How About Them Cardinals?

Let me preface this all by saying I am not an Arizona Cardinals fan. My heart bleeds Packers' Green and Gold. I've flirted with other teams over the years when my favorite players were on them but I always come back to the Pack.

I've never warmed up to the Cards. This is no doubt due to the fact that they have been pretty darn bad their entire time here in Arizona so I never had an incentive to even get on the bandwagon. I also think their management/ownership has been inept, cheap and taken the fans for granted.

So, that rambling introduction was really to explain that I've been a dispassionate observer over the past few weeks.

First, there was the general surprise that the Cards won their division. That surprise was tempered by the fact that their division is not so good. But, people were excited. Not excited enough to buy up enough tickets to lift the TV blackout without two extensions, but cautiously excited.

Then, most people expected that Atlanta, with a better season record, would bring every thing back to normal. Normal being the Cards lose. However, that was not to be and they made it to the second round.

Of course, no one gave them a chance in the second round and Vegas had Carolina favored by 10. That's really saying you have no shot. The true believers were convinced they had a chance (again, cautiously convinced). Even I didn't think they should be underdogs by 10. If I were a sports better, I would have laid a large chunk of change on that one.

We were at some friends' house playing poker on Saturday when the Cardinals/Panthers game started. There were a few diehard fans with us. We semi-watched as Carolina came out blazing and scored a quick touchdown.

You could almost literally feel the mood in the room, it was so gloomy and unsurprised. No one really expects the Cardinals to do well. It's just a fact. The diehards were bracing themselves for another heartbreak and the casual fans were just waiting for the Cardinals to fold.

Somehow, they didn't. They actually came back and kicked butt. It was amazing and unbelievable. I think the Arizona fans should all put Jake Delhomme on their Christmas card list since he did his best to give the game entirely away. It's hard to otherwise explain 5 interceptions and a fumble.

But, it wasn't all Jake being generous. The Cards had more passing yards, more receiving yards, more first downs, better third down efficiency and dominated time of possession. They just played well.

I think people were just waking up from the shock of that win in time to see Philadelphia (who got into the playoffs by the grace of many gods) beat the defending champion Giants. That led to something quite unfathomable, even to the diehards.

The Arizona Cardinals are playing in the Divisional Championship game…at home!

This might just be a sign of the Apocalypse.

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