Friends, I come to you today with a heavy heart. I feel a deep, aching sorrow in my chest, and I fear that nothing in this life will lift this burden from me.
This weekend, I am going to do something I thought I would never do. I am going to watch a football game and root for the Arizona Cardinals.
I wrote, not so very long ago, of what it felt like to watch the Cardinals
, the team that abandoned our fair city, win the NFC West behind the arm of Kurt Warner
. And how did it feel? Well, to be honest, not so good. Let's face it, I'm sort of an angry guy.
Since then, I've watched the playoffs, and I've watched Arizona, and I've hated Arizona. I've tried to be bitter and angry toward them. I've tried to wish further exile upon them, hoped for a stadium collapse, maybe for the earth to open up and swallow both the team and their fans. In short, the Arizona Cardinals are a little bit like the Chicago Cubs
of football for me.
And then the strangest thing happened. I don't understand how it happened, or when it happened. All I know is that I don't like it. Something changed.
I have a confession, friends.
I sort of like the Arizona Cardinals.
I never meant for this to happen! It was supposed to be just a one-time thing, watching the game, and not booing my television every time they did something right! I swear, when Larry Fitzgerald caught that pass on a deep crossing route against, Carolina, I was thinking about Torry Holt
Like I said, I didn't mean for this to happen, but I found myself this past weekend really enjoying watching the Cardinals play. I really like Larry Fitzgerald; I've been a fan of his since his days playing for the University of Pittsburgh. I love University of Phoenix stadium.
Ken Wizzenhunt, the Cardinals' head coach, seems like a pretty okay guy, and he comes from the AFC North, which I've always had a soft spot for. As sad as it seems, Arizona's ownership finally seems to be on the ball, and you have to respect that, looking at the nightmare we have here with the Rams.
More than anything, though, I found myself rooting for our old hero, Kurt Warner. I said before that I've never been a huge Warner fan, and I stand by that. But you know how when you run into an ex, no matter how ugly things may have gotten, there's always still that moment when you remember just what it was you loved about them?
He may have always bugged me, and his wife really bugged me, but the man can throw a football. And it may very well be that if Warner takes the Cardinals to the Super Bowl, he could punch his ticket to Canton. If he doesn't, he may still be an eventual Hall of Famer, but the debate is much less clear then.
Quarterbacks who lead two different teams to a total of three Super Bowls usually don't have a whole lot of trouble getting in, particularly not two-time MVP's with numbers Warner has for his career.
With the Cardinals doing so well, we're seeing all the old heroes of the Cardiac Cardinal days again. I've heard Jim Hart on the radio several times just this past week, Dan Dierdorf is even more ubiquitous than usual, and while I haven't yet come across a Conrad Dobler sighting, I have to believe he'll eventually show up too. The Arizona Cardinals winning has given us a reason to be a little bit nostalgic about both the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Rams, and while I don't necessarily like that, I'm also having a tough time fighting it.
So there is my confession. I hope you don't think too much less of me, but I'll understand if you do. I'm a little disappointed in myself, to be honest. When the Cardinals play the Eagles, I'll be cheering for the Cardinals, and probably booing me. It's an ugly situation, and one that I can only hope doesn't happen often.
Go Cards. Sigh.