I moved to Phoenix just before my 14th birthday in 1995, and it led to many firsts for me. First time in the desert, first time in a major metropolitan area and a first time with an NFL team. Where we moved from I had no NFL team in our state; I was a Kansas City Chief's fan because they were the closest thing to a team we had. I even still have a KC starter jacket that I paid a couple hundred bucks for in my closet (it will never fit me again).
As soon as I moved here I immediately became an Arizona Cardinals fan. My dad was fortunate enough to get season tickets to the Cardinals and we started going to games. I look back at this time I had with my father and it truly was such a wonderful time together that a person doesn't fully appreciate until they have kids of their own. What I wouldn't give to be able to go back and relive those moments again because they mean so much to me now.
The point is that I was able to see a lot of football in those three or four years that my dad was able to get season tickets, in the burning hell that I like to call Sun Devil Stadium.
It was horrifically bad football most of the time. Buddy Ryan was a disaster (first season 4-12, winner my ass), Vince Tobin was bad, lucked into 1998 really, Dave McGinnis -- while I liked the guy and thought he was a great defensive coordinator -- our talent was sub par. Long story short: we lost a lot of football games (73-135 from 1994 to 2006).
I have to admit, last week I turned off the Cardinals game after the second touchdown drive of 80 yards by the San Francisco 49ers. I fell into the same trap that I did for so many years the same trap that many Cardinals fans will tell you is still crammed into our heads after over a decade of some of the worst football ever. My thought was "Oh well, 2-1 is a good start, we just ran into a good San Francisco team, hopefully they keep it close."
I was so very wrong to think that this team wouldn't show up for the whole 60 minutes.
Your Arizona Cardinals are 3-0 this year because they play the whole game. They do not get down on themselves when the score is not in their favor, even if the team has been to the NFC championship game the last three years and they were dominated the first two drives. They play with so much heart and passion that I should have known better last week, I should have stayed and watched this team play.
We have faced adversity a whole bunch already this season: middle linebacker suspended -- next man up. Other middle linebacker took the money and ran -- next man up. Heart of the defense tore his ACL -- next man up. Running back arrested for domestic violence -- next man up. Quarterback has pinched nerve and cant grip the ball -- next man up.
The definition of team is, "A group of people who work together," and so far this Arizona Cardinals team "works".
We have a long way to go, and maybe someday it will be too many losses of talent to keep working. But I, for one, will not fall into the same mistake I did last week. Enjoy your week off everyone. Let's come back and get a "W" in Denver too, as or slogan goes now, "Hey, why not us?"