Note: This column appears in the 8/28 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 8/29 issue of the Peoria Times
The Cardinals faced the Raiders in Oakland this past Saturday evening. I figured that not only would this game help the Cardinals work out the kinks, but it could help me try and get into form as well. After all, I have a full season of groundbreaking columns to write. With that in mind, I decided to do a running log of Saturday’s game. Here is what followed:
6:00: Our announcers for this evening are the preseason team of Mike Goldberg and Bill Lewis. They are a bit rusty.
1sr qtr: Matt Leinart is equally rusty. His first pass is intercepted. Actually, let’s hope that’s rust, and not Matt Leinartness.
1st qtr: So far -- and this game is about five minutes old now -- Goldberg has referred to Raiders’ quarterback JaMarcus Russell as: ChaMarcus Russell, Marcus Russell, Darren McFadden, and, occasionally, JaMarcus Russell.
1st qtr: There has been a penalty flag on every other play.
2nd qtr: Leinart is intercepted by Stanford Route, who then knocks over a referee and is then tackled by Leinart. The theme to “Benny Hill” is oddly not played during the replay.
2nd qtr: Penalty flag.
2nd qtr: The Cardinals are on their own 5-yard line. The announcers throw it down to the sideline reporter before realizing that there’s a fumble on the field. Much awkwardness ensues.
2nd qtr: Matt Leinart drops back to throw the football. You can guess what happens.
2nd qtr: I can’t tell if the Cards’ D is playing that well, or if the Raiders are playing that poorly.
2nd qtr: Kurt Warner is in. Leinart’s line: 4-of-12 passing for 24 yards and three interceptions. So, yeah.
Screw it...what do I have to lose?
2nd qtr: Goldberg describes Cardinals’ tight end hopeful Brent Miller as “6’5” and 237 yards.” I may never watch a preseason football game ever again.
2nd qtr: Allow me to recap the remainder of the first half: Flag, flag, bad pass, flag, somebody falls down, flag, flag.
3rd qtr: First offensive play of second half: flag.
3rd qtr: Warner hits Anquan Boldin for a big gain, which is followed by a Tim Hightower touchdown run, his third of the preseason.
3rd qtr: Bill Lewis firmly announces that Hightower has won the backup running back job, which is immediately followed by J.J. Arrington running for a 67-yard touchdown. Sure, the job probably is Hightower’s, but that was still funny.
3rd qtr: The starters are out, and my game log is finished.
Speaking of the starters, the culmination of Leinart’s poor performance on Saturday ended up being his undoing -- Kurt Warner was reportedly named the starting quarterback the following day. If Matt Leinart was a “kink,” it looks like that’s been worked out.
So at least this game decided one thing. As for everything else, the defense looked fantastic, the offensive line blocked well, but penalties -- the Cardinals had nine of them during the 24-0 win -- remain an issue.
There’s still just over a week until the start of the season, which is good, because almost everyone has some things to work on, especially a newly anointed backup quarterback. And that includes myself. I mean, this isn’t even really a column. It’s just a random account of things that happened almost a week ago.
Hey Mike, mind if I write your column next week? I think it gives you the best chance to be funny...