Cardinals ruin Thanksgiving, add “kicker” to holiday wish list

Note: This column appears in the 11/29 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 11/30 issue of the Peoria Times

I came home this past Sunday from a nice, long holiday weekend, ready to watch the Cardinals move closer to an NFC playoff spot. Here’s what happened…

-After 10 weeks of suffering through the likes of Vince Young and Jason Campbell, Kurt Warner has somehow become my starting fantasy quarterback. And good thing, because he is dealing on this first drive. Warner to Fitzgerald, touchdown! Looks like both the Cardinals and myself are headed for the playoffs.

-(That was foreshadowing...the bad kind.)

-Trent Dilfer is starting for the 49ers today. My friend Rashad and I like to use the term “Dilfered” to describe a bad loss. For example, if Rashad were to lose a round of golf to an 84-year old woman, I would say he “got Dilfered.”

-Frank Gore goes down awkwardly, and is now limping off the field, which leads the announcers to say that this game could turn into “the Maurice Hicks show.” I have seen the Maurice Hicks show, and I think I would rather watch “The Singing Bee.”

-Gore is back in. Ankle is okay. Season is not.

-The 49ers score their first touchdown in 12 quarters -- no, that was not a joke -- Dilfer to Vernon Davis.

-Somehow it’s 17-7, San Francisco. The 49ers have just outscored their season.

-Warner leads the Cards down the field, only to be removed in favor of Tim Rattay at the 49ers’ 1-yard line because Warner only has one working elbow, and cannot hand the ball off correctly in those situations. Yes, my starting fantasy quarterback gets removed deep in the red zone because he only has one elbow. I have no idea how I am in the playoff hunt. Anyway, touchdown Marcel Shipp. Man, did the Cards need that. 17-14, Niners.

-Frank Gore is running all over the place. What happened to the Cardinals’ D?

Frank Gore played against the computer on Sunday...on easy mode

-The Cardinals luck out big time after a roughing-the-kicker call goes against San Fran. They capitalize by doing nothing.

-Roderick Green sacks Warner, and then does a long, strange, celebratory dance. Umm, hey, Roderick Green -- you’re team is 2-8, and you just sacked a 37-year old man with one arm. Maybe you should relax a bit.

-Warner throws into quintuple coverage. Interception.

-Trent Dilfer is apparently under the impression that all of his receivers are 12-feet tall. If it weren’t for Frank Gore, the Cardinals would be up by 30.

-Oh. My. Lord. Warner throws a Hail Mary pass at the end of the half, and Larry Fitzgerald brings it down for a touchdown. Roderick Green does not dance.

-The second half begins, and after a stalled drive, the Niners fake a punt, except Michael Robinson steps out of bounds before reaching the first-down marker. After that and the Hail Mary, the 49ers contemplate forfeiting the rest of the season.

-Kurt Warner just got creamed. I think he might be dead. By the way, this is the second time today a 49ers’ player sacked Warner untouched.

-Arnaz Battle just scored on a 57-yard touchdown, and it’s 24-21 49ers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again -- you HAVE to account for Arnaz Battle.

-I never said that.

-The Cardinals go for it on fourth down at the 49ers’ 1-yard line, and it works! Touchdown, Rattay to Ben Patrick. Tim Rattay-to-Ben Patrick is the Cardinals’ answer to Trent Dilfer-to-Arnaz Battle. Watch out, Patriots!

-It’s all Frank Gore, all the time for the 49ers. We then find out from the announcers that “this is the old Frank Gore!” Frank Gore is 24, by the way, and this is his third year in the league.

-The Cardinals might want to think about stopping Frank Gore. He just scored on a 35-yard touchdown run. 31-28. 1:15 left. Here we go.

-The Cardinals drive down the field and get a Rackers field goal to tie it. Overtime!

-I just deleted everything I wrote about overtime, assuming that by the time this hits the paper, nobody will want to be reminded of it. Let’s just say that Ken Whisenhunt + Neil Rackers = getting Dilfered.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go outside and put up some Christmas lights.

Happy F'in Thanksgiving.
Love, Neil.