Friday, July 1, 2011

Worst moments in Az. Cardinals history?

Mike Fioro of PFT was listing off each NFL team's worst moments in history.  I laughed immediately because the Cardinals have that topic trumped on every level.  They can beat you with a bad free agent signing, draft picks, coach picks, plays on field, off field, or yearly standings.  You pretty much name the topic and the Cardinals can hang their head in shame.  So he started listing off his 4, at this point any other fan would wince in preparation for the impending blow.  But not Cardinal fans.  No we have grown immune to being embarrassed for our football team.  I have visible callouses on my heart that can be seen on a scanner that protect me from emotional turmoil from further catastrophes.  He apparently wanted to only mention the last 14 years, completely ignoring the fact that the team is 113 years old. 

Here's his top four:
#4 was when the team lost to Dallas in 1987 in week 15 while they were in St. Louis.  I guess they missed the playoffs which is pretty big, but I don't remember because I didn't really start following them till 1992. 
#3 was when they lost to the Saints in the 2009 playoffs. 
#2 the Dennis Green's meltdown after the Bears game
#1 the Superbowl loss.

Really?  Sadly 2 of those four stand out as the best moments in Cardinals history.  I'll give you the Denny Green meltdown.  That's an eternal classic.  The Dallas loss does sound bad so I'll trust that it was pretty bad (even though it was when they were in St. Louis.)  But N.O.?  The Superbowl?  The N.O. year represents the first time the Cardinals got to the divisional round of the playoffs in back to back years for over 30 years.  They also won 10 games that season, a first in 30 years.  They lost to the Superbowl Champs and you could tell they were grossly overmatched.  While the Superbowl stands out as the single greatest moment in Cardinals history probably dating back to 1948.  It certainly is the best in Az. history. 

But even arguing that is insulting the sheer magnitude of the Cardinals ineptitude.  Arguing what are the worst moments in Cards history is like arguing what are the best movies of all time.  You can't tell me Godfather is clearly better or worse than Casablanca.  They're too close to call.  Plus you're forgetting the artistic elements of each.  And that's just what the Cardinals ineptitude is: art.  Its as if Shakespeare himself penned this tragedy and we are just watching his masterpiece unfold through the years.  So without putting them in any particular order, let's reminisce shall we?

  • During the offseason after beating Dallas in the 1998 playoffs and turning the corner into a real NFL team, Chris Gedney, a well loved and respected player is diagnosed with cancer.  Bill Bidwill promptly cuts him.  The next year they go 6-10. (To be fair, they did resign him later only the damage had already been done)
  • In 1997, at 3-12 they beat the Falcons in the last game of the season forfeiting the #1 overall pick that would later be Petyon Manning.
  • In 2003, at 3-12 they beat the Vikings in the last game of the season forfeiting the #1 overall pick that would later be Eli Manning.
  • In 2011, at 3-12 they beat the Seahawks in the last game of the season forfeiting the #1 overall pick that would later be Andrew Luck.  (Trifecta?)
  • The day they drafted Levi Brown over Adrian Peterson
  • The day they basically traded Terell Suggs for Calvin Pace and Bryant Johnson (they could have had all three if they actually knew how to draft)
  • The entire 2002 draft: Wendell Bryant, Levar Fisher, Josh McCown, Dennis Johnson, Nate Dwyer, Josh Scobey, and Mike Banks.  McCown made an amazing 8 year career inspite of missing a brain, and Scobey was an average returner.  The rest didn't do squat.
  • Seth Joyner looking like an imbecile as Steve Bono runs by him for a 76 yard TD
  • Bill Gramatica tearing his ACL while celebrating a made field goal.  No it wasn't a game winner.
  • Buddy Ryan's infamous entrance, "You've got a winner in town."
  • Buddy Ryan's infamous exit, he left before the end of the game.
  • Buddy Ryan placing Ricky Proehl and Steve Beuerlein in the expansion draft instead of players that couldn't actually play. 
  • The countless numbers of games the Cardinals lost in the fourth quarter based soley on using prevent defense.  The most famous, blowing a 16 point lead with 7 minutes to go against San Francisco.
  • Simeon Rice bolting for Tampa Bay calling Arizona the "armpit of the NFL".  He later won the defensive player of the year.
  • Thomas Jones breaking his hand while "answering a phone".
  • Ken Whisenhunt dumping Matt Leinert because Derek Anderson could run the team better.
  • I can't remember which game, but I swear the Cardinals had a game where the other team called for an instant review to assess whether the pass was a completion.  The ref came out and after the review threw the flag against the Cards.  He saw illegal contact while looking at the instant replay.  Only the Cards.
  • In 1996, the Jets go 1-15.  Their only win, against the Cards.  Adrian Murrell runs for big yardage, so naturally the Cards traded for him the next year.
  • In 2010, the Panthers go 2-14.  One of their wins, against the Cards.
  • Leonard Davis getting called for a false start on the Rams 5-yard line with 7 seconds left down 5 points.  One ten second run-off later, the Cards lose.
  • Joe Bugel vs. the Ultimatum
  • The hiring of Dave McGinnis to motivate the Cards to go 19-45 during his tenure.
  • Give Jake Plummer more money than he actually asked for. 
  • Taking $15 out of a players paycheck because the Cardinals used Fedex to give it to him.
That's good for now.  I'll add an addendum when my buddy James calls to tell me 20 more.

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