Joe Biden, a Scranton, Pennsylvania native, took the stage and briefly lost his composure as he recounted his family's emotional connection with the Steelers' organization. In December 1972, former Steelers' running back Rocky Bleier
visited his two young sons in the hospital and presented them with autographed footballs following the fatal crash that killed Biden's wife and daughter. Click here
to see Biden tell his story (courtesy of WTAE/Pittsburgh).
"They looked like they had lighted up like Christmas trees," recalled Biden. "My one little boy was in traction and the other little boy had a seriously fractured skull and they were happy, and they each had ... footballs in their beds." Biden briefly lost his composure remembering the scene. Wiping away a tear he continued, "I said, 'Guys, where'd you get the ball?' and they said, 'Daddy, Rocky Bleier gave it to us.'"
Bleir had been sent to the hospital by Steelers' founder Art Rooney Sr.
— Dan Rooney's father — as Biden recalls, "without any fanfare, without any announcement, without anything other than his incredible decency." Once again he broke down and said, "I really apologize, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have tried to do this," he said. Referring the the Rooney family he said, "It's a helluva family, it's a helluva family, the greatest family in football and you're lucky to have them."