another Super Bowl is upon us, and once again, no team that i really root for has made it to the big stage. but rather than use this time to rail against the quality of the play evidenced by the Oakland Raiders, i figure i should use it to promote the team i am actually going to be rooting for this year: the Arizona Cardinals! “but wait,” you say, “why in the hell would you root for the Arizona Cardinals? you root for Pittsburgh’s baseball team and a bunch of your family original hails from Pennsylvania! and hell, your grandmother was BORN in Pittsburgh and is rooting for the Steelers and she’s your best friend!” well, those are all good points – go Pirates! – but they’re not convincing. and since no one can MAKE me root for the Steelers… well, i do what i like. but i am willing to defend my argument, so here we go!
13 REASONS WHY I AM ROOTING FOR THE ARIZONA CARDINALS (AND YOU SHOULD AS WELL)
ah, Pat Tillman: the reason your hero janklow owns a Cardinals jersey; now if only your statue didn’t have terrible, terrible hair
13. change of pace in SB victors
not only has Arizona never won a Super Bowl in any of the cities they’ve played in, they’ve never even been to one before now (leaving only five sad franchises on the list of those who’ve never made the trip) … and they’re the oldest operating professional American football franchise in the country. meanwhile, the Steelers have been to seven Super Bowls and won six of them. enough already with the goddamn Steelers victories!
12. their football championship drought
…and right on the heels of “they’ve never won this Super Bowl thing before,” i’m going to add that it’s been 62 years since the Cardinals took home a championship. yes, that’s right, they last won a championship in 1947. granted, i’m a Raiders fan and we’ve been pretty terrible since 2002 or so, but i can at least say “well, we’ve played in 5 Super Bowls and we last won one in 1983 or so” … whereas the Cardinals can’t say that kind of thing so much.
11. simple outranking of the Steelers on my list
this is the least exciting of reasons, but i root for teams based on where i rank them on my list of NFL teams from #1-#32. every team has been ranked: for example, if the Lions play the Packers, since the former is #18 and the latter #21, i root for the Lions. yeah, it’s boring, but it saves time. anyway, on my list, the Cardinals are #10 (really? really) and the Steelers are #23. no contest at all!
10. their awesome logo
now i have to say that i preferred the old Cardinals logo: the new one’s all aggressive and mean, but the old one looked stately, like it was above all the fussin’ and feudin’. still, either way, i think they have a cool logo. it’s not as cool as basing your logo on, say, Western actor Randolph Scott, but it’s still SOMETHING.
refs, you have to understand that Adrian Wilson doesn’t appreciate you getting in the way of him hitting men so hard that he takes their souls
09. Travis LaBoy
granted, LaBoy’s a solid player and everything, but he’s making the list because his name is goofy and cracks me up whenever i see it. LaBoy? seriously? that’s the worst last name in the NFL, hands down. and because of that, i really want to see a LaBoy go home a Super Bowl champion. whereas in comparison, all the Steelers’ names are so boring.
08. Darnell Dockett
generally speaking, i have a soft spot for our local players and i always root for them and their related teams to do well, and Darnell Dockett is one of those: he may have gone to college at Florida State, but he hails from Burtonsville, MD. and while he was there, he may have beaten up a guy i and people i know hate a large amount. so that’s two things he has going for him. also, don’t tell me “but janklow, Byron Leftwich is a Steeler and he’s from DC!” because that guy ALSO said he used to cry when the Redskins lost, and if there’s one thing you DON’T do when your team loses, it’s cry. you do what i do: you rant and rave and scream profanity and then you drink alcohol.
07. their high-quality safety tandem
Adrian Wilson at SS, Antrel Rolle at FS… what more do i need to say? i’ve already gone on the record about my soft spot for the safety position, and while Larry Wilson and Pat Tillman were the Cardinals to make my top 13, Adrian Wilson and his ridiculous vertical leap made my honorable mention list. seriously, i could watch that video for upwards of 13 minutes a day and STILL not get bored with it. and Antrell Rolle’s pretty cool as well.
06. my admitted hatred of the Steelers
i can basically sum up this reason in one sentence: THE IMMACULATE RECEPTION WAS NOT A GODDAMN CATCH. seriously. i’ve disliked the Steelers for years (note that i respect them, i just hate them as well) and i’m bitter about the fact that if not for that catch, the Raiders would have had a chance to put down the most overrated AFC champion of all time, the undefeated Dolphins. i’m also sort of bitter about the Rooney brothers getting a pass on their gambling connections in a way i think other owners would not have. you know what? i’m bitter about a lot of things and i don’t want to have to justify them all. fuck the fucking Steelers!
now, i don’t approve of members of the Black Eyed Peas sneaking into my photos, but i DO approve of Big Red’s ridiculous facial expression
05. the Ken Whisenhunt irony factor
okay, this comes on the heels of me hating the Steelers, but it’s a little more complicated. see, Whisenhunt was Pittsburgh’s OC and when they interviewed people for the head coaching job, they passed him up to take the DC from Minnesota, Mike Tomlin. Tomlin’s a solid coach, but he inherited a good team and he’s maybe overrated as a result, whereas Pittsburgh fans laughed as Whisenhunt slunk off to Arizona. if he wins, that will be one awesome “IN YOUR FACE” gesture. but you know, i think Whisenhunt spurned Oakland to coach Arizona, so maybe i hate the guy after all? well, whatever, for now i am a fan.
04. 9/11 PATRICK TILLMAN NEVER FORGET
i don’t know the most about Arizona Cardinals football, but from what i gather from NFL statements and/or statues found in Arizona, Patrick Tillman is the greatest player in the history of the team. and accordingly, i declare that Arizona needs to win this for Tillman (it’s not as catchy as “bring it home for Jerome,” but then, that chant didn’t work out ever). for those that disagree, i’m simply going to yell “PATRICK TILLMAN NEVER FORGET” until they cave in. remember: if you don’t want the Cardinals to win, you’re forgetting him. and that’s worse than forgetting 9/11!
03. notable lack of Cardinals fans in existence
now, i live in the DC metro area, where residents hail from every part of the nation, and this means that said residents often bring a lot of random fandom with them… except for Cardinals fandom. guys will move here from Detroit for obvious reasons (such as “Detroit is really terrible”) and STILL take a sick sense of pride in rooting for the Lions, a team i believe is composed of people marked by an angry god like Cain and Judas were. and yet, there are no Cardinals fans. it’s to the point where i randomly assign Cardinals fandom to people who claim to a) like football and b) have no allegiance to any one team. side note: the last guy i made a Cardinals fan is taking some pride in their success, so maybe this concept works?
02. their excellent mascot “Big Red”
this guy’s been cruising around since 1998 or so, and i don’t think his face was affected much by the unnecessary redesign of the team’s logo. and frankly, i think their mascot looks pretty excellent, even if he IS a cardinal… whereas the Steelers have the worst mascot in the NFL, the godawful Steely McBeam. for crying out loud, his name is Steely McBeam! now, my grandmother claims that the Cardinals’ mascot is “stupid,” which doesn’t even make any sense and which goes against her claims that everything that exists is “cute” … but she’s old, what does she know? go Big Red!
seriously, i know people say birds don’t have these kinds of thoughts… but that cardinal is absolutely eye-fucking me
01. to repair the relationship between janklow and cardinals
i don’t want to hate on cardinals: they’re the noble mascot of Louisville (which i have a soft spot for) and they rock that sweet crest on their heads (blue jays also rule in this regard) … but as has been documented on this web site before, cardinals and i do NOT get along, unlike mourning doves, crows or vultures, all of which regard me as “excellent.” since i don’t want to fight with these cardinals forever (and since my car could really benefit from a reduction in abuse), maybe we can use this Super Bowl to forge a new bond? i sort of doubt it, but, hey, we’ll see what happens!