Presidents are usually careful not to take sides in big sporting events, like Sunday's Super Bowl. They don't want to alienate the fans of either team, so they generally praise both sides and leave it at that.
Not Barack Obama. He threw caution and even-handedness out the window yesterday and endorsed the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Super Bowl matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.
"Other than the [Chicago] Bears, the Steelers are probably the team that's closest to my heart," Obama told reporters in the Oval Office. The president is a longtime resident of Chicago and former senator from Illinois.
Obama waded deeper into dangerous waters when he pointed out that Steelers president Art Rooney II and coach Mike Tomlin had both supported him in the presidential campaign.
Obama did have some praise for the underdog Cardinals, however. "[Quarterback] Kurt Warner is a great story and he's closer to my age than anybody else on the field, but I am a long-time Steelers fan. You know, I wish the best to the Cardinals. They've been long-suffering. It's a great Cinderella story, but..."
Obama plans to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday with a group of invited friends, members of Congress from both parties, and other guests at the White House. During the pregame show, he has scheduled a live interview with NBC's Matt Lauer.
Vice President Joe Biden, who was born in Scranton, Pa., also backs the Steelers. He told CNBC, "I know you're supposed to be one of these guys that says I'm not sure. But I want to make clear, I'm rooting for the Steelers. Go, Mr. Rooney!"