A moment that goes down as one of the funniest and saddest at the same time in Arizona Cardinals history is the Monday Night Football postgame meltdown by Derek Anderson in 2010. It was funny because it it was so out of the blue and just plain hilarious. It was sad because that season was awful and that game in particular was a joke.
5 seasons later, Anderson is in the Super Bowl for the Carolina Panthers as Cam Newton's backup. Since all stories get discussed in the week leading up to the Super Bowl, of course the meltdown came up. And the man who provoked the famous response from Anderson, AZCentral reporter Kent Somers, wrote the story.
Somers writes Anderson was a bit of a mess then. Anderson felt ill-prepared to lead the team as a starter that year because of how things went down at the quarterback position in the offseason and preseason. The season was terrible. He was in a bad place in his personal life.
I had a couple of takeaways from the story.
The first is when he alluded to the offseason.
"I was told multiple things and multiple things didn't happen," Anderson told Somers about the offseason. "It's hard enough to win in this league when you get a whole spring and a whole training camp with guys, let alone a week and half."
He had been told he would compete for the starting job, but he didn't get first team reps until well into training camp. So he felt like he wasn't ready to be a leader on the team.
The other thing I get from this is how the team let him down that night. He didn't even know what happened with his moment on the sideline with Deuce Lutui or that Jon Gruden had called him out and the fans were all up in arms as a result of his smiling during a loss. It turns out there had been a fan heckling DA all game with vulgarities and Deuce just told him he had his back. That made Anderson smile. Then the poop storm came.
"Everybody could have handled it better," he said. "I could have handled it better. They (the Cardinals) could have given me a heads up going into it."
The team did fail him there. He should have had a heads up about the broadcast. Then he might have been able to know how to answer. He was clearly on the defensive with the line of questioning.
Then again, in a very forgettble season, that moment gave us something to enjoy forever.
I personally felt he would have been a much better quarterback in 2011 had the team kept him around. Steve Breaston once was interviewed about Anderson and he pointed out how he was still learning the system. I am glad Anderson was able to move on and find his place in the league. He has been a solid backup for the Panthers and has played well when asked to do so. Good for him. Things ended up working out for both Anderson and the Cardinals, only Anderson might be the one getting a riing soon.