Study in Contrasts

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a new face: Bob Nutting, a West Virginian who is stepping out of the shadows of the team's investment group to assume the role of "principal owner."

The contrasts among the public faces of the three main Pittsburgh professional sports teams remain intriguing:

The Steelers are represented by the Rooneys, and particularly by Dan Rooney. They are old Pittsburgh through and through: quiet, steady, forthright, loyal, true to tradition. Most of the time -- having a casino as a possible neighbor rocks the boat a bit.

The Penguins are represented by Mario Lemieux. He is nouveau Pittsburgh: sporting superhero, charitable celebrity, glamorous, bearing an enthralling sense of entitlement when it comes to what public officials should offer the team.

The Pirates were represented by Kevin McClatchy. McClatchy was progressive Pittsburgh: young, business-minded, not from Western PA and not beholden to Pittsburgh's parochial business or political cultures. But McClatchy crashed and burned, and now we have Bob Nutting, who is the new and improved progressive Pittsburgh: young, business-minded, not from Western PA -- but from close by -- and not beholden to Pittsburgh's parochial business or political cultures.

Nutting seems to be kind of person who doesn't make big changes in a hurry, he seems to be the kind of person who isn't going to sacrifice long term fundamentals for short term payoffs, and he seems to be the kind of person who knows his own mind and follows it, without catering to the whims and demands of the sporting public. Does that make him McClatchy redux? Or does that make him a new kind of Rooney?

It's all speculation today, but my money is on the latter.

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Pittsblog 2.0 is written by Mike Madison, a law professor at the University of Pittsburgh. Send email to michael.j.madison[at]gmail.com. Mike also blogs at Madisonian.net, on law and technology. Chris Briem of Null Space drops by from time to time.

All opinions expressed at Pittsblog 2.0 are those of their respective authors and of no one (and no thing) else, least of all the University of Pittsburgh.

Pittsblog 2.0 has a motto: "It's steel good in Pittsburgh." Say it aloud, with a Pittsburgh accent.

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