It’s Not Easy Being a Cardinals Fan in AZ

15Nov15

I’ve been taking the back seat for nearly a year now, listening to everyone else spout their opinions about the Arizona Cardinals, describing with passion why they didn’t think the Cardinals have been for real, boldly predicting that the Seattle Seahawks would “flip the switch” any minute now and take back the NFC West, a division that belongs to them and no one else.

Some of the comments were backed up by actual facts, especially the ones that came out during the spring and summer before the 2015 season began. There was nothing I could do about them, so I kept quiet and let the experts do their thing. After all, they get paid to give their opinions, so people were going to listen whether they right or wrong.

When the season began, and the Cardinals were tearing through their schedule, the nay-sayers were out in droves, putting no stock whatsoever in the massive victories since they were against the worst teams in the league. Heck, anybody could destroy the Saints, Bears and 49ers. No, what was important to pay attention to was the fact that the Seahawks were losing to very good teams.

Again, they were the experts and we were simply homer fans, so what did we know, right. Even when one of those experts made the brilliant comment, when asked what the Cardinals needed in order to become a contender, that they were lacking a solid quarterback. The fact that their current QB was in the top three in nearly every offensive category in the league apparently was not quite good enough. It couldn’t possibly be that he never bothered to watch a game that contained a team west of the Mississippi because he was, after all the expert.

Now we have reached week ten, the week that all fans in the great state of the cactus and desert have had circled on their calendar since last February. (If you don’t believe me about the whole cactus and desert thing, watch any network broadcast of any sporting event from the valley of the sun, because you will be sure to see a giant saguaro in the middle of the desert. They never bother to tell you that the camera is firmly planted 30 miles outside of the city!)

The 6-2 Cardinals are at the 4-4 Seahawks. Time to settle things once and for all. Forget that the most powerful offense is taking on a very good defense that hasn’t quite hit its stride yet. Forget that one of last season’s most physical offenses hasn’t figured out how to score a TD once they’ve reached the red zone.

No, the experts are bound and determined to be right, no matter what, so we have had to endure a double dose of clichés, metaphors and flat out ignorance of present day reality in order to justify their 9-week long support of the team from the rainy city.

I thought I would be able to sit back and smile and enjoy some of the great stories coming out, but when the top sports talk show in Seattle began to attack the Cardinals fans like a bunch of school girls, followed by an onslaught of attacks on ownership and coaching, I grabbed my laptop, dusted of the ¼” of dust that has accumulated and began pounding away.

Let’s take a look at one of the stronger statements these soaking wet experts threw out there. “We’re better than Arizona because they haven’t beaten a good team yet, but we’ve lost to real good teams.”

Take a minute to read that one again. See if you can find any logic in there at all. “We’ve lost to real good teams.” That’s why they’re better than the Cardinals?

Or how about “two years ago, Palmer threw four interceptions against us twice.” That was followed up by “we swept you last year.”

Let’s start with the last two first, even though they don’t represent the present day teams that are about to clash tonight. First of all, two years ago, when all those interceptions were thrown, AZ still beat the Seahawks in Seattle, something that was unheard for the previous fifteen or so matches up there. And this was without an offensive line. Not sure how that argument makes any sense at all.

Next, the Seahawks did indeed sweep the Cardinals last season. First, they beat us with our #2 QB at the helm, along with approximately eight other starters on the bench. In week 17, back in AZ, the Cardinals stuck their #4 QB on the field, a guy that was on the practice squad of another team only three weeks prior to the game. Believe me, there wasn’t a team in the league that would have had trouble beating the Cardinals that afternoon.

Now, let’s take a look at the present teams. I believe the argument was the Cardinals haven’t beaten anybody that was good. You know what? They are correct. All SIX of the teams that the Cardinals have beaten currently have losing records. In fact, the average record of the SIX teams that have lost to AZ is 3-6.

Now let’s look at the FOUR teams that the Seahawks have beaten. Hmmm. That can’t be right. Well I’ll be. They haven’t beaten a single team with a winning record either. In fact, the average record of the FOUR teams that Seattle has beaten is ….. 3-6! But I’m sure the Seahawks have won by much larger margins, right?

Well, let’s see, both teams have beaten the Bears, Lions and 49ers. Let’s take a look at those games, shall we? The Cardinals won those games 48-23, 42-17 and 47-7, respectively. That’s an average score of 46-16. Yikes!

Meanwhile Seattle beat those three teams 26-0, 13-10 and 20-3, for an average score of 20-4. Not too shabby either. We won’t talk about how they needed a blown call by the referees to beat the hapless Lions in Seattle, because, hey they got the W, right?

Listen folks, we can go on and on talking stats to make our own particular arguments credible, but the bottom line is this. If the Seahawks spent more than ten minutes reading the headlines that their own people are generating, they could be in for a long night. Why? Because this is not 2014 or 2013. This season, the Cardinals are the team to beat in the NFC West. Unless Seattle finds a way to completely shut their offensive juggernaut down, and then figures out a way to actually score points themselves, they cannot, and will not contend with these Cardinals.

And then they’ll have to do it all over again, in week 17, in Arizona!

Enough talk. Let’s play the game already!

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