TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -Dan Rooney believes his Pittsburgh Steelers have been a balm for his city as it tries to get through hard economic times.
``They have had difficult times in Pittsburgh and we sort of filled the void,'' the Steelers owner said Tuesday during media day at the Super Bowl. ``They could have something for their pride.''
The Steelers will be seeking their sixth championship, the most of any team in the Super Bowl era, when they play the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. They won four in six seasons during the 1970s and three seasons ago beat Seattle for their fifth - ``one for the thumb.''
The 76-year-old Rooney talked for 15 or 20 minutes at the south end of Raymond James Stadium, a bit removed from where his team's players and coaches were speaking. He soon after made a long, slow trek through the media horde toward the other end of the stadium, with a procession of reporters following behind.
44 season, when the Steelers and the Cardinals, then based in Chicago, were forced to merge because of the lack of players during World War II. That team finished 0-10 a year after Pittsburgh's merging with the Philadelphia Eagles, a team called the Steagles.
``You needed players,'' said Rooney, who was 12 at the time. ``So with the Eagles the year before, who had a lot of Navy guys, it was a similar situation there. In Pittsburgh the people we had were workers and they built the ships. They turned out the steel for tanks and things like that, but it was a different situation because they had to work long, long hours. It was a lot different than getting people to play football on the weekends.''
He also said he was happy for Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill and his family, one that's had very little on-field success over the last six decades.
``Yeah, I think it's great what he has done. One of the old Card-Pitts, too. It is terrific. They have a fine football team, and they are a good team. They deserve to be here for how they have played.''

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