This is just a small example of a McSame lie. I can just imagine the big ones. We take any story about our Steelers seriously here in Steeler Nation!
Arizona Sen. John McCain stuck his Terrible Towel in his mouth this week.
In a local television interview Wednesday, Mr. McCain recalled his love of the Steelers, saying he slyly gave the names of Steeler defensive linemen to Vietnamese interrogators while a prisoner of war in 1967.
There are couple huge problems with that statement: Mr. McCain wrote in his 1999 best-seller "Faith of My Fathers" that he actually gave interrogators names of Green Bay Packers offensive linemen.
And besides, the Steelers of the late 1960s -- before the Steel Curtain and after the retirement of Hall-of-Fame lineman Ernie Stautner -- were so unsuccessful, few people outside their immediate families would claim knowing them.
The campaign for the probable Republican presidential candidate said the comment was an "honest mistake" and blamed bloggers for insensitively stirring up the matter.
Asked Wednesday by KDKA-TV's Jon Delano what first comes to mind when he thinks of Pittsburgh, Mr. McCain said, "The Steelers. I was a mediocre high school athlete and I loved and adored sports but the Steelers really made a huge impression on me, particularly in the early years."
Sitting by his wife Cindy, the senator then told a story about his 51/2 years as a POW.
"When I was first interrogated and really had to give some information because of the pressures, the physical pressures that were on me, I named the starting lineup -- defensive line of the Pittsburgh Steelers -- as my squadron mates."
Mr. Delano asked Mr. McCain, age 71, if he could name them now.
"No, unfortunately, I couldn't, but I certainly could then," Mr. McCain said.
You can hardly blame the senator for not knowing them. The biggest Steelers fan you know probably couldn't name the defensive line of the 4-9-1 Steelers in 1967 -- the year the Navy pilot was shot down over Hanoi -- of Chuck Hinton, Ken Kortas, Ben McGee and Lloyd Voss.
In "Faith of My Fathers," Mr. McCain describes being interrogated after crashing his plane, then -- after being discovered as the son of a Navy admiral -- being sent to a hospital for treatment. Under threats of ending the treatment, the interrogators demanded inside military information.
"Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers' offensive line, and said they were members of my squadron," he wrote on page 194.
The illustrious Packers won the Super Bowl in 1967 and 1968.
Mr. McCain has often repeated the story, including during an interview with CNN in 2005, which began with a clip from a television movie of his book. The clip showed the McCain character repeating the names "Starr, Gregg, McGee, Davis, Adderley, Brown, Ringo, Wood."
"For those who don't know the story, were those NFL football players?," asked the CNN interviewer.
"That was the starting lineup of the Green Bay Packers, the first Super Bowl champions, yes," Mr. McCain said. (Center Jim Ringo left the team in 1963.)
The senator's mixup with the Steelers "was an honest mistake," a campaign spokesman said yesterday. "If bloggers want to make fun of John McCain because he forgot which team he used under torture, that is their right."
The campaign for Democratic Illinois Sen. Barack Obama had no comment.
As noted by ABC-TV's Jake Tapper, who first reported the Steelers snafu on his blog late Thursday, Mr. McCain has also used the Packers story to illustrate his opposition to torture, saying it can lead to unreliable information, such as in a cover story he wrote for Newsweek in November 2005.
"I was once physically coerced to provide my enemies with the names of the members of my flight squadron, information that had little if any value to my enemies as actionable intelligence. But I did not refuse, or repeat my insistence that I was required under the Geneva Conventions to provide my captors only with my name, rank and serial number. Instead, I gave them the names of the Green Bay Packers' offensive line, knowing that providing them false information was sufficient to suspend the abuse," he wrote.