Arizona Cardinals Are Headed to Super Bowl XLIII: A Cold Day in Hell?

Michael BairCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2009

Satan is wondering how to get the ice off his windshield today.

The Arizona Cardinals—yes those Arizona Cardinals—are heading to the Super Bowl.

It must be a frigid day in hell. Either that or God himself came down and decided to play football in the form of a guy named Larry Fitzgerald.

The Cardinals looked like the best team in the league during the first half against Philadelphia, with Larry Fitzgerald—who I am pretty sure the Eagles knew was a pretty decent player—catching three touchdowns.

When the Eagles stormed back to take a one-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals showed their true colors.

Rookie running back Tim Hightower came up huge for the Cardinals on their game-winning drive, converting on a huge fourth and one and eventually taking a screen pass eight yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 2:53 left in game.

The Cardinals defense then finally regained some of its success of the first half, stopping the Eagles on fourth down to seal the victory, and NFC championship for Arizona.

As a resident of Arizona, the idea of the Cardinals playing in the Super Bowl still really hasn’t sunk in.

I grew up attending games at Sun Devil Stadium, where, unless the Cowboys were in town, was about a quarter full, if that.


Suffering through years of incompetence had conditioned me to never really get my hopes up about the Cardinals.

I always rooted for the Cards, but come playoff time I always had to pick a team to root for to at least make football somewhat interesting.

This year was different.

The Cardinals have looked like a force throughout the playoffs, and Larry Fitzgerald has clearly established himself as the godfather of wide receivers in the league.

The defense, which had previously been lit up by the Jets, Vikings, Patriots, and Eagles, shut down Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams, and Brian Westbrook, and forced 12 turnovers in their three playoff wins.

The Cardinals have truly changed the psyche of the franchise and put the losing ways of the past behind them.

The Cardinals finished off the season looking like a bunch of playoff impostors, which rightfully turned nearly all of the media’s so-called experts against them.

This disrespect turned into a positive for the Cardinals who used it as a motivator, and rode that momentum all the way to Tampa.

Whichever team wins the AFC will again be favored to beat the Cardinals.

Just the way the Cards want it.

I look for the Cardinals to finish off the deep freeze of hell and shock the world by becoming the champions of Super Bowl XLIII.