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Features & Blogs
"Life in the UK"
• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud
THE RETURN GAME
Sporting life back in the USA by Sean L Chaplin
Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
The Valley of the Sun is not accustomed to watching their team play in February, but 2009 has been a different year and Kurt Warner has been a different quarterback.
What a magical run the Cards had this year in the playoffs, especially the dynamic combination of Larry Fitzgerald and the evergreen Mr. Warner, both willing the Cards to victory. The defense made plays when it had to and coupled with the crowd support the Cards enjoyed in the NFC championship game, they stamped a ticket to Tampa.
I found it interesting to watch the overall reaction of the fine citizens of Phoenix in the buildup to the Super Bowl. It was obvious they did not quite know how to react. Pittsburgh on the other hand, is experienced with Super Bowls and the fans are accustomed to playing for all the marbles. Phoenix really had to generate massive support from scratch. And they did have plenty of support, but when our city almost forgets they have an NFL franchise, and when your biggest game of the year used to be an annual visit from the Dallas Cowboys, there tends to be a bandwagon affect.
Plenty of folks who would not be able to tell you who Jim Hart or Terry Metcalf were, let alone who the starting running back was last year (that would be Edgerrin James, by the way) were converted overnight by the run of success the Cards enjoyed. Just driving in town was an event, with cars decorated with (brand new) bumper stickers supporting the Cards, or the old High School staple of using white shoe polish to decorate your vehicles windows with catchy slogan’s about how the Cards were going to crush the Steelers. Cardinal merchandise sold like hotcakes as folks were catching up with their neighbors in the build–up for the Super Bowl. I would bet the farm however, that Western Pennsylvania did not have a rush of sales on bumper stickers, or white shoe polish for that matter.
Overall, the gang in Arizona had a great time enjoying their team’s success. The game itself was wrought with tough calls from the referee, two of which stand out from a Cards perspective, the most prominent being the fumble by Kurt Warner at the end of the game with the Cards driving for the winning TD. Now the fine folks in Phoenix were not thrilled by the call, as many vocalized that they were "robbed" by the officiating crew and that the NFL had it "out" for the Cards. While conspiracy theories are great for movies, they don’t really align with the fact that it was a fumble.
The call the fans deserved to be upset with was the Karlos Dansby roughing the passer call, which changed the complexion of the game — the call was ticky tacky, and really hurt the Cards. I did not hear anyone talking about that call, the focus of the fans' ire being on the last few minutes of the game. I can’t blame them as it was a very exciting ending, but by the time Warner fumbled, the gig was probably up for the Cards anyway. But you can’t explain that to a fan base that is very angry at the outcome of the game and in their estimation, the standard of officiating.
Phoenix will take some time to heal as the bad taste that is in the collective mouth of Cards fans will probably stick around until training camp starts next August, but time is a great healer and I would prefer that Arizona revel in the great season the team had as well as the increase in attention the team enjoyed. And their part in the finest Super Bowl we have seen in many years.
Now it will be interesting to see if the Cards can develop the momentum the team enjoyed and move to greater heights, or whether the interest fades until we again only see a sellout in Glendale when the Cowboys are in town!