[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/29/art.steelers.gi.jpg caption="The Steelers are this year’s presidential Super Bowl pick."](CNN) - President Obama made a major endorsement Thursday, announcing his support for the Pittsburgh Steelers in this Sunday’s Super Bowl showdown.
“I wish the Cardinals the best. Kurt Warner is a great story, and he’s closer to my age than anybody else on the field,” he said. “But I am a longtime Steelers fan.
“Mr. Rooney, the owner, was just an extraordinary supporter during the course of the campaign. Franco Harris was campaigning for me in Pittsburgh…Coach [Mike] Tomlin was a supporter.
“I wish the best to the Cardinals - they’ve been longsuffering, it’s a great Cinderella story. But other than the Bears, the Steelers are probably the team that’s closest to my heart.”
In the midst of the firestorm over Obama’s “bitter” remarks, Rooney endorsed him in advance of the Pennsylvania’s April primary.
"True sports fans know that you support your team even when they are the underdogs," Rooney said in a letter then. "Barack Obama is the underdog here but it is with great pride that I join his team."