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Six Shots and a Chaser: The Arizona Cardinals have a fight on their hands... So do the fans

Making sense of what the Arizona Cardinals have been this season and what it has done to the fanbase.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

It's been a while, but the three football teams I was coaching plus school being done allows me a little time to put out a much needed open thread.

It's been a rough season for the Cardinals and their fans, it's bled through onto a lot of different ways, here are the four stages I have seen.

1. Eternal Optimist

It's the fan that knows things are going to turn around, it is just a matter of time. These fans are great to have, as long as they stick around. They bring an unbridled joy to fandom and even when their team is down and out, they find the good in it, the silver lining.

2. Ready for the draft

It's hard to buy in when evidence is saying that the odds are not in your favorite, plus it's easy to immerse yourself into the vast wasteland of NFL Draft prospect information. It is everywhere, it is free and it is entertaining as hell.

3. The rollercoaster

They live and die with every game and every result. Loss to Minnesota… it's over. Win against the Skins, they're still in it.

The main thing on all three of these fans… they're here, always, talking, arguing, making their point, but they're here.

Fandom is a funny thing. Eternal optimism or pessimism doesn't make you a good or bad fan, it just makes you a fan. It's what makes fandom fun, in that everyone has an opinion. Plus it is way better than this person:

4. Shows up in September

There's nothing wrong with being a fan during the season, but if you show up in September then check out in October when things are bad, are you a real fan, or are you a fan of convenience?

Don't get me wrong, the Arizona Cardinals are not in a place to turn away any fans, but it's fun to see the way they come and go with how the team is doing.

Anyway, that's my rant about that.

5. I've always struggled with the idea of rooting for draft positioning, but I also hate wasted seasons. Arizona is staring at their third wasted season in four years under Arians, don't get me wrong, they are fantastic seasons in the scheme of the Arizona Cardinals history.

Yet, outside of 2015, there has been no run. Now, 2016 isn't over and the Cardinals and their 8% chance to make the playoffs per 538 are still alive, but what does an 8-7-1 or 9-6-1 season get you without a playoff? The 19th pick in the draft? On the flip side, this fanbase may not be able to withstand a four game losing streak going into the offseason after their expectations for 2016, so…

6. What is the biggest need for Arizona?

I'm not going to delve into this too much, but if you're reading, leave a comment or vote and let me know, I'm conducting research.

Don't hurt each other on the boards, have fun.