Tuesday, August 23, 2011
NFL ACLB PREVIEWS - #22: ARIZONA CARDINALS
PERTINENT DATA: 5-11 last year; 60 to 1 odds to win Super Bowl XLVI.
BEST CASE SCENARIO (Raven): The Cardinals only have to be so good in the NFC West, and Ken Whisenhunt is a good coach by default compared to his divisional contemporaries. Kevin Kolb's addition gives them a functional arm to throw balls at Larry Fitzgerald, who doesn't really need them to get but so close to haul them in. Seriously, that dude is a monster, and it's a shame he was basically playing with no QB last year. I think they started an undrafted rookie by year's end. And being they are in the NFC West, as Seattle proved last year, and Arizona themselves proved a couple years back, all you have to do is stumble your way into being division champion, get hot in the playoffs, and you'll look far better than you ever really were. The Cardinals certainly have about as good a shot at accomplishing that in the NFC West than anybody else.
WORST CASE SCENARIO (Neil): There is something dystopian about Arizona. Its people are all vile shape shifters belonging to no one and nowhere. There is a reason Pump Up the Volume was set in this postmodern version of hell, a combination of a giant Las Vegas suburb and the waiting room in a dentist’s office. Strung out whores, angry racists, broken cocktail waitresses, the dead and the dying, the soulless and the forgotten, these are the monsters and animals who populate Arizona. And so it stands to reason that their football team should be a similar wraith, too vapid to live yet too stupid to die. It too belongs to no one and nowhere, having moved around a bunch of different times, floating from city to city on a sea of failure until it finally washed up on the arid shores of this dystopian hell, where real estate hucksters blow their brains out in seedy motel rooms and have their remains eaten by Gila Monsters and Sand People and where dreams are twisted into vicious nightmares, black and ugly and mean. The Cardinals have no real fans, just a bunch of wretched and ruined automatons too simple and horrible and filled with self-loathing to even be Cowboys fans. They are the new Americans, the breed of the insane and the lost, eating shit instead of Apple Pie and sucking off Failure Demons for even a small taste of the twisted mockery of the American Dream. In this environment, the worst case scenario is ugly and horrid, too damn obscene for words, too sick and depraved even for me. What is a single season in the face of this nightmare? What is a glimmer of success other than a cruel mockery of the pointlessness of their reality? Their existence is brutal and worthless and it is endlessly surprising to me that there aren’t mass suicides at Cardinals games, but what else can you expect from a vapid, craven people? They are too plasticized and numb to even understand death and so they beat on, like twisted zombies in the night, their very existence a mockery to all things decent, and they beat on and they beat on and...
PLAYER TO PULL FOR (Raven): Larry Fitzgerald is just too damn good, both in on-field play as well as a dude. He's a quiet, unassuming, hard-working guy who never complains, which unfortunately means he'll probably spend most of his career prime being wasted in Arizona where more people show up to root for the other team than the home team on many game days. The squeaky wheel gets oiled, and Fitzgerald is about as non-squeaky a wheel as you could have. It's almost a shame this guy won't get to play for a real team until he's in his declining years, as like a token veteran for the Patriots or Jets or something, to try and get a Super Bowl ring.
PLAYER TO HATE MOST (Neil): You can’t respect or trust a man named Beanie, especially one from Ohio and so I have no choice but to tell you all to hate Beanie Wells. Some may say that these are superfluous reasons, inane and the sign of a diseased mind, and maybe those people are right, but maybe, just maybe, these reasons are the most valid of all. Think about it.
BEST NAME ON TEAM: Paris Lenon, but only because I thought saying Curtis Gatewood and referring to some obscure photographer from the '80s who took wild black-and-white pictures of decadent homosexual sub-cultures would be wasted on the type of people who read this blog. But you should go to google image search and look up "decadent homosexual sub-cultures 1980s" and diversify your frame of reference a little bit.
IN A PERFECT WORLD (Neil): In a perfect world, Arizona is overrun by a horde of Mexicans, who enslave its people and ride them like donkeys until they drop. Meanwhile, the Cardinals tyranny of irrelevance is overthrown by these immigrants with fire in their hearts and the Arizona Cardinals become the team of the Mexican people, and the rise to glory by the Cardinals will serve as a metaphor for the rise of a new Mexican empire. And when the Cardinals finally win the Super Bowl, a terrified Sheriff Goodell will be forced to hand the Lombardi Trophy to the masked owner of the Cardinals, a swarthy beast with wild eyes and a heart full of hate for everything that Goodell represents. This masked owner will tear off his mask revealing himself to be none other than Oscar Zeta Acosta who will reveal that he survived after all and that he hijacked a boat filled with cocaine and established a drug fueled empire in Baja, which netted him billions, billions which he used to purchase the Arizona Cardinals. He will then proceed to pistol whip Sheriff Goodell on national TV and then his followers will pull Chris Berman from his sty and beat him and they will light fires which will burn through the night and then they will parade through the streets of Phoenix the next day, drunk on bloodlust, victory and tequila and they will drive Goodell, Berman and their ilk through the streets naked and ashamed, weeping and begging forgiveness while Oscar bellows at them and whips them with chains made from the tears and broken dreams of the people of Arizona.
PROGNOSIS (Raven): A 9-7 year will make them easily the best team in the NFC West, winning the division, but then losing a home playoff game like Seattle should have last year.