Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A diary of the Cardinals’ smooth transition to three and…oh

Note: An edited version of this column appears in the 9/25 issue of The Glendale Star, and the 9/26 issue of the Peoria Times

I wasn’t sure when I was going to get another opportunity to watch the Arizona Cardinals possibly move to 3-0. Kurt Warner is 37 years old, Anquan Boldin wants out, and, well...the team doesn't exactly have a history of strong starts. Or middles, or ends. With that in mind, I decided to do a running log of Sunday's game in Washington. Because if 3-0 actually happened, I wanted evidence.

9:58 AM: Before I even start this -- and I don't care if this makes me look like an idiot 500 words from now -- I am convinced the Cardinals are going to win this game. Really, I am.

9:59: I should also mention that the Giants are on CBS right now, yet I’m voluntarily watching the Cardinals. And by “voluntarily” I mean that my editor has me chained to the couch, with my eyes pulled open "A Clockwork Orange" style, and has hidden my remote control somewhere in the desert.

10:09: The Redskins are marching down the field right now, and sideline “reporter” Tony Siragusa has this to say about their quarterback: “One thing people don’t realize…Jason Campbell is 6’5”…” Really? Nobody realizes that? I mean, it’s listed pretty much everywhere.


This guy is too tall! I never realized!

10:13: Clinton Portis scores easily to put the Redskins up 7-0. There were a lot of holes in the Cards’ D on that drive. I’m already a little worried about my opening statement.

10:21: The Cards are driving, but Tim Hightower falls just short of the first down. Before I can even write that they should go for it, they do. But an unbelievably gutsy play call that would have been an easy touchdown is negated by a delay of game penalty. None of the announcers are stressing just how awful that was.

10:28: Jason Campbell -- what is he like, 5’7”? -- cannot throw an incomplete pass right now.

10:34: Finally, a defensive play for the Cards -- a Karlos Dansby sack of Campbell. That leads to a stalled Washington drive and a weak punt. The Cardinals might be in business right now.

10:38: Or….not. An Edgerrin James fumble ends the first quarter.

10:44: It’s 10-0. I have to admit -- I’m kind of bored right now.

10:48: The Cardinals, facing a 3rd & 17, complete a pass for 14 yards. Our color analyst Moose Johnston says there’s nothing wrong with that. Apparently, he hates first downs.

10:56: A decent Steve Breaston punt return is negated by what Tony Siragusa describes as one of the worst cases of holding he’s ever seen. I think that may be a bit of an exaggeration. Still, penalties are killing this team right now.

11:00: This probably isn’t the most opportune time to say this, since Edgerrin James has looked very good so far this year, including this game. But I’m going to say it anyway -- Tim Hightower is better than Edgerrin James. There. I feel so much better.

11:09. Wow. Wide receiver Jeremie Urhban throws to Tim Hightower. The announcers make fun of the quality of the pass instead of recognizing that the Cardinals are now 1st-and-goal. I really should put this game on mute.

11:11: Warner-to-Boldin. 10-7. Tony Siragusa on Boldin: “That’s a huge man right there.” Anquan Boldin is one of the smaller wideouts in the league. I am so confused right now.

11:19
: Big third down stop for the Cardinals. Before punting, the Redskins allow the clock to run down and then call a timeout, which Siragusa rationalizes by saying, “And five yards doesn’t make a difference.” I’m sorry -- is it a penalty to call a timeout now?

11:20: Speaking of penalties…penalty on the Cardinals.

11:39: Mr. Siragusa opens the second half by telling us that he spoke with “Coach Wasinhunt at halftime.” If anyone knows who that is, please email me.

12:06: I don’t know what’s worse for the Cardinals -- the horrendous penalties, or getting beat by Todd Yoder. Either way, now it’s 17-10, Redskins.

12:12: Approximately three milliseconds after Sirgusa compliments Washington’s defense for not giving up a big play, Warner hits Larry Fitzgerald for a 62-yard touchdown. If the distribution of inaccurate and/or pointless information were a baseball game, Tony Sirgusa would be pitching a no-hitter right now.


These words are strange...what's a "Plexico?" I'm just going to ask Coach McLoughlin what he thinks

12:30: A tip-passed interception leads to a touchdown for the Redskins. It’s still a one-score game, but the Cardinals are playing with the urgency of a hungover Eddie Curry. In the middle of all this, Siragusa has managed to drop another “Wasinhunt” bomb. Things couldn’t be going worse.

12:50: The Redskins opt for a 52-yard field goal attempt rather than a punt. The Cardinals capitalize on this awful decision by immediately going three-and-out.

12:58: I am an idiot.

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