top of page

Entry date: 10-2-2022 - Football, just Football - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

I haven’t gone off on a sports rant for a bit, but it is time, I suppose. While football is not a religion for me, I do enjoy Sundays more than I probably ever let on. In the fall, that has a little, at very least, to do with the availability of watching the Cardinals play.

I grew up a Raider fan. They had the coolest uniforms and they beat the Vikings in Super Bowl XI in 1977. I used to walk through the football section of Sears at Colonnade mall and lust after one of those Raiders jackets that looked like a HS letter jacket. If you’re old enough to know what I mean, you get it. Maybe not for some of the ladies who read this, but guys over 50 will totally understand.

Those things were around $25, if I remember, which was a lot of money in the 70s for a child’s jacket. They were a bit of a status thing, too, at school. I still have the one I eventually got, probably for Christmas in 1977, or my birthday that year, and it hangs in my closet to this day. I loved the Raiders a lot until the Cardinals came to town in 1988.

In those early days, I was not paying a ton of attention to football as I was busy doing a lot of other things (if you’ve been reading, you know what I’m talking about), but I did pay attention. The Cardinals won me over because those early teams were fun to watch. They had a good offense and I like to watch a well-oiled offensive team play. As I’ve gotten older, I enjoy good defense just as much, but in those days, I wanted to see people score.

For most of the team’s tenure here, the Cardinals have not been very good. People would often ask me why I rooted for them or switched over from being a Raiders fan. Being a hometown guy, it was easy for me to root for the hometown team. I did the same thing to the Dodgers when the Diamondbacks got here. It’s just what you hear about all the time and, if you’re a sports fan like me, you get interested.

I would also tell people, though, that the Cardinals were the best team to be a fan of because there was no pressure. If they won, it was awesome, but if they lost, well, they did that a lot so no big deal. I didn’t have to worry about my team the way some of my friend’s did who got all bent out of shape if their favorites didn’t have a good week.

You could also start a Cardinal game and then nap between the first and fourth quarter and not really miss much. It probably shows that I am a very casual fan. I root for them and keep up with them because I listen to sports talk radio in the car. This choice is mostly because radio in Phoenix sucks and there really isn’t a station that consistently plays great music, but also because I like it.

As I have mentioned before, I am finding it harder and harder to relate to pro sports as I get older for a lot of reasons. With football, one of the biggest reasons I find it hard to be super jazzed about the Cardinals right now is because they are probably one of the worst managed professional teams in the world. Their general manager, Steve Keim, and head coach, Kliff Kluelessberry (Kingsbury, actually), are fucking idiots.

How these two guys just got contract extensions for the next five years is beyond me.

I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but the Cardinals had a little bit of money to spend in the offseason and they could have upgraded the defense a bit. They lost some key players on a defense that overachieved last year and did nothing to replace. Nothing. How does that work?

Keim cannot draft players at all, so they are not getting any help from the new dudes they bring in each year. The coaching staff does not seem to like playing young guys, so either there is a lack of trust in playing inexperienced guys or Keim is drafting bums. I think it is more the latter than the former, but it could be a mix of both. They wasted two of their last three first round picks on linebackers that look great on paper but play like morons on the field.

I don’t even know what Zaven Collins is doing half the time and, again, I’m a casual observer. He’s a linebacker, if you are not familiar, and should be able to get by blocks from wide receivers most of the time but cannot. Isaiah Simmons, their first-round pick from three years ago is even more a question mark.

That guy has all the tools but for every great play he makes (and he does make them), he costs the team on other plays by getting stupid penalties. In the first game of this season, they coaches had him matched up with Travis Kelce of the Chiefs and they guy ate Simmons’ lunch and then described it to him as he was running by.

Defensively, the team is terrible until the other team gets up by some points and then they wake up. This is a bad recipe in the National Football League. I find it even harder to fathom because everybody knows what the other team is going to do the majority of time. One of my other reasons for not paying super close attention to the game is that football has become so predictable.

I am not a Kyler Murray fan. He’s an exciting player, but I just don’t think he’s big enough to be available for every game of a season. So far, too, he’s shown that once he gets hurt during the year, he doesn’t bounce back and get back to whatever level of play he’s established. The guy is capable of putting the team on his back, at times, and that’s great, but his head coach, who is supposed to be some sort of offensive guru, can’t seem to ever make adjustments during a game or season.

It's frustrating. I see other teams, usually the Cards opponent making adjustments, but not our local boys. They do have weapons on offense, too. How is it that a team this talented has not had a lead yet this season? Maybe today they will be able to get one against the Panthers. I doubt it. I predict the Cardinals will top out at seven wins this year if they even get that far. I would not be surprised at all with a five- or six-win season. I do hope I am wrong, though, truly.

See you tomorrow.

Yep. $24.99 for the jacket. Mine is a size 10. You can't have it. How did they find a lefty for the picture, I wonder. Didn't they know the kid should have been wearing a Raider jacket? Ken Stabler, anyone?

9 views0 comments


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page