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The Arizona 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 seen an 
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 the Cardinals 
crushed the 2 seeded Panthers at Carolina, the Cardinals are somehow to blame for being hosts to the NFC Title game against the Eagles.

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 in NFL 
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 line was 
a bunch of maniacs, and in the end, Ellis Hobbs decides not to do anything at all to prevent Plaxico Burress from catching the 
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 moved 
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 depending 
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 parlay 
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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