The Carolina Panthers visited the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night in the NFL preseason’s finale.
It was new Panthers owner David Tepper’s first opportunity to see his hometown and the organization in which he once held a 5 percent stake.
Tepper cruised the field pregame shaking hands and cracking jokes with his old colleagues. He also met with Steelers owner Art Rooney and his mother, Patricia.
He also shared with Rooney that he would be joining Rooney on some NFL committees this season, Rooney told the Observer prior to Thursday night’s kickoff.
A league source said that Tepper will serve on the Health and Safety committee, of which Rooney is also a committee member.
Tepper will also be a member of the Investment committee, which makes sense considering his background as a hedge fund manager — which earned him an $11 billion net worth.
Rooney, one of the NFL’s most respected owners, said that he is more than willing to be a mentor to Tepper as he begins his tenure as a franchise owner.
“David can pick up the phone and call me anytime,” he laughed. “He loves the game. He loves being a part of the NFL. So he’s always interested in learning more. I think he is very competitive, he loves to win. He’ll be intense, that’s for sure.”
Rooney added that one of Tepper’s main goals will be fan engagement and connection.
“He’s great with people, that’s for sure,” said Rooney. “He loves people. Loves to be around people. He’s one of those guys who can walk into any room with any type of person, and immediately strike up a conversation. He’s fun to be around.”