Welcome to the refreshed Revenge of the Birds! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!
Onto the stories.
The Arizona Cardinals hold a special place in my heart for a variety of reasons. I have been a fan ever since I can remember, growing up here in Arizona. But it wasn’t until Kurt Warner took over the reins as starting QB for my favorite football team that my fandom went to a whole new level.
I have seen the highs and lows of Cardinals football, from Warner to Derek Anderson and Max Hall to Kevin Kolb and now to Carson Palmer (who we as Cardinals fans really take for granted). Through all the trials and tribulations, my obsession for my hometown team never wavered.
It was before the 2016 season that I finally decided to make the commitment to my team and go in on season tickets with some friends. One of those friends was Phoenix Police Officer David Glasser, who was killed in the line of duty in May of 2016. I was to occupy the seat a couple spaces down from him, and it was him who extended the invite for me to sit with them permanently.
Since Dave’s passing, the Cardinals have been nothing short of amazing in the way they have honored Dave and his family. Most recently, star running back David Johnson went with Dave’s widow Kristen and his son Micah up to the Grand Canyon (by helicopter!) where they announced the team’s selection of Dorian Johnson on national television. By no means did they have to do anything like that, but it shows the team’s commitment to their fans and the city they play in.
The tailgating experience at University of Phoenix is second to none (I am biased, but I don’t care). Every Sunday home game, our group sets up on “The Great Lawn” and partakes in good food before kickoff. In the early games of the season it gets pretty hot, but a cold beer and the chance to see the Cardinals win with their explosive offense and hard-hitting defense makes it all worth it.
Speaking of their offense and defense, the way both of those sides of the ball are constructed under Cardinals Head Coach Bruce Arians makes the games that much more exciting. There’s nothing like seeing Carson Palmer sling a ball 50 yards down the field to John Brown or J.J. Nelson multiple times per game. It only lasts a few seconds, but it feels like an eternity as that ball hangs in the air. Meanwhile, when the defense is on the field, their propensity for blitzing the quarterback and always keeping their ears pinned back makes the defense as fun as the offense to watch. There’s nothing quite like a Chandler Jones sack, a Tyrann Mathieu forced fumble or a Patrick Peterson interception returned for a touchdown to get University of Phoenix stadium rumbling.
The Cardinals have become so much more than just my local sports team. They are truly embedded in the community and care about the people within it. The organization holds itself to the highest of standards and it shows in the way they operate.
It is for these reasons that I am a fan of the Arizona Cardinals and will be for the rest of my life.
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