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Bears fan Obama will be rooting for Steelers

TAMPA, Fla. - President Barack Obama is a Bears fan who apparently will root for the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII. Why? Because Steelers owner Dan Rooney was a major Obama supporter during the election.

Rooney, a lifelong Republican, first was impressed by Obama last January when he watched Obama thank supporters after a surprise win in the Iowa caucuses.

"This is the greatest speech I've seen since John Kennedy," Rooney told his son Jim, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "This guy connects with people like no one I've seen since John Kennedy. He convinced me that this is more than just a good politician. I want to stand up and say something for this guy. I want to be involved in this."

Three months later, while in Pittsburgh attending a conference on steel manufacturing, Obama spent nearly an hour talking to Rooney.

Rooney told the Post-Gazette that Obama is a Bears fan first but that he's a Steelers fan for this game. "He said it, and all his staff, they're rooting for us."

The fact that Cardinals owner Bill Bidwill was a huge supporter of John McCain probably didn't hurt.

Haley leaving? Maybe not

There's increasing chatter that Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley is a serious candidate to succeed Herman Edwards, whom the Chiefs fired Friday. But Haley sounds as if he's not ready to leave yet.

"Like I've told everybody else, I love my job here," Haley said. "I love the guy I work for [Ken Whisenhunt] and the guys I work with, and I love the guys I coach. I've got five kids, so the last thing I'm thinking about is moving anywhere. I'm just enjoying what's going on right here and the fact we've been able to do something nobody else has been able to do."

Ward on the mend

Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward insists he'll be ready for the Super Bowl despite spraining his right MCL in the AFC Championship Game.

Ward may be limited in practice but there appears little question he'll play. He said he suffered a slightly separated shoulder in practice two days before Super Bowl XL. It didn't stop him, because he was voted Most Valuable Player and got the trip to Disney World.

LaBoy, Arrington hurting

Cardinals running back J.J. Arrington (knee) won't test his injured knee until tomorrow at the earliest. Whisenhunt said he believes Arrington will be available for the game. Whisenhunt also is hopeful that defensive end/linebacker Travis LaBoy (biceps tendon) and punter Ben Graham (groin) will be ready to play.

New York Sports