Ben Roethlisberger took a knee in prayer then sprinted to midfield holding the flag honoring the man who helped guide the Pittsburgh Steelers from irrelevance into a dynasty. Five months after longtime president and chairman Dan Rooney's death, the Steelers won a game like so many during his tenure.
Their 26-9 victory over short-handed Minnesota during an emotionally draining home opener on Sunday was an awful lot like Rooney himself. Workmanlike. Pragmatic. Decidedly unflashy. Relentlessly effective.
Afterward the players presented the game ball to current team president Art Rooney II, Dan's son, who promised it would find its way to his mother Patricia.