Showing posts from December, 2007

The 2007 Arizona Cardinals awards show bonanza

Note: This column appears in the 1/3 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 1/4 issue of the Peoria Times

Because I am not above such literary gimmicks as handing out fake end-of-the-year awards to professional athletes who don’t give two craps about what I have to say anyway, I think it’s time to do just that! So brace yourselves, Arizona Cardinals, because it’s award time…

Biggest Surprise:Kurt Warner. From his valiant effort in replacing Matt Leinart against Baltimore in Week 3, to his 369-yard, three-TD performance versus Atlanta in Week 16, Warner pretty much saved the Cardinals from yet another embarrassing season. And he did it all with one elbow, an ever-graying beard, and while being sacked 20 times. Even Kurt Warner was surprised by Kurt Warner.

Best Season That Wasn’t That Great:Edgerrin James. Many (for example, Edgerrin James) will point out that James now has back-to-back seasons of rushing for over 1,000 yards, the first Cardinals’ RB to do that, since...I have no idea. Ever…

Classic card of the week

Louis Lipps, 1992 Collector’s Edge

Louis Lipps did not exude the confidence of a man who caught passes for a living. Take this card for example. This looks like the “before” snapshot of an extremely bad dropped pass. There is too much concentration going into this feat. Louis Lipps is attempting to catch this pass as if his life depended on it, and that is just too much pressure to place on oneself as it pertains to the pure simplicity of catching a football. If this were Randy Moss, he would casually be reaching down to catch this pass with his right pinky finger (or, ya' know, his ELBOW!) while simultaneously staring at a cheerleader and contemplating what he was going to do for his touchdown dance. Meanwhile, Louis Lipps doesn’t even have his chinstrap fastened, there’s not a defender anywhere in the picture, and it looks like he’s one second away from pooping his pants. Even his positioning doesn’t make sense! His back is to the freakin’ endzone, and he looks like he’s fielding…

Classic card of the week

Latrell Sprewell, 1997 Upper Deck

When there’s a minute and 10 seconds left in the game, and you’re playing in a half-empty black-and-white arena against a team that refuses to wear numbers on the back of their jerseys, there’s few people in the NBA that you want with the ball in their hands more than Latrell Sprewell. To wit:

In a game vs. the Los Angeles Clippers, Sprewell became the difference in a 97-91 victory. With 1:10 on the clock in regulation, Sprewell shaked and baked his way to a three-point play and sealed the win at home.

Did Walt Frazier write this little tidbit? That will remain a mystery. And apparently in California, 1:10 left on the clock equals “crunch time,” regardless of the fact that those final 70 seconds probably took 23 minutes to play out. (Not mentioned is another “crunch time” play by Sprewell during this game, when he sank one of two free throws midway through the second quarter.)

When asked by a reporter after the game how he managed to be so clutch against…

It could be worse for, seriously

The Christmas season is a time for joy, and also for perspective. Arizona Cardinals fans throughout the Valley are left lamenting the fact that their team will, yet again, miss the playoffs.. To this I say, “Who cares?” For now is the time of the year to appreciate what we have, so as the Cards face-off against them this Sunday, I think it’s time for everyone to be thankful this holiday season that the Arizona Cardinals are NOT, in fact, the Atlanta Falcons.

For all the disappointment inherent in rooting for the franchise that is the Arizona Cardinals, it can be argued that those twenty years of general ineptitude cannot match what the Falcons have accomplished in a mere six months.

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we? The Falcons’ star quarterback -- and, to the casual NFL fan, their only recognizable player -- was suspended for the season as a result of being indicted on charges of heading a dog fighting ring. Two weeks ago he was sentenced to almost two years in a federal priso…

Classic card of the week

Brad Davis, 1990-91 Skybox

The easy joke here would be to say that Brad Davis was flaming. Or, at least, his balls were flaming. But I am not going to go there, because that is not how I roll. “But how does Brad Davis roll?” you may be asking yourself. That, I cannot answer. All I can do is show you the back of the card,
(check the “Brad” in the lower right-hand corner of the picture…that’s class!), remind you that Brad Davis played for a team whose symbol was a cowboy hat resting on top of a giant “M,” and then ask you to look at the front of the card again. Says Troy McClure, “Yes, Smithers IS Mr. Burns’ assistant.”

Of course, I am joking with these implications and innuendos. Brad Davis was just a product of the times, a times that just happened to involve short shorts, mustaches, flaming basketballs, and cowboy hats. Let’s face it – we were ALL a little gay in 1991.

Anyhoo, I perused Brad Davis’ Wikipedia page, where I discovered that Brad Davis was not a good basketball player. This…

Cardinals must cover up Warner’s inevitable mistakes

Note: This column appears in the 12/13 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 12/14 issue of the Peoria Times

If this past Sunday was, in fact, the biggest game in almost a decade for the Arizona Cardinals, then let’s hope that they don’t react the same way this Sunday, which will definitely be the biggest game in almost a decade for the Arizona Cardinals.

Now to the hard part.

As good as he has been this season, the fact that Kurt Warner is the starting quarterback has been the elephant in the room. Warner has never been adept at taking care of the football, and if not turning the ball over has become a football cliché, then Kurt Warner obviously did not get the memo.

The Cardinals failed in every aspect of the game against the Seahawks. The defense was terrible, and could never manage to stop the bleeding. Special teams was, at best, a non-factor. And the rushing “attack” was on par with what it’s been for most of the season, which is to say that Edgerrin James was, yet again, nowhere to …

When keeping it full goes wrong

Dramatization: "Before"

This morning I was filling my car up with gas -- yes, in Arizona you have to pump your own -- and I was, as usual, watching the money counter, and making bets with myself on where it was going to land. Keep in mind that, as any professional gas-pumper will advise, I was not actually holding the pump. Instead, I had it set in its little pump crevice. “Let the pump do all the work!” is my motto. So I was watching the digital money screen with my arms folded, looking pretty cool, if I might add. Now, I had expected it to land at around the $25 mark, so when it passed that with no signs of slowing down, I said to myself, “Huh, that’s strange.” Then $27…$29…$30…

As it’s going through the 30s, I started to hear a funny noise, like it was raining outside, but only next to my car. When I looked down, gas was splurging everywhere. Apparently, the pump had failed to click and deactivate. At this point, gas is spewing all over the car and on my shoes, the money co…

Classic card of the week

Kevin Willis, 1992-93 Stadium Club

Kevin Willis is arguably the last link to those legendary Atlanta Hawks teams that were pretty good, but not really. It is impossible to think of the late 80’s/early 90’s Atlanta Hawks without immediately seeing a visual image of Kevin Willis in the background of a Dominique Wilkins poster. Or, possibly, you see this very image instead. Or, even more unlikely, you rarely think about the late 80’s/early 90’s Atlanta Hawks, in which case you can go to hell.

Kevin Willis was famous for his humongous biceps, which were on par with those of David Robinson. In fact, the only difference between the two men was that David Robinson had a small face, and Kevin Willis had a huge face. And they played for different teams. And David Robinson scored more than seven points per game.

But Kevin Willis could rebound his face off! So to speak. For statistical proof, let’s check the back of the card:

Remarkable rebounding season, finishing 2nd in NBA…Had as many as 33 board…