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Fontana Pays Tribute to Legendary Steelers Coach Chuck Noll
On June 20, 2014
HARRISBURG, June 20, 2014 – Speaking on the Senate floor, state Sen. Wayne D. Fontana gave the following remarks in tribute to the late legendary Steelers coach Chuck Noll:
“Mr. President, I rise to offer this resolution that pays tribute to legendary Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Chuck Noll.
As many of you know, Coach Noll died last Friday at the age of 82.
While he will always be known and credited for turning a perennial losing football team into a dynasty, Chuck Noll was much more than that to people from Pittsburgh.
His achievements speak volumes, but I think Chuck Noll was admired more for how he succeeded than what he accomplished.
He was a quiet, modest and unassuming man who knew that there was no substitute for hard work.
Chuck Noll was a teacher, and a believer in fundamentals.
He believed in loyalty, dedication and abiding self confidence. Coach Noll once told a group of players that if he had to motivate them, he would fire them.
His formula was simple. He drafted talented athletes who were capable of doing their job; and he taught them what was expected of them as both players and teammates.
Chuck Noll believed in teamwork and devotion to the collective cause. There was no room for players with huge egos who were not willing to push and sacrifice themselves in the pursuit of team goals.
Mr. President, Chuck Noll hated the spotlight, and never dwelled on success. Seconds after hoisting Super Bowl trophies, he was always looking ahead to the next season, determined to find new ways to improve and get better.
Coach Noll always gave the credit to his players – and downplayed his own role and influence.
He once joked, “Some coaches pray for wisdom. I pray for 280 pound tackles. They’ll give me plenty of wisdom.”
He had no time for self-made celebrities and braggarts. When questioned at one of the Super Bowls about Dallas Cowboy’s “Hollywood” Henderson’s relentless trash talking, Noll simply said, “Empty drums make the most noise.”
In this age when so many athletes and coaches view self-publicity and individual accomplishment as career goals, Chuck Noll shines through as someone who did it the hard way, did it the right way — and did it the classy way.
He was hired to coach a franchise that had been an NFL doormat for decades. Despite going 1-13 in his first season, he remained committed to his coaching approach and methodically built one of the greatest and proudest franchises in football history.
Mr. President, Pittsburgh has always been known for its blue collar work ethic. Our sports fans demand players who are unselfish, loyal to our city, loyal to their teammates and dedicated to winning championships the right way.
In some ways, Chuck Noll was a mirror reflection of our city and its people. In other ways, our loyal and unwavering support for our teams is a lasting reflection of Chuck Noll and his humble example.
Thank you Mr. President.”
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