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A Sad Goodbye And Hopeful Hello: I Am An Arizona Cardinals Fan

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Hello. I am Jess Root and am the new lead blogger for this great Cardinals community. I am a third generation native of Arizona. I grew up in Mesa and have lived in the East Valley for my whole life (minus two years living in Argentina after high school). I am a 33-year-old married man with four children.

If you spend any time on the SB Nation Arizona regional site, you may have read some of my work there. I contribute to the Desert Dirt section and post Cardinals updates, game previews and recaps.

So while it is a sad farewell we bid to Andrew, we do thank him profusely for his work. I personally have lurked here for months while working with the regional page. I like what there is. I thank Andrew greatly and deeply for what he has fostered among you and the job he did as steward of this community. I want to take what he did for this blog and continue them for you and do even more to make this community even better. I don't know everything and no doubt there are many of you who know far more than I do.

I also have a confession - I am a Cardinals fan. They are the only NFL team I have ever claimed.

I was introduced to sports later than most fans. My parents did not follow sports and so I never saw them. I heard that the Cardinals were moving from St. Louis to Phoenix and I remember once that my uncle watched a Monday Night game the Cards had against the Cowboys. Through the news I heard about Neil Lomax getting hurt and Gary Hogeboom. People I knew talked about Vai Sikahema and how he was a local guy.

I don't know when I learned about games on the radio, but I started listening to the Cardinals games on the radio. The first game I specifically remember was Timm Rosenbach's first career start against the Denver Broncos in the 1989 season.

After that, I listened to all the games on the radio I could (my family did not watch TV on Sundays). I remember the starts by Tom Tupa, I remember Vinny Testaverde leading the Bucs to victory over the Cards with third and fourth down and forever long conversions.

I started every season optimistically. I still do. But I also expected the worst. But I always rooted for them.

After returning from Argentina in 1998, I followed their playoff year. After I married in 1999 I was able to start watching the games that weren't blacked out on TV (my wife was not raised like me with no TV on Sundays). I have been a diehard ever since.

Why am I here? It's because I love the Cardinals and want Revenge of the Birds to be the best place for Cardinals fans to get together and share the good, the bad and the ugly of being a Redbird Watcher.

As all team communities should do, I want this site to inform, entertain, incite, excite and provoke thought and conjecture. The only other thing I want is that we do all of this in a manner that would not embarrass or offend people in a personal way.

So tell us what you want and we will do what we can to give you that. I will answer emails, I will respond to tweets. But I don't do valet parking, pick up your dry cleaning or do your yardwork. I draw a line somewhere.

I will agree and disagree with you. I might be right sometimes. I most certainly will be wrong a lot. I will love the Cardinals and I will sometimes hate them. But I will always be a fan and will be one with you all.

Thanks for being part of the Redbird family. Let's make it a bigger and better one as time goes by.

Feel free to send me an email or a tweet (@happytrappedfan) if you have questions, comments or would like be part of the ROTB team.