skenes made his Double-A debut in front of 10,000 fans in Altoona on Saturday.
Pittsburgh Sports Now: What will happen with Pitt basketball’s roster and rotation after Dior Johnson’s departure?
West Virginia Sports Now: After getting the news he’ll be replaced by Trey Lance, WVU alum Will Grier had a sparkling final preseason game for the Cowboys.
Nittany Sports Now: The College GameDay crew is high on Penn State.
Pittsburgh Soccer Now: The Riverhounds played first-place in the west San Antonio to a 0-0 draw on the road.