So you’re not a Pittsburgh Steelers fan and you’re not an Arizona Cardinals fan, but you’ve been invited to a Super Bowl party and you need to know who to root for. Before you pick the Cardinals because you’re a progressive and you love underdogs, I urge you to consider a few facts.
Dan Rooney, the 76-year-old owner of the Steelers and a lifelong Republican, endorsed Obama and stumped for him not just in Pennsylvania but in the surrounding swing states. He did so despite the fact that Obama’s promise of increased taxes on the wealthy forced Rooney’s family to restructure the ownership of the team. Head coach Mike Tomlin is a vocal Obama supporter. At a recent press conference he said, “Barack is selling hope. And I’m buying.” Steelers players have spoken out about how they hope to win the Super Bowl in part because it would mean they would be the first championship sports team to visit Obama’s White House. (Also worth noting: Barack Obama grew up a Steelers fan and is rooting for the Steel Curtain on Sunday.)
The Bidwell family, longtime owners of the Cardinals, are major Republican donors. Their donor history can be found on opensecrets.org, but to save you time, I’ll point you to a couple links. The LA Times reports that team President William Bidwell and Vice President Michael Bidwell each gave $50,000 to Republicans this past election season. Politico adds that as fundraisers for McCain, they bundled upwards of $350,000 for the Republican presidential candidate.
Mull that over as you tip back your favorite adult beverage on Sunday evening. I think your choice is clear.
Update: More proof! Arizona’s starting quarterback Kurt Warner appeared in an advertisement opposing stem cell research in 2006.