On April 13, more than 900 attended a Roast and Tribute honoring former NFL Player, head coach and color commentator Tony Dungy. The ballroom at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh, Downtown, was a great place to be on a Friday the 13th. What started out as a small event where TiAnda Blount was going to invite some Steelers to roast her husband Mel Blount has turned into one of the stellar events of the year.
|FAMILY AFFAIR—Mel, TiAnda and Akil Blount
Not only does the evening feature the opportunity to rub elbows with Pittsburgh Steelers, the audience is able to witness and hear testimony from former residents of the Mel Blount Youth Home.
Bob Leo says when he first went to the youth home he was angry, but after a few days he started to learn how to ride horses and he learned how to behave and act like an adult. Blount says the residents stay at the home, where they experience a different way of life, they deal with plants and animals, the young men have structure and take pride in where they live. While giving the state of the youth home, Blount explained that they are planning to bring the program into the inner city in a partnership with Central Baptist Church (where the Blounts are members) and the new YMCA.
The roasting of Dungy was a little on the light side. Bill Polian said God has never created a finer person than Tony Dungy. Donnie Shell said with Dungy, it is God first, family and then football. After the light roasting Dungy took the microphone, he was surprised that the roasters didn’t come at him harder than they did. However, he did have some material prepared and he said he hated to waste his material. Dungy said when he first came to Pittsburgh and saw Mel Blount in his big cowboy hat and boots, he asked Blount how he could be strong like him. Blount said no need to lift weights, come on down to my farm and you will be strong like me. He wanted to dress sharp like John Stallworth, who told him if you wanted to be sharp you couldn’t wear boxer shorts, wear briefs. He went down to Saks Fifth Avenue and bought some underwear, but with his $15,000 salary that is as far as he got with his new wardrobe. Dungy wrapped up by saying the best thing that came out of coming to Pittsburgh was meeting his wife and the Steelers being his brothers. And as for coaching, I always coached the way I wanted to coached.
Portions of the Mel Blount Youth Home Celebrity Roast will be aired on KDKA-TV May 13, 2-3 p.m. and May 19 at 11 p.m. on the Pittsburgh CW.