Cardinals, threat or menace?
by Mike the Dealer
The Cardinals come into Super Bowl 43 with a load
of anger and hatred directed and them and what they stand for in the NFL.
In a season of insanity, we have witnessed
the #1 seeds of both conferences beaten in their first playoff games. Weíve
11-5 team, that in 2001, used an 11-5 record
to secure itself a bye week in the playoffs, miss out on the playoffs outright.
We watched a team that won one game the previous
year, win 11 and itís division. We saw the Atlanta Falcons, who were
supposed to go nowhere with a rookie QB and a
Head Coach nobody thought was worth hiring, end up making the playoffs.
All of that pales in comparison to the story of
the Arizona Cardinals who as we have been told time and again, were a putrid,
loathsome, horrible 9-7 this season, and through
the corrupt seeding of the flawed NFL playoff format, managed to host two
games against teams with better records on their
way to a Super Bowl.
Of course this format of rewarding division winners
with home games has been around since the dawn of time itself, yet because
this time itís a team that was 9-7 who managed
to hold the mighty 4 seed, and the fact that the 1 and 3 seeds lost, and
crushed the 2 seeded Panthers at Carolina, the
Cardinals are somehow to blame for being hosts to the NFC Title game against
There has been endless whining and complaining,
from websites like ďCold Hard Football FactsĒ and ESPN.comís Bill Simmons
who have been lamenting the flawed playoff format,
if only for the simple fact that now Ďthe regular season doesnít matterí
To all this I say the following.
One Giant Loss
Iím as big a Patriots fan as there is, and guess
what, I know the truth, the regular season has NEVER mattered. If it mattered,
Iíd be happier about that 16-0 Regular season
banner the Patriots hung up to salute the fact that they are the only team
history to go 16-0, but the fact is, some back-up
nobody ever heard of caught a ball off his helmet, the Giants defensive
a bunch of maniacs, and in the end, Ellis Hobbs
decides not to do anything at all to prevent Plaxico Burress from catching
game winner and in the end, the Lombardi, the
fanfare and all the celebrations were the Giants.
The Patriots were 18-0 going into that game, the
Giants 13-6. Nobody thought it was a mockery of the regular season when
the Giants, two touchdown underdogs, won the
game. It was a historic upset, thatís about it.
But now a 14-4 Steelers team faces a 12-7 Cardinals
team and suddenly it would be a crime if the Cardinals win this game,
suddenly football purists everywhere are pissing
and moaning that it would be a disgrace if the Cardinals were to walk out
of Tampa with the Lombardi in hand.
Of course, if the Cardinals winning on Sunday
would be an outrage and a crime as these people are saying it would be,
clearly the Cardinals are the biggest underdog
in Super Bowl history then. I mean, logic would dictate that if the Cardinals
are total frauds that Americans everywhere would
be gambling what little money left from the Bush economy on the Steelers
in a frantic attempt to pay the bills, assuredly
whatever line Vegas put up at the start of this two week period has been
violently as Vegas attempts to stop people from
betting the Steelers (If a game comes out with some team as a 3 point favorite
and everyone bets them, Vegas will move the line
to 3.5, then 4, then 4.5 and will continue to do so until they get action
on both sides.)
Stunningly, this isnít what is happening, the
line on this game opened with the Steelers as a 6.5 point favorite, and
where you go in Vegas, thatís still the line
or the Steelers are 7 point favorites. A grand total of a half point move
on this line.
Since the 98-99 season, there has been six Super
Bowls with a point spread of 7 or more, so this is more the rule then the
exception, and since that season, three underdogs
have won outright in the Bowl, the 01 Patriots, 02 Bucs, and 08 Giants,
did anyone cry foul about these teams winning
it all? Was there whining that footballís post season was a crapshoot then?
All of this said, Iím going with foolish emotion
and betting the Cardinals to win the Super Bowl this Sunday. Iíll be taking
them with the points and taking the Cardinals
money line (Betting the game itself without points) I might also take a
with the over, since if the Cardinals are going
to win this, they will do it with their high powered offense.
Oh, and Bart, about Kurt Warner, heís very good,
but for the years he wasnít getting it done, his eye level was down,
he was looking at the pass rush and not looking
down field towards where he needed to throw the ball, this year,
his head is high, heís looking downfield, and
heís lighting it up again, how he got his mojo back is beyond me,
but I hope he keeps it up for one more game.
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