The Arizona Cardinals: More Than Conquerors

KAT GILLCorrespondent IFebruary 2, 2009

When a 9-7 wild card team can fight their way into the Super Bowl by beating teams like the Atlanta Falcons (11-5), and the Carolina Panthers (12-4), people begin to see that team as:  good.

When this same team is able to face a five-time Super Bowl Championship winning opponent, come back from a 13-point deficit at half-time, persevere with grit and moxie in the 4th quarter to amass 16 additional points...and finish that game only 4 points behind their so-called Goliath;  people might see that team as: AWESOME.

All I wanted today was to see a good game... 

I never expected to see the amazing tenacity of the Arizona Cardinals. To see their drive, their audacity, their forebearance...

(I also never would have imagined them giving away 106 yards in penalties.)

Super Bowl XLIII ended with the Cardinal's losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers, yes. But, oddly, I'm unaffected by this defeat...actually, I find myself proud and smiling.

It isn't often I behold a game where such fearless bravery and unquenchable effort is expelled.

I'm certain some will consider this victory of the Steelers' as one which exemplifies their dominance in the game of football; and I guess that may be one way to assimilate the facts of the game and the overall outcome.

However, I am of the mindset that a real champion is not measured by the score at the end of the game. 

The best team is not always the team who wins.  The best effort and greatest athletic moments aren't always realized on the scoreboard. 

True dominance and victory can often be awarded to a team without recognition...without a sound...without a trophy...a team who endures the fight and loses.

A team with an insurmountable deficit...a team who, if logic and reason were to be their guide, would merely concede when overpowered...surrender when defeated...and resign when reality clearly dictates their impending demise.

Valor and awe go to such a team who face their short-comings, who fail, but refuse to remain down...who maintain their vigor with diligence...who are immune to improbability, take fate by the horns and wrestle it to the ground.

The Arizona Cardinals fought the good fight.  They kept the faith.  They made me laugh...they made me scream...they made me pull my hair out and bite my nails.

But in the end, the Arizona Cardinals were more than conquerors, to me.  They were the personification of endurance without reason...hope without time...effort immeasurable...and Inspiration Ad Infinitum.

It was an awesome game...

“We didn't lose the game; we just ran out of time”  - Vince Lombardi