The Super Bowl has come and gone and the Arizona Cardinals are not the champs. They may have not walked away with the trophy but this will benefit them more then anyone would expect. The appearance in the Super Bowl only sets up this team even more for a bigger run next year. The jitters and pressure of the big game can affect any player, and the fact that all 53 players now have that out of the way, may prepare them more then they could ever be. How you say? Lets take a look.
- Experience. What else can you say. Playing in the biggest game in the NFL is only going to give each player a lot more experience. It will help in other big situations such as division games, road games or featured games. (Being as the Cardinals were in the Super Bowl, there's no doubt they will get a few featured games). It also gives this team another year to bond together and get the system really going. It's obvious they bought into Ken Whisenhunt's system, now they can fully showcase it next year and build on what they started.
- Motivation. There can be nothing more motivating then wanting to get back and win the Super Bowl. Seeing the other team kiss the Lombardi trophy can also tend to motivate a player.
- Determination. This is similar to motivation, with the exception that this team will be determined next year to not only win the division again, but make a run in the playoffs and show everybody that this year was not a mistake.
- Willingness to stay. The fact that the Arizona Cardinals made the Super Bowl can give some players the willingness to stay on the team, rather then bolt to a new team. Players like A-Dubb, Q, and Dockett should be more then willing to stay, for the right price that is.
- Win one for the fans. This may also fall along the lines of motivation, but more so to win it for somebody else. The fans know it, the players know it, and even the media knows it. The fans of the Arizona Cardinals deserve the trophy and just that alone will give the team something to play for next year.
- Sponsorships. I'm not very knowledgeable when it comes to this subject, but I do know that this may give the Cardinals organization more salary to deal with. The added revenue from the extra games, products and Super Bowl attention could possibly land the Cardinals more players in free agency.
Even though these are all very important factors that should play into affect next year, let's not forget the past. In the last decade there's been something called the "Super Bowl Hangover". If you aren't aware, this is what happens to the team that loses the Super Bowl. One thing to point out is that this statement is a little overrated. In the last 20 years, teams losing the Super Bowl have an overall record the following year of 172-148, and 9 teams out of the 20 actually made the playoffs the following year. You can't really count the Patriots from this past year since they had a great record for a team that lost its star quarterback in week 1. Here's a breakdown of the recent Super Bowl losers and how they produced the following year.
|Year||Team||Next Year||Made Playoffs|
One thing's for sure, this team will grow on what they started and hopefully will improve too. Some things won't change just because of a Super Bowl appearance. Management needs to keep this core together and bring in some other pieces to the puzzle. What's some other things that the Super Bowl will have a positive affect on? How can the Cardinals build on this post-season run?