Dan Rooney (right), seen here with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, was asked to leave the New York Giants' press box by an attendant who didn't recognise him. Keith Srakocic/AP
Dan Rooney

US ambassador to Ireland kicked out of press box at NFL game

Dan Rooney was asked to leave the press box – because he didn’t have the credentials to watch his own team play.

THE UNITED STATES’ Ambassador to Ireland, Dan Rooney, was ordered to leave the press box at an American Football match at the weekend for not having the appropriate credentials – despite being the owner of one of the teams taking part.

Rooney – who owns the Pittsburgh Steelers, and who was appointed Ambassador to Ireland in July 2009 – was in the press box at the Giants Stadium in New York, speaking to reporters before retiring to his owners’ suite – a habit he reportedly does before most matches.

In the middle of a conversation with one correspondent, however, he was approached by a door attendant who wanted to see his credentials to be in the official press area.

When Rooney was unable to produce them – obviously not usually being asked to carry such documentation – he was politely asked to vacate the area.

To his credit, Rooney kindly obliged – without telling the attendant who he was.

Ambassador Rooney is said to have flown in from Dublin specifically just to see the match, being understood to dearly miss watching his team play in person, and returned to Ireland immediately after the match.

As if managing to work the hand of fate, Rooney saw his side beat the Giants 24-17 in a game that saw star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger make his debut for the Steelers.