Friday, October 20, 2006

And This Is What It's Like To Be An Arizona Cardinals Fan

It's been four days since the "Disaster in the Desert". Unless you're an Arizona fan you've probably moved on, and are eagerly awaiting week 7 in the NFL. If you are a Cardinals fan, then you're probably still hiding under your bed hoping that the Monsters of the Midway have left. To put this loss in perspective for those non-Arizona fans(thankfully I'm a Dolphins that should be regrettably) here are a few things to keep in mind:

-The Cardinals have not had a winning season since 1998 when they went 9-7.

-Over the last five seasons they have a record of 27-53.

-The Cardinals opened a new stadium this year, signed Pro-Bowl running back Edgerrin James(1000+ rush yds each of the past three seasons) and drafted Matt Leinart(1 Heisman, 1 National Title(outright), 37-2 record at USC) with the #10 pick.

Going into Monday night's game, many felt that the Cardinals could have been 3-2 instead of 1-4. Though, many also believed that it wasn't whether or not they would lose to Da Bears, but how much they would lose by and how well Leinart would hold up against that tough Chicago "D".

So heading into the 4th quarter a number of people were probably surprised to see Arizona with a 23-10 lead. Chicago hadn't given up 23pts in a whole game, let alone 3 quarters worth. Many people were even talking about them threatening the '72 Dolphins undefeated season. Arizona fans had to be feeling great about themselves. They had one of the two undefeated teams left in the NFL on the ropes, and were heading into the 4th quarter with a 13 point lead. Then things started falling apart.

Think about your favorite team, and a time when you were sure they were going to win a game. Maybe you had been uncertain at first, but by the latter stages you let yourself start thinking about the win and how great it felt to be a part of it. You were confident, almost cocky, that there was no way they could lose this game. Then, in a span of 2 minutes and 2 seconds, almost too fast to comprehend, everything came crashing down. Suddenly you realized that the win was no longer guaranteed, and all of the celebrating and trash talking could have been in vain. Here's some video evidence to help you feel what this might feel like:

Remember, Edgerrin James had just fumbled for the first time in quite a few carries and the Chicago defense had run it back for a TD. However, Arizona was still winning 23-17 with 5 minutes to play.

So that happens, and you can feel the game slipping away. The 13 point lead has been replaced by a 1 point deficit. Yet there's still some hope because your golden-boy rookie QB has been playing well, and he's got almost 3 minutes to drive the team into field goal range. Plus your kicker, eventhough he missed a clutch kick the week before, was great last season and there's no way he could miss another one. Or is there?

Now the reality of the situation has finally set in, and no amount of alcohol is going to totally erase it from your memory. Whenever people talk about 4th quarter collapses they will always say "yeah, but remember that Arizona game against Chicago? Now that was a collapse!" So if you want to share in the misery of being a Cardinals fan, plug your favorite team into the above situation and grab some JD and a box of Kleenex. Otherwise, there's a wonderful week 7 to look forward to!

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