TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - For years, Jim Hart couldn't bring himself to get too excited about anything involving the Arizona Cardinals. Like many others, he couldn't envision them making the Super Bowl in his lifetime.
"I'm more of a Cardinals fan today than five years ago," said Hart, the star quarterback for the Big Red in the 1970s when the franchise was located in St. Louis.
"They left our city and they didn't nurture us, didn't recognize us, so to speak. But they have now. Michael Bidwill has taken over and he's said: 'Hey, there's a history here and you guys need to be a part of it.' This was done a couple of years ago. So we're not just jumping on a bandwagon that's doing well."
Hart, the Cardinals' career passing leader with 34,639 yards and 209 touchdowns, thinks the NFC champions have a chance to be successful for years because of an about-face by the front office.
He had an adversarial relationship with owner Bill Bidwill during his playing days, but said son, Michael, "has a (public relations) presence and understands what it takes to get to this level. I think they'll be a force to be reckoned with for a long time."
Hart, who played from 1966-83, said his relationship with Bill Bidwill has improved.
"He was just a difficult man to talk to. You talked to him, you didn't talk with him," Hart said.
"But today, these last couple of years, when I've visited out there, he's been very gracious and very easy to talk to. Time heals. Time changes people. I think he's on board with the son and they're doing well."
STOP THE STEELERS: The thought of Pittsburgh owning more Super Bowl titles than the Dallas Cowboys doesn't sit well with Roger Staubach. So the Hall of Famer likes the Cardinals in Sunday's NFL championship game.
The Steelers and the Cowboys both have won a record five titles, and the former Dallas quarterback would like it to remain that way - at least for now.
The Cowboys won two Super Bowls in the 1970s with Staubach leading the way, but also lost twice to Pittsburgh in the title game that decade.
"We beat the Steelers, too, by the way. Of course I wasn't on the team, but the Cowboys did," Staubach said, referring to Dallas finishing the 1995 season with a 27-17 victory over Pittsburgh.
The Cowboys have not been back to the Super Bowl since.
"I'm not in love with the Steelers," said Staubach, who's in town as part of a North Texas Super Bowl host committee that's planning for the 2011 game, which will be played in the new Cowboys stadium.
"I really respect the Steelers. I grew up in Ohio. I'm a Midwest guy. ... But I'm not in love with them. You know? We lost twice to them. So I'm pulling for the Cardinals, and they're an NFC team, too."
WALSH HONORED: The NFL's minority coaching internship program was the brainchild of the late Bill Walsh, and the league decided to honor the Hall of Fame coach by renaming it the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship.
More than 1,300 minority coaches, including four current NFL head coaches, have participated in the program Walsh introduced to the league during San Francisco's training camp in 1987.
Every team participates today. Last summer, clubs invited a record 90 coaches to camps around the league.
"Bill Walsh is known for his coaching tree that produced many NFL coaches, such as Tony Dungy, Mike Holmgren and Dennis Green," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "But that tree has even more branches because of Bill's initiation of the minority internship. That is why the program will now bear his name."
Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin, whose Steelers face the Arizona Cardinals in Sunday's Super Bowl, is one of four active head coaches who are graduates of the internship program. Chicago's Lovie Smith, Cincinnati's Marvin Lewis and Tampa Bay's Raheem Morris are the others.
WORDWIDE COVERAGE: Sunday's game will be televised in 230 countries and territories in 34 languages.
The NFL said 15 countries and regions - Canada (CTV), China (Shanghai Media Group), Belgium (Telenet), Brazil (ESPN International), Denmark (Viasat), France (France 2), Germany (ARD), Hungary (Sport 1), Italy (RAI), Japan (NHK, Nippon Television), Latin America (FOX), Mexico (Televisa, TV Azteca), Russia (NTV Plus), Spain (Canal Plus, Cadena Ser) and the United Kingdom (BSkyB, BBC TV) - will cover on site at Raymond James Stadium.
Meanwhile, the English world feed will be translated into 33 languages: Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, Chinese Cantonese, Chinese Mandarin, Czech, Croatian, Danish, Finnish, Flemish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Montenegrin, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Taiwanese Mandarin, Thai, Turkish.
The American Sports Network in Asia will provide the world feed to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Taiwan.
NFL LEGENDS: Many of the 100 former NFL players who attended Mike Ditka's Gridiron Greats Dinner of Champions filed into the Super Bowl media center Thursday for a news conference to raise awareness of the effort to improve pension benefits for retired players.
Among the participants were Ditka, Tony Dorsett, Icky Woods, Conrad Dobler, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Deacon Jones, Lem Barney, Jim Hart, Mel Renfro, Dwight Harrison, Robert Brown, Rocky Bleier and Michael Irvin.
The plight of retired players also has caught the attention of Minnesota center Matt Birk, who is working with Gridiron Greats to educate and generate support among other current players.
"I look at this problem that's facing some retired players, and it's a problem that shouldn't exist because of the financial success of the league today," Birk said.
"It's important, as we go forward, to remember those who built this game up. ... The game isn't as big and successful as it is today because we showed up. It's obviously taken a long time, generations, to get to this point. Our voice isn't as loud as it should be, but there are current players out there who care about taking care of retired players, first and foremost because it's the right thing to do. There is a debt of gratitude that needs to be repaid."