President praises Cards, picks Steelers

Updated: February 1, 2009, 11:21 PM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama predicted the Pittsburgh Steelers would win the Super Bowl and they proved him right.

Obama, who talked football during an interview with Matt Lauer on NBC's pregame show Sunday, didn't predict a score, but said, "I think the Steelers are going to eek it out in the end."

That's just what happened.

Santonio Holmes made a brilliant 6-yard catch deep in the right corner of the end zone with 35 seconds remaining, lifting the Steelers to a record-setting sixth Super Bowl win, 27-23 over the Arizona Cardinals.

The Steelers, winning their second Super Bowl in four seasons, led 20-7 in the fourth quarter, only to see Kurt Warner and the Cardinals stage a remarkable rally to go in front 23-20 with 2:37 remaining.

Obama wasn't accurate with his pick last year, selecting the losing New England Patriots.

"I'm still wondering how that guy made that catch," he said of the crucial helmet-top reception by the New York Giants' David Tyree. "It was one of the greatest plays in pro football history."

Obama had already conceded earlier in the week that he was pulling for Pittsburgh. Steelers owner Dan Rooney, a longtime Republican, endorsed Obama's presidential bid and campaigned for him.

Obama also had some praise for the Cardinals.

"I love Kurt Warner's story; I love Larry Fitzgerald -- seems like a wonderful young man," he said. "It's a great story but Rooney didn't just endorse me, that guy was out at going to steel plants campaigning for me. Franco Harris was out waving towels at my rallies."

Asked if he had a Terrible Towel in the other room, Obama said: "I do, actually. I'm not going to be rubbing it in because we've got some Arizona congressmen here and I may need their vote on the recovery package."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press