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Open letter to Arizona Cardinals

From a long time fan that has been burned more times than an albino lizard on a newly laid blacktop.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Arizona Cardinals,

I just can't quit you.

And though, it may seem kinda creepy - as you know, I've been following your career for a while now. I was there back in 1988 when I had rid myself of a very prolific offensive San Diego Chargers team, led by your former coach Don Coryell and wandered over to the home state club, cuz that's what you do - you support your local gunfighter through thick and thin - and unfortunately, there have been too many lean times. But, I was really pumped with the Lomax/Green/Stallings years until he wasn't hip anymore and the Jet Stream got low on fuel and Gene couldn't catch the Bear Bryant magic. Again, it didn't matter - you're were my team. You had the new car scent and rebuilt transmission and you were going places. I knew it, the fans at Sun Devil Stadium knew it, and darn it - we were practically going steady. I even proudly wore your oversized shirt.

But then in the mid -90's I started getting the seven year itch. The team record was stagnating in the low 5-6 win range and the resulting high draft picks proved as fruitless as the season play before. The seasons, in retrospect seem to blend/blur together with names like Tobin, McGinnis, Swann, Rice, etc.. I'm sorry, but my eyes started to turn elsewhere - you were no longer attractive to me. The old saying is " Time flies when you're having fun". and when remembering those years, time seemed to stand still - nothing close to average screamed out.

Then when our relationship couldn't probably be at a lower point, you threw me a bone in 1998. After the great year we had together, the affair we had in Dallas was pretty satisfying. Though I was always hoping for a reconciliation, that was the moment I thought this could be "forever".

Once again, you tricked me.

But we dated from then on a pretty consistent, if not casual Sunday dates. I picked up the fare, tab and drinks and you provided me needed company. You moved into a brand new house (to be honest, your old furniture was REALLY uncomfortable) and we had a symbiotic relationship for a while. but face it - we we're both looking for something more.

And then came 2008. I still talk about in glowing terms, our best year together after many rough ones. We had the New England snow bad date and the Thanksgiving choking in Philadelphia but you shone in Carolina and for the rest of the playoffs, you were mine. I was wrapped around your finger and when Fitzgerald ran the slant versus the Steelers for the go ahead the touchdown, I was on my knees, literally. (Even my cat Boldin, on the back of the couch, agreed this could be going somewhere.) But you had cold out-of-bounds-feet and left the building, leaving me, once again, in the lurch.

Now, Arizona Cardinals, you and I are touch and go. It's 2013 and you supposedly have changed. I want to believe you have changed, but do you know how many times I've heard that? I still respect you and like you, but after the Whisenhunt years I feel jaded. Do you feel the same? Or are you just looking for adulation and money without responsibility? I think our relationship can be repaired but it will take ownership on you to reciprocate that feeling. You seem to have new ideals and dreams but I'm always remembered of our past. I'm cautious, yet optimistic, that we can reconcile.

So how about it, Cardinals? You want to try it one more time?