I got a little press release from the fine folks at Toyota the other day with a bunch of Super Bowl predictions for the manufacturer's NASCAR drivers. Many of guys are siding with the Cardinals and all had their reasons, no matter if they were die-hard NFL fans or casual observers.
Sprint Cup rookie Scott Speed based his rooting interest on his only experience watching a live NFL game. “I went to my first NFL game a couple weeks ago when the Panthers played the Cardinals in the playoffs," Speed said. "The Panthers lost really badly because the Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald caught everything that got thrown in the sky! I’m pulling for the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl, for sure. Fitzgerald is the man -- he has sticky fingers. I don’t like the Steelers, not for any particular reason, I just don’t like them. I think they’re bullies! On Sunday, I’m going to have some friends over to my house to watch the game, so I hope my team can pull off the win!”
Kyle Busch and Micheal Waltrip have a special place in their heart for Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, above. "I’m kind of friends with Kurt Warner, so I would really like to see him win," Busch said. "I got to spend some time with him at a Super Bowl party last year in Phoenix when M&M’s had me out there. Kurt came around the room and we talked a little bit, so it would be great to see him do well and the Cardinals win.”
Said Waltrip: “All of my friends are Pittsburgh Steelers fans, so I hope the (Arizona) Cardinals win. Plus, I love Kurt Warner because he’s old like me -- really not quite like me."
Young Joey Logano apparently didn't grow up in a NFL-crazy house. But he still has a rooting interest in Sunday's game. "I have to admit, I’m not a huge football fan -- I did follow the Redskins a little when Coach Gibbs was there," Logano said. "It’s tough when you race during most of the football season. Every year we do get family and friends together to watch it though. This year I’m pulling for Pittsburgh, they are closer to where I grew up. And anyway, I have a 50-50 chance of being right.”
Camping World Truck Series champion and Michigan native Johnny Benson knows his football and he likes the Steelers' chances. “I like Pittsburgh. Their defense is awesome," Benson said. "Ben Roethlisberger is cool under pressure and does a really good job. I think the Cardinals are a good team, too, but I just think the Steelers have the upper hand. Pittsburgh made it this far because they're a really good team and their coach does a good job. I'm even trying to get tickets so I can go to the game.”
But Marcos Ambrose, a native of Tasmania (an island state that is part of Australia), had the best reason to root for the Cardinals. “I have to go for the Cardinals because of Ben Graham (right), their punter. He’s Australian,” he said.
-- Michele Vincze
Photos: The Associated Press