Arizona Cardinals, Football, Kurt Warner, NFL, Sports

Every Man Has To Stand Up And Take A Stance …… Derek Anderson Doesn’t Stand On Ceremony …. He Just Rants Like A Dick !


Every Man Has To Stand Up And Take A Stance …… Derek Anderson Doesn’t Stand On Ceremony …. He Just Rants Like A Dick !

Well Monday Night Football brought about a game that might have been about as enthralling as witnessing Roseanne Barr give a rousing rendition of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’. I’m not saying that the game was bad but hell couldn’t the NFL hierarchy get something from out of their much vaunted archives and show instead ? The NFC West and the teams therein are so friggin’ bad that its an affront to call anything emanating from within the division football !. The Arizona Cardinals , San Francisco 49ers , St Louis Rams and Seattle Seahawks are a combined 17-27 and not one of the quartet of teams actually has a ‘winning record’ at present . It’s pretty safe to say that the NFC West much like its AFC West counterpart are the two worse divisions in all of football.

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It was painstakingly obvious right from the start that the fans were about to witness one of those monstrosities of a game where they’d have been better off taking in perhaps three hours of Jerry Springer and one of his eponymous episodes of mayhem . The Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers have had their problems this season and those stories have been well chronicled. And for the respective coaches Ken Whisenhunt and Mike Singletary this hardly could have been the season that they had envisaged for their teams. Singletary and the Niners just seem to be entrenched in a season of playing some rather mediocre football. And this was a team whom many believed were about to take the next step and be considered not just a legitimate contender for the divisional title but also as one of the surprise teams within the NFC and a shot of making the postseason. Instead what we’ve seen from the team has been inconsistency , even less accountability from the players and coaching staff led by Mike Singletary. The coach’s postgame interviews have become ripe with anecdotes and a litany of rather idiotic sayings that meander from one moment of insanity to the next. As of now, it’s hard to see how the front office of the San Francisco 49ers can retain the services of the coach and bring him back for next season. Team President & CEO Jed York and the executives have to be contemplating whether or not it’d be the club’s best interests to continue with Singletary as their head coach.

For Whisenhunt and the Cardinals this has been a season of profound disappointment for the organization and the team . Much of the team’s fall from grace has centered around the disappointing quarterback play. It was thought that the continued grooming of Matt Leinart would reap dividends as the player was viewed the heir apparent to the now retired Kurt Warner . Whisenhunt would have a loss of faith in Leinart and at the same time the player’s overall progression, productivity didn’t exactly instill a great deal of faith from his teammates. Maturity wise it were as if Leinart that he was still entitled and on the campus of USC where he’d been feted like a king. If only his college career had carried over into the NFL then perhaps we wouldn’t have the seen the resultant trade of Leinart to the Houston Texans where he’s now the backup to incumbent starter Matt Schaub .

Draft picks from this year’s draft and the continued belief that the team was now heading in the right direction it was felt that the time would be “now” for the Arizona Cardinals. These new recruits could contribute to the team’s gradual progression since Whisenhunt was hired by GM Rod Graves at the behest of the Bidwill’s. But with there being no apparent leadership forthcoming by way of quarterback who could play the position with any degree of efficiency what we’ve witnessed from the Cardinals this season has been the play of a team uncertain in its own identity and competitiveness. Having acquired former Browns’ quarterback and Pro Bowl player Derek Anderson as the then desired backup to Leinart at the time . Suffice to say that with Matt Leinart’s departure Anderson was pressed into service and with his less than stellar displays this season and a defense that could be best described as porous it’s easy to understand why the team has failed so miserably. And with there being mounting unrest with the team’s best player , in wide receiver, Larry Fitzgerald it is also easy to understand the discontent not just with the player but also amongst the Arizona Cardinals’ fans as well . Who’d have thought that the team would now become something of an afterthought after their recent successes and advancement as such up the NFL ‘food-chain’ ? Now they’ve once again become a parody and the butt og jokes league wide amongst the fans NFL analysts alike.

Courtesy of NFL.com news

Anderson apologizes, hopes to avoid more YouTube face time

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson has apologized for his Monday night postgame tirade.

“My mom and dad didn’t raise me to act like that in times of adversity,” he said Wednesday.

The quarterback’s rant, now a nationwide spectacle, came after a series of questions from Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic’s beat reporter, about why Anderson was smiling with teammate Deuce Lutui on the sideline while the Cardinals trailed the San Francisco 49ers by 18 points late in the game. The brief clip of the two grinning had been shown during the Monday night telecast.

Anderson said after the game that it was no one’s business what he and Lutui were discussing. As Somers persisted, Anderson lost his temper and shouted about how he had put his “freaking heart and soul” into the team and that there was nothing funny about it.

Anderson was low-key and contrite as he opened his weekly news conference Wednesday.

“Let’s try to do this in a manner that doesn’t end up all over the YouTube, if we can,” he said. ” … Obviously I was very frustrated by what had happened during the game, and I let my emotions get away from me.”

The blowup came after the Cardinals lost their seventh consecutive game, 27-6 in a flat, listless performance against the 49ers.

“I’ve been through some rough times in football,” Anderson said, “but I think it obviously was one of the most frustrating times for me, a game that I felt like going in that we were very prepared for. I had a very good week of practice, like I said, and to lay an egg on national television was not only frustrating for me but frustrating to every one of the guys that’s out here every single day and sees what we’re capable of doing.”

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Monday night’s game and the 27-6 shellacking of the Arizona Cardinals by the San Francisco 49ers served a purpose of sorts as it illustrated how bad a number of teams are around the NFL but more so how bad they (teams) really are within the NFC West in particular ! A rather inept performance by the Cardinals and if something if might provide a respite for Singletary even momentarily. Anderson’s own performance in the game was nothing short of mediocre at best . If anything , it further shows us why a number of people find the player ill suited to lead this team as he seemingly possesses no leadership qualities much less a quarterback’s acumen for playing the game with any amount of dexterity.

In the waning moments in the fourth quarter of the game Anderson on the sidelines was seen joking and laughing with teammate Deuce Lutui as the team was in the midst of another crushing and embarrassing loss. Considering the player’s performances this season have been understated and something of an embarrassment to his team. It’s understandable as such if the player might find something funny to laugh about given the woefully inept display by the Cardinals this past Monday night. As to the fans’ own interpretation of the display and that of Anderson’s in particular I guess that they also might find it comical as well ! In his postgame interview when questioned by a member of the convened press as to why he could be seen laughing on the sidelines while the team was in the midst of defeat Anderson took umbrage at the question and went off in a profanity lace ridden tirade at the journalist stating that ……”he (Anderson) was a man and that he didn’t take any shit from anyone and that he knows what it takes to be a professional football player in the NFL”. Given Derek Anderson’s displays on the field of play this season and his seemingly psychotic meltdown on the podium on Monday night I’m not so sure that the quarterback knows what it takes to be a man much less a professional player in the NFL ! Baited or not by the journalist , Anderson has shown that he hasn’t the mentality or psyche to lead the Arizona Cardinals anywhere but into an abyss of mediocrity. And unfortunately for the Arizona Cardinals’ fans they may well have to put up wit a great deal more of the player’s inane stupidity both on and off the field.

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At this juncture it looks as if the plight of the Cardinals isn’t a happy one with discontent amongst some players and the fans extremely unhappy with the team and perhaps more so with the front office and staff of the organization. Even with something of a contrite apology by Anderson after his postgame interview antics it’s hard to imagine him being a part of this team next season. It’s certainly not as if he’s shown the proclivity to make sound judgments as a player both on and off the field to begin with. And in terms of him showing maturity much less being a leader on this team let’s just say he’s a long way off from where he thinks he is and what’s expected of him as a player.

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Anquan Boldin, Arizona Cardinals, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Leinart, Pittsburgh Steelers, Steve Breaston

Too Late The Hero Or So They’d Have Us Believe …………..


 
 

 

 

Much  has  been made  this  season as  to  the  resurrection  of   Kurt  Warner and his   career   and  the  fortunes  of  the  Arizona  Cardinals.   Warner  was  brought  in  by  the  franchise  at  the  wishes  of coach  Ken  Whisenhunt’s  predecessor   Dennis  Green.    Green  felt  that  with  Warner brought  in  to  take  the  team’s  number  one draft  pick  Matt  Leinart  under  his  wing  and   tutor him.  

 

 

 

Cardinals'  quarterback  Kurt Warner  and  GM  Rod  Graves  at  the  team's  walk   through  at the  training  facility   in  Tampa , Fl .........picture  appears courtesy of  ap/photo/Ross D Franklin .......................
Cardinals' quarterback and GM Rod Graves at the team's walk through at their training facility in Tampa , Fl. picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Ross D Franklin ................

 

 

Cardinals’ quarterback  Kurt Warner  and  GM Rod  Graves at the  team’s  walk  through  at  their  training  facility in  Tampa ,Fl .  picture appears  courtesy of  ap/photo/Ross  D   Franklin ………………..

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately  for  Leinart   his   leadership  and  play  has  come  into  question  and  under  a  great  deal  of scrutiny.  Leinart  the  poster  child  for  some  of  the  success  at  the  University of  California   became  short  lived  upon  his  introduction  into the  NFL.  He’s  yet  to  prove  himself   the  franchise   quarterback  that  many   felt   he  could  be.    Analysts  in  and   outside  the  game were   singing  the  praises  of  Leinart as   to   his   decision making  and  talent.    Thus   far  there’s  been  very   little  evidence  to  suggest  that  Leinart  has   even  matured   as an  NFL  player  much  less  a  franchise   quarterback  upon   which  an  organization  can  pin  its   hopes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The  hopes  of  a  franchise  if  pinned  on   Leinart  most  certainly  wouldn’t  be  well served.  Matt is   far  too  Hollywood  for  his  own  good. He  felt  that   upon  his  entrance  into  the  NFL   things  would  be   just  as  they   were   when  reigned   over  all  he   surveyed.    He  was  given  the  entitlements  befitting  that  of  a  king   while   he  played   for  the  USC  Trojans  under  the  guidance  of  their  coach  Pete  Carroll.    And  during  that   time  the  program  had  unprecedented  success  with  Leinart  at the  helm  as  the college’s  quarterback.

 

 

 

Larry Fitzgerald  of  the Cardinals  holds  his  son Devin  as  the  players , family  and  friends  have  their  walk  through at the Tampa Bay  Buccaneers'  training  facility ..........  picture  appears  courtesy of  getty images /  Frank  Pollitto ...................
Cardinals' wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald holds his son Devin as the players, families and friends hold their walk through at the Buccaneers' training facility in Tampa , Fl

 

 

 Larry Fitzgerald  the Cardinals’ wide receiver  holds  his  son  Devin as  the  players  ,  families  and  friends  have  their   walkthrough  at  the  Buccaneers’ training  facilty  in  Tampa  , Florida………..  picture appears  courtesy of  getty images/  Frank  Pollitto …………………..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warner  for  his  part   did  stumble  out  of  the  block    but   his  missteps  aren’t  as  acute   as  those   made  by   the  young  protégé.  Leinart  has  complained  as  to  his playing   time  and  though  not  directing  any  of  his  displeasure  directly   towards  management or   his  teammates.   He  has  made his  feelings  known   to  the  local and  national   press alike.  Though in  terms  of  his  temperament  it  wasn’t merely  overly   vocal.  But then  again  in  a   star  driven  league   where  a  player’s  power  and  stance  can  all  too  often  bring  down    the  franchise  or  coach.  Though  not  necessarily  in  any  particular  order. We’ve  seen  it  and  we’re  liable to  see  it  happen  again.     Thankfully  for Arizona    they didn’t   take  the  bait   with  regard  to  the  player’s  play. With    Warner  being installed   as  the   team’s   starting   quarterback  they’ve not  really   had  to   look  back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finishing  this  ’08-09  season  with  a  9-7  record  they  went  into  the  postseason  as  the  winners  of  the  NFC  West division.  Often  criticized as being  a  team  not  worthy of being  considered a  contender .  This  postseason  they’ve   come  out  of  the  gates  like  hare  being   chased  by  wolf.   Much  to  the  surprise  of  their fans  and  the rest  of  the NFL  alike.   And  much  of  that   success  can  be  attributed  to  not  only  the  play  of  Warner   alone.   But  also   the  play  of  their   trio  of  receivers   Steve  Breaston  ,Larry  Fitzgerald  and  Anquan  Boldin.  With  spirited  contribution  coming   from  a  running  attack  that  few   thought  this  was  capable  of in  the  guise  of  Tim  Hightower  and  Edgerrin  James.  Never  mind  the   fact    their   defense   suddenly  also   seemed to have  found  a  life  of its  own.   Lamentable   through  much  of  the  regular  season  .  It  were   as  if   during  this   postseason  a  beast   had  been  awaken   from  its  long   slumber  as  life   was  breathed   into  it.

 

 

Warner  sets  of  the  make the  pass  attempt  during the  Superbowl  against  the  Pittsburgh  Steelers  in  Tampa , Fl....................
Cardinals' quarterback Kurt Warner attempts the pass during the Superbowl game played against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Raymond James Stadium , Tampa Fl ..................

 

 

Warner  sets  off  to  make  the pass  attempt  in  the  Superbowl  game  played  against  the  Pittsburgh  Steelers .  picture  appears  courtesy  of  ap/photo/ Ross  D  Franklin ……………………….

 

 

 

 

 

And  now  with  the  franchise   on  the  cusp  of   history  with  an  appearance  in  Superbowl XLIII at  their  call.  It  has  to  be  said  that  the  fairy  tale  approach  being  taken  with regard  to  the  Cardinals’  rise  anonymity  within  the  league  is  surprising.  However  the  rise   in profile   with   regard  to  Warner’s   ascension  back  atop  of   the  league’s  most  effective  quarterbacks   shouldn’t  really  have  as  a  surprise  to  anyone  at  all.   He’s   proven  himself  to  be  a  warrior  over  the years.  Even  if  it  appears  that  he’s   been  a  wandering   troubadour   around  the  league.     It  may  well  have  been  that   the  surrounding  talent  was  never   really   up  to  par   at  his   subsequent  destinations  after  he  was  cut    let   go  by   the  St Louis  Rams.

 

 

 

 

 

It’d  would  appear  that  the  Cardinals  were  on  to  something.  And  they  stuck  to  their  guns.   And  it  has  paid   dividends  for  the  franchise  and  its   fans.   And  for  the  Bidwill  family  one  would  hope  after  all  those  years  of  ridicule  some  legitimacy  as  to  their   team’s appearance  in the  Superbowl  will  actually  mean  something .   And  that   it’ll  empower  them   to  do  what’s  right  for  the  franchise  and its   fans.  Not  merely   what’s  right  for  their  own   pockets.

Andy Reid, Arizona Cardinals, Donovan McNabb, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, NFL, Philadelphia Eagles, Sports

Always The Bridesmaid Never The Bride …………….


Well the  Philadelphia  Eagles  have  once  again  fallen at  the  last  obstacle  they’ve  got to  face. Now  when  you  consider  that  over   the  Andy Reid  reign  as coach  of  the  franchise  the  team has  gone  to  5  NFC championship  games   in  ten  years .  And  have  only  once  been  to  the  Superbowl.  One  has to  ask  what   the  franchise   now   has to   do  to  in  order  to  show  their  fans  that  they’re   capable  of  winning  the  big  one. 

 

 

Terrelle  Smith and  Gabe Watson  of the  Arizona  Cardinals are  overwhelmed  with  emotion after  the  team's victory  over  the  Philadelphia  Eagles  in the  NFC  championship  game ....................
Terrelle Smith and Gabe Watson of the Arizona Cardinals are overwhelmed with emotion after the team's victory over the Philadlephia Eagles 32-25 .............

 

Terrelle Smith and  Gabe  Watson of  the  Arizona Cardinals  are  overwhelmed with  emotion after the  team’s victory  having  just  earned  a  berth in  the  NFC  championship  game with  a  32-25 defeat  of the  Philadelphia  Eagles.  picture  appears  courtesy of  getty images/Chris  Graythen ……….

 

 

 

 

 

And  you  know  what   took  place   during  that  infamous  game  against the  New  England  Patriots ?  We  saw  the  play of  Terrell  Owens  and   the  seemingly  meltdown  of  Donovan McNabb.  Owens’  calling  out  of  the  player  in the  aftermath  of  the  loss  was  about as  much  to  expect   from  Owens  himself.  Never  one  to  take  responsibility  for his  own  shortcomings.  But  then again  what  primadonna  player   out   there  ever  is  ?

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday’s  NFC  championship  game  against  this  year’s  Cinderella  story  in the  guise  of  the  Arizona  Cardinals,  was  one  for  the  ages.  Both  teams  played  at an  exceptionally  high  level.   McNabb  himself  was  out  there  to  set  himself  apart  and  to  answer  those  who  felt   that  he  was  past  his prime.  His   counterpart   for  the  Cardinals  was  the  ageless  wonder   Kurt  Warner.   And when  one  considers  that  Warner  has  all  but  placed  this   team  on  his  shoulders  and   guided   them  to  their   first   postseason  in  ages.  One  can  understand  the  reason  why  .this  story  more  than  any  other  this  postseason  has  been  the  one  that  everyone  has  been  talking   about.   

 

 

A somewhat  inconsolable  Donovan McNabb at  the  postgame press  interview  in  Glendale Arizona ..............................

 

 

A somewhat  inconsolable  Donovan  McNabb  as  the  postgame interview   in  Glendale,  Arizona .   picture appears  courtesy of   getty  images /Chris  Graythen ………………

 

 

 

 

The Arizona  Cardinals  all  but  thought  of  as  an  afterthought , the  franchise has played    with  abandonment and  passion  this  postseason.   In doing   so  they’ve   taken   care   of  the  Atlanta  Falcons and   Carolina  Panthers.    That  not  being   enough  to  prove their   prowess  this  postseason  they  then  had  to  face  Eagles.  Who for   if  anything   the  NFC championship  game  as  such    has  been a  home  away  from home   as  such  over  the  last  decade.   Ken  Whisenhunt  as  coach  of  the  Cardinals   has  placed  this  team  at  the  pinnacle  of  a season   that  was  totally  unexpected   to  many  within  the  NFL  and  their  fans.    With  their  offensive   potency  and  a  defense  that  has  been  playing  above  themselves   during  this   postseason.  It  was  expected  that  the  Arizona  Cardinals  would  be  the  cannon  fodder   for   the   physical   play  of  the  Philadelphia  Eagles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For  two  quarters   this   game   was  everything  that  the  Cardinals’ fan had  wished  for  and  more. Taking  a  24-6  lead  many   thought  the   game  to  be  all  but  over.  And  with  the  Eagles   facing   almost  certain  elimination   Donovan McNabb  took  it  upon  himself  to  lead  this  team  back  into  the  game.  Well  he  did  that   and  it  seemed  that  this  was  to  be  their   day. And  with  McNabb  we  know  that  he’ll either  succumb under  real  pressure  or   he’ll   just  fall  short  of  what’s expected.  Well  McNabb didn’t  disappoint  as  he led  the  Eagles  back  into  contention  with a  chance  to  win  the  game.  A 25-24  lead  with   two  and  a half  minutes  to  play  must’ve  seemed  a  godsend  to  the  Eagles’ fans  and  those  watching  live  on   broadcast  television.  What  then  transpired   was  enough  to  make  you  believe  that  there  is  such  a  thing as  fairy  tales.  

 

 

 

 

 

Cardinals' strength  coach  John Lott congratulates  Kurt  Warner  after  the  team's  victory over  the  Eagles ..........................
Cardinals' strength coach John Lott congratulates Kurt Warner after the team's victory over the Eagles in the NFC championship game played in Glendale, Arizona .......................

 

 

Cardinals’ strength coach  John Lott  congratulates  Kurt Warner  after  the  team’s  victory  over  the  Philadelphia  Eagles in  a  game  played  in  Glendale , Arizona.  picture appears  courtesy of  getty  images/ Chris   Graythen ………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kurt Warner  given  enough  time   can  and  has  shred  a  defense apart  with  his  play.  And  with  him   having   hooked  up  with   Larry  Fitzgerald   three  times  in the  first  half. It begs  the  question why  didn’t  the  Eagles   have  their   defense   keeping  a watchful   eye  on  Tim  Hightower  ?  But  then  again  these   sort  of  lapses   do  happen . And  it  all   but  led to  the  Eagles’  day  ending   in   sorrow.  Not  only  did  Hightower  score  the  winning  touchdown.  But  the  Cardinals  went  on  to score on  the  two  point  conversion   thereby  putting  the  game  beyond   the  Eagles’  reach.   If  nothing  else   for  Andy  Reid  and   Donovan   McNabb   this  may  well  have   been  their   last   chance  and   grasp  of  the  one   professional   prize  that  has  eluded  them  both   over  the  course   their  professional  careers  in  the NFL.   And  if  anything  one  can  assume  that  it  had  to  have  been  heartbreaking   for  not  only  their   fans   but  also  the  players  themselves.   

 

 

 

Edgerrin  James  of  the  Cardinals is  tackled  by  Eagles'  safety  Brian Dawkins  ................................
Edgerrin James of the Cardinals is tackled by the Eagles' safety Brian Dawkins ..............

 

Edgerrin James  of  the  Cardinals  is  tackled  by  Eagles’  safety Brian Dawkins .  picture  appears courtesy of  getty images/Phil  Dallhauser ……………………..

 
 
 

 

 

The result  32-25   now   guarantees   Whisenhunt’s   team   a  berth  as  the  NFC  representative  in  Superbowl  XLIII in  Tampa  on  the  1st February.  Their  opponents  there  will  be  the  Pittsburgh  Steelers.   The  Steelers   will  be  looking  to  raise  the  Lombardi  trophy  for  the  sixth time.  And   with  their  coach  Mike Tomlin  looking   to become  only  the  second   African  American  coach   to  win a  Superbowl  as  a coach.  Some  historic  precedences  will  be  set   whomever   raises  the  trophy.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s been  a  long  time  coming   for  the   Arizona  Cardinals  but  it  may  well  be  a  long  time   before  we’ll  ever  see  the  Philadelphia  Eagles  again  in  this  sort of  a  scenario.   So  close   but   yet  so   far   away.

 

 

Andy Reid, Arizona Cardinals, Donovan McNabb, Ken Whisenhunt, Kurt Warner, New England Patriots, NFL, NFL Divisional playoffs, Philadelphia Eagles

The Feel Good Story Of The NFL Weekend ……………..


Well it has to go without saying  that  the Arizona  Cardinals’ play  this season has come as  a surprise to all.  Never  mind  the fact that  they won a woefully  lamentable division (NFC West) with a  9-7 record.  That in ofitself  should be  enough to suggest  to  us  all  how  bad  the  division really is.  Now some  of  you might say  well  what  about  the AFC  West ?   Well  that’s a  story for  another  day  at  this  juncture. 

 

 

 

 

 

Coach  Ken Whisenhunt  in but  his  second season with the franchise has  them  heading  in the right  direction.  And  who’d  have  thought that a journeyman  quarterback  who  many  had  left  for  dead  would be  leading the  team’s  resurrection.  Matt Leinart with  his  Hollywood looks  and  college  football pedigree  was  thought of  as being  the  franchise  quarterback  needed  to lead the  team.  But  instead  it’s  been  left to two-time league  MVP Kurt Warner  to  lead  and  lead  by  example.

 

 

 

Teammates Antonio Smith  Antrel Rolle  and   Roderick Hood  celebrate  Hood's  interception  in the game against  Carolina..................
Arizona Cardinals' teammates Antonio Smith, Roderick Hood and Antrel Rolle celebrate Hood's interception during the game against the Csrolina Panthers ........

 

  

Antonio Smith(94) and teammates Antrel Rolle (21) and Roderick Hood(26)  celebrate Hood’s  interception against the  Carolina Panthers.  The  Arizona  Cardinals would  go on to win the  33-13. picture appears  courtesy  ap/photo/Ken Hambleton ………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Though not totally  unexpected by their own  fans  Arizona’s  complete and  utter dismantling  of  the  Carolina  Panthers,  was  about as  efficient  and  comprehensive  as anyone  could’ve  wished  to  have  seen from a  team.  And  the  play of  wide  receiver  Larry  Fitzgerald  was  outstanding.  If he’s  not  the  most  dynamic  player  at  his  position within the league  at  present.  Then  I’d  like  for someone  out there  to  tell  me  who  is ?

 

 

 

 

The Carolina  Panthers  guided  by  coach John Fox had  his  team ready  to  play  and  no doubt  ready  to  make  their way  to  the  NFC championship  game  without  too  much trouble  or  stress. What unfolded  during  the  game  gives  us  reason to believe  that  you  should never   count  all  of  your  eggs  before  they’re  hatched.  Panthers’  quarterback  Jake  Delhomme  had  one  of those days  at the   office  that  no  doubt he’d  rather   forget.  As  he  was  harassed  and  manhandled  by  the Cardinals’  defense. Cardinals’  defense ?   Now  there’s something  that  you don’t  often  see  or  hear.

 

 

 

Disheartened Steve Smith and  teammate Brad Hoover of the  Carolina Panthers seated on the sidelines  during the waning moments of  the game ..............
Disheartened Steve Smith seated on the sidelines along with teammate Brad Hoover in the waning moments of the game played against the Arizona Cardinals....................

 

Disheartened  Steve Smith and  teammate  Brad  Hoover  seated on the sidelines  during  the waning  moments  of  the  game.  picture appears courtesy of ap/photo/Roger  Masterson …………………….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I, as an avid  fan  of  the NFL  was expecting  to see  Carolina  prevail  but  little did  I have  in mind  what  millions  of  fans  nationally  witnessed  in  watching   the  game  on network television.  Never  mind  the fact  that  fans  there  in the  Panthers’  home  stadium were  watching.  Perhaps a shock to their  system  ?  What  unfolded  was something  that  even the  most fervent  fan   couldn’t  have  expected. Arizona  set  about beating  the  Carolina Panthers  mercilessly  and  did  in  such a  way  that  you’d be  questioning  which of  the  team was infact  favored   to begin with.   The  oddsmakers  in Vegas  most  certainly  had  to  have  been  offering  favorable  odds  towards Carolina.  But then again  the guys  in Vegas  do  tend  to  know  that  they’re   doing  the  majority  of the  time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now  for me  to suggest  that  the  result  of this  game  would  end  up  being  33-13 in a  victory  for  Arizona.  I’d  dare  say  that  a number   of  you  would  have  felt  that  I’d  been some  top of the  line  narcotics.  But  since  I don’t  do  anything of  that  nature .  one  can  only  surmise  that  this  was just  one  of those  rarities  where  the  stars  had  to  have  aligned  for  the Cardinals  on the day. In  reality  however  they  just  completely outplayed  their  NFC counterpart in  almost every  facet of  the  game.   So  much  so  that  their  defense  was  simply  outstanding and  they  offered  the  Panthers  no  respite. It  was a rarity  on this  day  where  the  Cardinals   and  their  fans  learnt  what is  was  like  finally  to garner  and  gain the   respect  of  their   peers.  Over the  years  the  franchise  has  been often likened  to  a  bottom feeder  of  the  NFL.  And  the  Bidwell  family  as  the  franchise owners  were  viewed   as  nothing  more  than  vultures.   Funny  what  success  can  then  do  to  a  change  in attitude  as  to  how  an organization is  viewed.  Now  the  Cardinals  await the  Philadelphia  Eagles  in the NFC  championship  game  and  are just  one  game  away  from   gaining   a berth  in the  Superbowl.

 

 

 

 

Kurt Warner  of the Arizona Cardinals acknowledges  the  applause  of the crowd after the  team's  victory over the  Carolina Panthers  33-13 ..................
Kurt Warner acknowledges the applause of the crowd after the team's victory 33-13 over the Carolina Panthers ...................

 

Kurt Warner acknowledges the applause of the crowd after  the  team’s 33-13 victoryy over  the  Carolina Panthers.   picture appears courtesy  of  ap/photo/Ken Hambleton …………………………….

 

 

 

 

On this  day it  was  all  about the  Cardinals  and  what  they’ve  achieved  this  season  is  a  bye product  of  having  a  good  coach and  players  who  bought  into  his system. But  it’s only  that  but  the  fact  that  their  fans  after so  many  years  of  futility have  still  seen fit  to  show  their  faith  in the  team.  It  shouldn’t  come  as  any  surprise  that  as  hosts  of the  NFC championship  game  at  their  stadium  in Glendale, Arizona .  All  of the  tickets  have been  sold  out.  The fact  that  this  all happened  within   6  hours   only  leads me  to  believe  that the   fans   there  having  been starved  of  success  for  so long  are   hoping   for  something  special  to  happen  this   Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The  task in  facing  the  Eagles  won’t  be an  easy  one.  As  the  Eagles  themselves  have  had  their  own  struggles  this  season.  They’ve  been  able  to overcome  them  and  play with  a  great  deal  of  resolve, as evidenced  by  their   postseason  displays.  They  made  short  work  of  the  New York  Giants   and  are looking  to  do the  same  with  the  Arizona  Cardinals.  But  I  doubt  Andy  Reid’s  team  will  be  looking  that  far  ahead  with  regard to the  Superbowl.  They  know  that they’re  facing  a  team  in the  Cardinals   that  after   some   long  mean and   meager  years   are on the threshold  of   doing  something  big.  And if  it  means  bursting  the  Eagles’  bubble  once again.  Then I’m  sure   that’s  what  they’ll  be  prepared to  do. And  in doing  so,  deprive  Donovan McNabb and  Andy Reid  the  one  major  prize that  has  eluded  them professionally  over the  years.  Five  visits  to  the  NFC  championship  notwithstanding  and  just  one  Superbowl  appearance  which  ended in  a  loss.   A  loss  now  would  for  all  sense  and  purpose be  deemed  a  tragedy  of  monumental  proportions.

 

 

 

Larry Fitzgerald makes  a leaping  catch during  the  game against the Carolina  Panthers  .................
Larry Fitzgerald hauls a catch during the game against the Panthers ..................

 

Larry Fitzgerald  hauls in a pass  from  Kurt Warner during the  game.  picture  appears courtesy of ap/photo/ Matt Isselman …………… 

 

 

 

 

 

The loss to the New England Patriots was  enough  to damper  the  ardor  the  Eagles’ fans.  And as alluded to  previously  a  loss  the  Cardinals this  time  around  would  be  viewed  with  immense  displeasure to  the  fans and  something  of a failure  within  the organization.  If  this  meant to  be  the  Eagles’ year .  Then  they’re   going  to have to  deal  with  the  Cardinals  with  a great  deal  of  efficiency.  This  is certainly  not  a  team  to  be  taken  lightly as they’ve  proven  that they  can  play with  the  best  of  them. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the  Arizona  Cardinals  and  their  fans  it   would  be  viewed  as  divine  intervention  from  up  above.  If  nothing  else  they’ve   languished for  long enough within the  depths of  mediocrity,  looking  at  long  last  to  be viewed as  a  credible  entity  within  the  NFL.  Scripted or  unscripted  stories  like  this  when  they come  along  are   often  viewed  as  heartfelt  and  warming  to  the  heart.