Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Don’t look now, but Cardinals’ season on the horizon

Note: This column appears in the 7/10 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 7/11 issue of the Peoria Times

This summer is flying by so fast. It seems like just yesterday it was 100-degrees and sunny, and now every day it is 113-degrees and sunny. Where have you gone Old Man Winter? We hardly knew ye’…

Anyhoo, now that we’re already nearing mid-July, we can start turning our attention towards football season. (And I can take a break from writing columns about library drive-thru windows and local cell phone towers.) So what is up with the Arizona Cardinals anyway? We haven’t heard from them in a while. Many people would argue that we haven’t heard from them in over twenty years, but that is mean, and those people are jerks, and I will not justify those sentiments in this column.

Much has been happening with the Cardinals since we last saw them putting the finishing touches on their first .500 season in almost a decade. There is some good news surrounding the team, as well as some not-so-good news. So let’s get the icky stuff out of the way:

Bad news:

Anquan Boldin and Darnell Dockett remain unhappy with their contract situations. The “situations” being, of course, that they’re under contract. This will be a much bigger bout of bad news if either decides to skip training camp.

J.J. Arrington recently arrested at a club in North Carolina. You’re not going to believe this, but at 1:30 a.m. in the morning -- at a nightclub no less! -- a fight broke out. People were arrested. The Cardinals’ running back was one of them. Not really a big deal, and it shouldn’t affect the team in any way. Besides, Pacman Jones has set the bar so high when it comes to this kind of stuff, that this is almost a positive story in that no strippers were involved and no guns were fired. Whew!


Pfffttt

Longtime Cardinals’ trainer John Omohundro steps down. The man who managed to keep Kurt “Graybeard” Warner healthy for almost the entire 2007 season is moving to an advisory position. Maybe this is a non-issue. Maybe Tim Rattay is warming up right now.

Good news:

Cardinals shore up defense and skill positions with draft. Okay, maybe it’s hard to say if this is “good news” as of yet, but hey -- I have space to fill here. Besides, anytime you bring in guys named Dominique, Calais, and Early, it’s definitely not bad news.

Matt Leinart noticeably absent from online gossip pages for the past couple of months. I take this information to mean that the Cardinals’ starting -- yes, coach Ken Whisenhunt has made it quite clear -- quarterback is working out furiously and memorizing the playbook. That, or he has finally banned cameras from his house. For the purposes of this column, I’ll believe the former.


Stop trying to hold me back -- I gotta get to practice!

Cards hire Jason Licht as front office executive. I would be lying through my teeth if I said I knew anything about Mr. Licht, but people within the NFL circle – none of whom I’ve actually talked to, by the way – seem to think this is an excellent, excellent hire. So there’s that.

Team reports to training camp at NAU on July 23rd
. Of course, the best news surrounding the Arizona Cardinals -- for all of their fans and for football fans in general -- is that training camp is right around the corner. Which means that the NFL season is right around a corner that is only slightly farther away. Hooray!

Believe me, before you know it, it’ll be September 7th, the Cardinals will getting ready for their opener against the 49ers, and you’ll be wondering where the summer went.

Actually, you’ll be wondering when the heck summer is going to end. But still.

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